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QSC’s WideLine loudspeakers go to the mat for Mexican wrestling

ANAHEIM, CA–Among true fans of lucha libre–Mexican freestyle wrestling–the names El Hijo del Santo, Mistico, Vampiro, Blue Demon, Atlantis, Dr. Wagner, and Rey Misterio are spoken with hushed reverence. Put all these masked luchadores into the ring on the same bill, and spectacular high-flying entertainment results that thrills crowds with the lightning-quick impact of a diving headbutt executed from the top of the ropes.

“Mexican wrestling places much less of an emphasis on power moves than its counterpart in the US,” says Chad Brook of Anaheim, CA-based BCT Entertainment, the promoter of a luche libre match not long ago at the Anaheim Convention Center Arena featuring the headliners just mentioned. “The focus is on speed instead, and rapid successions of holds and moves.”

Faced with the prospect of bringing sound reinforcement to the event for both voice announcements and concert-level musical playback, BCT called upon Goodman Audio Services of Santa Fe Springs, CA to fulfill its need for sonic punch. With system intelligibility playing an equally important role, setup and teardown speed was a vital element in the sound blueprint as well, this thanks to a 6 A.M. load-in, showtime of 6 P.M., and edict to quickly clear the building once the show was over.

With room for 5,300 on two levels of permanent seats, plus the option of adding up to 3,400 additional seats at floor level, the Anaheim Convention Center Arena is a landmark, Googie-style structure that offered its own set of acoustical challenges to BCT and Goodman’s lucha libre audio plans. Fueled in no small part by the reverberant potential inherent in the room’s huge concrete domed roof and wide-spanning area of coverage, these obstacles were met and overcome with a design relying upon compact line array loudspeaker technology flown from four locations directly above the ring.

“Given the problems we faced, there was really only one way to properly address this task, and that was with QSC’s WideLine loudspeakers,” Goodman Audio’s Jeff Welton believes. “With 140 degrees of wide angle dispersion, the enclosures had no problem conquering the arena’s broad area of coverage. Thanks to their compact size, the process of moving them in, rigging them, and sending them airborne at a rate of eight boxes per each of the four clusters we flew was a job made that much easier and quicker as well. To top things off, configuring the system was greatly simplified with QSC’s Venue Manager software. Once we were up and running, managing and monitoring the system was accomplished using the automated powers of the QSControl.net platform and BASIS processing also provided by QSC.”

Each WideLine loudspeaker used in the plan was a three transducer system capable of being operated in either biamplified or triamplified modes. Within each cabinet, a pair of 10-inch diameter transducers are arranged so that one covers only low frequencies, and the range of the other extends through the mid-frequencies up to the mid/high crossover point. The use of this single midrange driver allows the horizontal coverage pattern to remain as wide as possible, and insures smooth response both on and off-axis as signals transition to the high frequency section.

“Like any wrestling event, an evening of luche libre relies on its sound system to build excitement,” Chad Brook adds. “The WideLines definitely lived up to that task. We had plenty of energy across the board all the way from the furthest seats down to those sitting in the front row. We were able to keep that energy where we focused it too, not reflecting wildly all over to further excite the room’s somewhat unforgiving acoustics. Everything worked in our favor that night. This isn’t your average gig for most sound companies, but Goodman Audio made it seem like they’ve been doing it for years. They may not be ready for the ring, but they’re made of real campeonato [championship] material.”

Caption for accompanying photo:

Luche Libre Image 1: Action in the ring with QSC‘s WideLine loudspeakers shown suspended above.

QSC is a leading manufacturer of power amplifiers, loudspeakers, signal processing, digital signal transport, and computer control systems for professional audio markets worldwide. Company headquarters is located at 1675 MacArthur Blvd., Costa Mesa, CA 92626 USA. Phone: 800-854-4079 (USA only) or 714-754-6175. Fax: 714-754-6174. Email: info@qscaudio.com, or visit www.qscaudio.com.

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