More Gain Before Feedback Achieved at Rose Bowl and Super Bowl Via Yamaha’s RND 5045

Referee microphones need volume and clarity, but increasing loudness through distributed stadium PA systems risks feedback. Jack Bowling of ATK AudioTek, the sound reinforcement provider at both the Rose Bowl in Pasadena and the Super Bowl in Indianapolis, applied the Rupert Neve Designed Portico 5045 Primary Source Enhancer, distributed by Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, to resolve that issue at those venues.

Bowling had the chance to demo the RND 5045 unit prior to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena to explore the possibilities for its use in resolving certain issues of this specific application. “Kevin Kimmel from Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, having worked with me in the past, knows I project manage and mix the UCLA football games and also mix the Tournament of Roses Game at the Rose Bowl,” states Bowling. “He initially introduced me to the RND 5045 suggesting it might help achieve more gain before feedback and provide more clarity on the referee microphone. I was curious to see what effect it would have, and after some patching and a discussion of various parameters, we tried it out and I was impressed with the change the unit made.”

Bowling said the Rose Bowl PA is a distributed system with all speakers pointing toward the field, and because of this, a great portion of the reverberant energy works its way onto the field, increasing the potential for feedback.

“It was only through experimentation that I was able to hear the effect and appreciate the change it made to the ref mic,” says Bowling. “The 5045 did an excellent job tightening up the ref’s voice by attenuating a great deal of that reverberant energy.”

Because of the success he had with the RND 5045 at the Rose Bowl, Bowling took the unit on the road to Indy for the Super Bowl where he used a Yamaha M7CL digital console at his mix position and two Sennheiser MKE-2 Platinum mics connected through a dual switch to two Shure Axient transmitters and receivers (only one element is used at a time, the additional system is used as a backup). “The RND 5045 was great,” he says. “I had limited time to tune the ref mic and was very pleased with the result. I used the 5045 on an insert with a Cedar DNS-1500 and an XTA Parametric EQ and ended up with a ref mic that sounded very natural and had plenty of gain. I am always looking for a way to improve the clarity and squeeze just a bit more level out of the ref mic and this unit did both.”