RodeoHouston, an annual three-week rodeo and concert series in Texas, featured the world's largest L-Acoustics K1 stadium system this year.
The 72,600-seat Reliant Stadium in Houston hosted a nightly double bill of of rodeo action, immediately followed by an hour-long concert from well known artists such as Mary J. Blige, Bruno Mars, Pitbull and Styx.
LD Systems has long been the exclusive audio provider for the event and last year made a recommendation to the show's decision makers that they bring in an L-Acoustics K1 system for the 2013 event. As a result, LD Systems purchased nearly 400 enclosures and 150 amplified controllers from the company last year.
Using L-Acoustics' Soundvision acoustical modelling software, the manufacturer and LD Systems collaborated on an ideal system design for Reliant Stadium that utilised 280 enclosures powered by 48 LA-RAK touring amplifier racks. The system comprised two concentric rings of loudspeakers – an inner ring of K1 arrays to address the lower bowl seating areas, plus an outer ring of KUDO arrays to cover the upper bowl seats.
Inner arrays were divided into two configurations. The eight hangs along the longer east and west sides of the arena were comprised of four K1-SB subs, nine K1 elements and six KARA downfills, while the four arrays flown facing the north and sound end zones featured four K1-SB and ten K1. LA-RAKs were stacked on top of each array – three on arrays with KARA downfills, and two on those without.
For upper bowl coverage, LD Systems flew 12 outer arrays each made up of six KUDO enclosures and topped with a single LA-RAK. The signal path for the stadium's flown audio system was fully AES digital, with a redundant analog system in place as a backup. L-Acoustics' LA Network Manager software provided system monitoring and control. For concert monitoring down on the stage in the center of the arena, the sound reinforcement company supplied a dozen 115XT HiQ wedges and two SB18 subs, all powered by four LA8s.
"The system that we deployed for RodeoHouston last year consisted of 130 devices, which were a combination of line array and conventional trapezoid-type cabinets, so we more than doubled our loudspeaker presence in the stadium for 2013," said Rob McKinley, president of LD Systems. "But this year's system went well beyond simply being bigger. The fidelity of the L-Acoustics arrays was a huge step up, and the overall impact and pattern control--especially on the low end--were a dramatic improvement over our previous rig."
The show's interim president and CEO Leroy Shafer added: "This system far exceeded even my expectations, and I was a proponent from the word go. Based on LD System's demo for us last fall, we knew that it would be a great improvement for music, but I don’t think we were quite prepared for how much it seemed to improve the stadium's acoustics for our rodeo announcers."
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