Norway’s World Cup FIS World Cup skiing competitions come though loud and clear

By Dan Daley
SVG Audio Editor
Outdoor
live sound is a challenge in any broadcast situation, including Norway’s
FIS World Cup Skiing Competitions this winter. Oslo-based
sound reinforcement provider AVAB CAC – which also supported other
winter sports events including the Holmenkollen’s FIS World Cup Nordic,
Cross-Country and Jump events and the E-ON Ruhrgas Biathlon World Cup
— faced a challenging 1,245-meter (4,085-foot) track built specifically
for this year’s race, with artificial snow measuring 7,000 cubic meters
(1.8 million-plus gallons). The track encircled the main city center
with the finish line in front of the central Bragernes Church. Two large
video displays enabled the crowds to follow the action while a Meyer
Sound MICA and M3D line array loudspeaker AVAB CAC installed covered
audio all along the race route.
“The
Cross-Country Sprint has an exceptionally complicated setup,” says
Per Ola Holden, AVAB CAC’s project manager, who handled audio duties
for three different locations of the track. The nature of the outdoor
event presented multifaceted challenges, which the PA provider developed
solutions for. For instance, at the finishing line in front of the Bragernes
church, one main hang of 12 MICA line array loudspeakers was augmented
by a second set of 12 MICAs for delays, with four 700-HP subwoofers
covering the low end. The city center location was served by two arrays
of eight M3D line array loudspeakers, with M’elodie line array loudspeakers
covering the stage area. A Meyer Sound Galileo loudspeaker management
system handled loudspeaker processing at each location.
“It’s
a large area,” adds Holden. “And sometimes people at different positions
are making announcements at the same time. We time-delay everything
to function together among the three locations.”
Positioning
the speakers was another challenge. To avoid blocking the broadcast
team’s aerial shots, the arrays were hung alongside of the track.
“With spectators on both sides of the track, there’s no room to
build speaker towers,” Holden explains. “So we use truck-mounted
cranes to hang the arrays.”
But
snow might prove easier than the challenge that pervasive soot and humidity
throws at live sound at the Summer Olympics in Beijing. Stay tuned.