A virtual press conference from Sound & Video Contractor


The Dow Diamond in Midland, Michigan is the newly-built home of the Great Lakes Loons baseball team (Class ‘A‘ affiliates of the L.A. Dodgers). The 5600-seat venue is already being called one of the finest minor league ball parks in America, thanks to its superb design and facilities, including an extensive Electro-Voice sound system.

With architectural design by HOK Sport and acoustical design by BAI, Dow Diamond has a world-class sports facility pedigree that decreed an equally high caliber of sound reinforcement equipment. After BAI completed the sound system design spec, it was reviewed by Midland-based AV specialists Hardy Communications, Inc., who completed the purchase and installed the system in conjunction with Three Rivers Construction, primary contractors for the project.

“This is a complete input-to-output system using products from the Bosch Communications Systems family of brands,‘ says Jim Schmidtke of Hardy Communications, “from the EV RE20 announcer microphone to the Midas Venice mixing console to the hundreds of various EVID and Sx series loudspeakers installed to precisely address each area in the stadium.”

“The concept behind this large, multi-point distribution was to maintain excellent sonic consistency throughout the facility,” adds Mike Trainor of Hardy. “When you walk around, the coverage is seamless; each time we bring guests here, that‘s the first thing they notice. Using the compact EVID surface-mounted and recessed ceiling speakers for the main distribution makes a big difference to using four or five large clusters pointed in multiple directions, turned up loud to throw to the far corners of the stadium.”

“With the EVID and Sx system design, the sound stays contained within the stadium, with a far higher degree of full bandwidth intelligibility at lower SPLs,” added Schmidtke. Couple that with the fact that these speakers look as good as they sound, and you have a system that offers a high degree of architectural and acoustical finesse. EV had the right product for every application, be that the seating, outfield or VIP areas, and working with a single vendor streamlined the whole design spec process.”

68 weatherproof Sx300PIX loudspeakers are mounted 30 feet high on poles spaced every 30 feet around the outfield at Dow Diamond, each angled to deliver sound to a specific portion of the outfield seating. 180 EVID C8.2LP recessed ceiling speakers provide low profile looks with high performance sound throughout the venue, including the 500-seat roofed outdoor space and VIP areas. 197 EVID 4.2Ts are surface-mounted throughout the stadium, including in an enclosed concourse that was too cavernous for a single-point distribution, making a distribution of the compact/high-performance EVIDs ideal.

In addition to the loudspeaker spec, a Midas Venice console ensures a warm audio mix in the control room. Telex AudioCom & RadioCom intercom equipment is used for broadcast flexibility across 6 camera stations and a director‘s station, patched in to the announcer‘s booth. An EV NetMax N8000 networked matrix controller further streamlines the system with centralized multi-zone signal distribution and processing: 8 inputs (including main stadium announcer, local radio and fire alarm) feed 16 outputs to zones throughout the stadium.

“You get a little more than two blocks away from the stadium and you can‘t hear any paging or playback,” Trainor adds, “–it‘s that controlled. Inside the venue the audio is full and clean over every square foot, even in the naturally reverberant concrete-floored and walled concourse areas. Our clients, the Michigan Baseball Foundation, love the system. This may be a small town, but we have big stadium sound quality!”




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July 2007
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