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Norway's World Cup Skiing Competitions Heard Loud and Clear through Meyer Sound MICA and M3D System
The celebrated FIS World Cup skiing competitions are a tradition dating back nearly a century. For the sixth year, the Norwegian city of Drammen played host to the Cross-Country Sprint race for athletes to compete in the city streets. The annual event attracted thousands of winter sports fans, many of whom pitched tents overnight to claim the best spots along the route.
A challenging 1,245-meter (4,085-foot) track was built specifically for this year's race with artificial snow measuring 7,000 cubic meters (more than 1.8 million gallons). The track encircled the main city center with the finish line in front of the historic Bragernes Church. Two large video displays enabled the crowds to follow the action while an elaborate Meyer Sound MICA and M3D line array loudspeaker system provided by Oslo-based AVAB CAC ensured that the attendees could hear the event clearly from anywhere along the route.
The nature of the outdoor event presented multifaceted challenges, each of which was tackled using a seamlessly integrated Meyer Sound system. "The Cross-Country Sprint has an exceptionally complicated setup," says Per Ola Holden, AVAB CAC's project manager, who handled audio duties for three different locations of the track.
At the finishing line in front of the Bragernes church, one main hang of 12 MICA line array loudspeakers was augmented by a second set of 12 MICAs for delays; four 700-HP subwoofers covered the low end. The city center location was served by two arrays of eight M3D line array loudspeakers, with M'elodie line array loudspeakers covering the stage area. A Meyer Sound Galileo loudspeaker management system handled loudspeaker processing at each location.
"It's a large area," adds Holden. "And sometimes people at different positions are making announcements at the same time. We time-delay everything to function together among the three locations."
Positioning the speakers was another challenge. To avoid blocking the broadcast team's aerial shots, the arrays were hung alongside of the track. "With spectators on both sides of the track, there's no room to build speaker towers," Holden explains. "So we use truck-mounted cranes to hang the arrays. Meyer's self-powered feature makes it much easier for us to deal with this complex setup."
"We are working in very demanding conditions," says Holden, "and Meyer Sound really gives us a tremendous advantage. Its broad range of speakers has enabled us to create a system design that delivers unbelievable clarity and power for each location, and functions together flawlessly."
AVAB CAC and its Meyer Sound stock have been busy throughout this past ski season. Besides the FIS Cross-Country event in Drammen, AVAB CAC also supported other winter sports events including the Holmenkollen's FIS World Cup Nordic, Cross-Country and Jump events and the E-ON Ruhrgas Biathlon World Cup. Crew members that worked closely with Holden at these events include Hans Svilosen, Preben Frostad, Elise Onseng, Stein Andre Hovden, Odd Wangen, Thomas Tharaldsen, Erik Bjecke and Thomas Wold.
The production team's hard work did not go unappreciated. Reviews in the press have praised the sound quality at the World Cup events. A report of Längd.se, a Swedish cross-country skiing publication, noted that the exceptional sound system helped provide a complete experience to the audience by amplifying every bit of the entertaining and informative narration from the host, Kjell-Erik Kristiansen and Jens Aas.
Holden is pleased with the compliment, and readily attributes the events' success to the Meyer Sound systems. "I'd like to think we deliver the best sound in Norway, and for me that means Meyer Sound. I've been in the business for 35 years and honestly, I've never heard another speaker that even comes close in quality and clarity."