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New Reference Stadium for Electro-Voice in Zagreb, Croatia


The Arena Zagreb, which opened in December 2008, has raised the architectural profile of the Croatian capital, Zagreb. Tehnozavod Marusic installed an extensive pro sound system from Electro-Voice in the multifunction hall, which seats up to 22,000 visitors. High-calibre concerts from acts such as Beyoncé and the London Symphony Orchestra crowned the highly successful inaugural event season.

Six new sports halls were constructed in Croatia for the Men’s World Handball Championships at the start of the year – among them, the Arena Zagreb, now one of the architectural landmarks of the Croatian capital. Extending over 90,000 square metres, the new multifunction hall can seat audiences of up to 22,000. The vast dimensions of the Arena, coupled with the stipulation that the hall be equally suitable for both sporting and cultural events, placed a heavy burden on those responsible for designing the sound reinforcement system. Wall-to-wall coverage but also a high degree of intelligibility were the two most important factors during the design – a challenge to which the Croatian pro audio company Tehnozavod Marusic provided the most convincing solution.

With help from the Electro-Voice Technical Support Team, Tehnozavod Marusic proposed a design based on the highly successful stadium solutions EV came up with for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Now over six months into its first year of operation, the Arena Zagreb’s sound reinforcement system has already demonstrated the versatility and quality of the sound reinforcement system by flawless performances in events ranging from the indoor motor cross world championships, to concerts by artists like Eros Ramazotti, the Backstreet Boys and José Carreras and musicals like “Disney on Ice? and “Thriller?.

State-of-the-art technology from the NetMax N8000 and IRIS-Net
The main control room is linked by double LWL rings to four substations on the catwalks. Five NetMax N8000 controllers are united via CobraNet to form one master control unit which allows the swift and simple control of individual loudspeakers and loudspeaker groups via IRIS-Net. From there the sound engineers can easily adjust things like the volume, EQ and delay. “IRIS-Net opens the door to countless possibilities, such as combining sound systems or using different presets for different applications,? says Mario Srbis, Tehnozavod Marusic’s Project Manager. Over fifty P1200RL power amplifiers, with onboard digital signal processing, power the Arena’s 60 loudspeakers.

In addition to the main control room, the entire system can be governed from anywhere in the hall using a mobile rack furnished with a Midas Venice 160 console. This allows sound engineers to be flexible and adapt the system perfectly to the acoustic conditions and audio requirements of a wide variety of events. The sound engineers also have a Midas Verona 320 console at their disposal and four DN370 graphic EQs, three DN1248 microphone splitters and two Square One dynamic processors – all from Klark Teknik.

Srbis knew it wasn’t going to be easy outfitting such a diverse facility, “The biggest challenge was to attain good intelligibility in a space that had a maximum reverberation time reading of 3.5 seconds in the 1-2 kHz frequency band – the area of greatest importance to intelligibility. Despite this, we were able to attain STI values between 0.6 and 0.7 in an empty arena and even better values in a full arena. This guarantees us optimum levels of intelligibility under all circumstances.?

Installation and configuration in less than three months
The team from Tehnozavod Marusic first contacted the Technical Support Team from EVI Audio about the Zagreb commission in the early summer of 2007, following participation in an IRIS-Net training course in Straubing – the ideal preparation for the tasks ahead. This made it possible for the two teams to complete the installation and configuration of the sound system for the new arena in less than three months. Oliver Sahm, Director of the Technical Support Team for EVI Audio explains the key to the successful project: “The result was due to not only our great experience in the area of stadium sound reinforcement but also excellent cooperation with Tehnozavod Marusic and the Arena’s planners.“

About the Arena Zagreb
Officially opened on December 27th, 2008, the Arena Zagreb’s first major event was the final of the Men’s World Handball Championships on February, 1st 2009, in which the French team defeated the Croatian hosts. Since then, the Arena has played host to not only a variety of sporting events but also to concerts by artists such as Beyoncé and the London Symphony Orchestra. The Arena has also hosted political congresses and other events similar in nature.

A concert by Depeche Mode scheduled for May had to be postponed until next February due to an illness to vocalist Dave Gahan. Two other major events – “Ben Hur – Live? and “Walking with Dinosaurs? – are planned for early 2010. Depending on the nature of the event, the arena is capable of seating anywhere between 15,200 (for the handball world championships) and 22,000 (for concerts). Over 1,000 parking spaces are available for visitors and on major occasions, as many as 38 coach buses can simultaneously transport passengers to the Arena’s bus station. A new shopping centre, with cafes, restaurants, a wellness centre, a cinema complex and an additional 3,500 parking spaces, is due to open alongside the arena in late 2010.

Electro-Voice Equipment List (extract)
44 x FRX+940 loudspeakers (set back from the audience)
16 x ZX5-90 loudspeakers (placed near the audience)
2 x SxA100+ loudspeakers
52 x P1200RL power amplifiers with remote control and DSP processing
5 x NetMax N8000 digital audio system controllers
4 x RE410 microphones
4 x N/D767a microphones
2 x N/D468 microphones
2 x REV-BP wireless microphones
1 x REV-H wireless microphone
2 x ULM-21
2 x HM7
2 x REV-D

Additional Equipment
1 x Midas Verona 320 console
1 x Midas Venice 160 console
4 x Klark Teknik DN370 graphic EQs
2 x Klark Teknik Square One dynamic processors
3 x Klark Teknik DN1248 microphone splitters




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