Contracting Market Installed Sound Applications

A&H mixer serves multiple zones at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' stadium

The Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, installed an Allen & Heath ML4000 24-input VCA mixing console. The stadium, often referred to as "The Crown Jewel of the National Football League (NFL)" because of its modern design elements, is home to the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the University of South Florida football team. Randi Crooks of Magnum Audio Group, audio engineer for the Buccaneers for 15 years - as well as a consulting engineer with the Tampa Sports Authority, which administers the stadium - specified the Allen & Heath console. "The console that was previously in there was deficient," he explains.
Located in the sound booth high above the end zone, the Allen & Heath ML4000 is used to distribute entertainment programming and announcements throughout the stadium. "There are multiple zones - such as the concourse, club, and press box - which are all fed from the auxes," Crooks details. "We also have the referee system for the bowl, and BucVision, our video animation department."
Perhaps the most sophisticated video and scoreboard system in the NFL, BucVision is operated by over 30 technicians, and comprises two massive video boards (7mx28m). Significantly larger than conventional NFL screens, the BucVision screens offer high definition TV play-action views from three different angles at either end of the field, plus network television highlights before and after Buc games from up to six NFL games simultaneously.
Further enhancing the experience for the 65,000+ fans, the Allen & Heath console provides high-fidelity audio to match the high definition video. "We send BucVision programme material down the line to the console - a lot of music, and a lot of commercials. We also do production work - such as the National Anthem - and sometimes we have national acts come to perform a half time show," says Crooks.
Regarding the shortcomings of the previous console, which was installed with the original sound system when the stadium was opened in 1998, Crooks elaborates: "They have a Meyer Sound powered speaker system installed in the stadium that wants to see +26dB before the processor works the way it was designed to work. It was only seeing +21, so it was going into clip before any limiting or anything was involved. Allen & Heath was able to supply an ML4000 console that produced +27dB outputs," he reports. "It's been very clean, and it has good British EQ. It has been wonderful."
Randi Crook at the sound booth
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