LP Field Makeover Matches Distributed Audio With Custom Graphics

The Tennessee Titans returned on Sunday to an LP Field whose AV systems have been substantially upgraded. The end-zone audio clusters have been largely replaced by a distributed audio system that has nearly 600 EAW QX and MK series speakers installed throughout the bowl, powered by Lab Gruppen amplifiers. Additional exterior-mounted speakers for gates, concessions, and other peripheral areas are from One Systems.

The stadium also sports two new HD video displays, each 157 ft. wide by 56 ft. tall, and new ribbon boards along the interior of the venue.

WJHW designed the audio and video systems. AVI-SPL installed the new audio systems; Alpha Video, the new video replay systems; ANC, the new scoreboard and other video displays.

Two things set the revamped LP Field in Nashville apart. First, in a move that further cements the NFL’s deep drive into the music domain, a dedicated stage has been built under the north-end scoreboard. Country-music artist Phil Vassar has been contracted to play with his band and guest artists from the Titans Party Stage at every home game this season.

Second, the entire distributed sound system is divided into eight zones that will provide sound-effects support for new animated graphics, developed by local video-production company Deaton Flanigen and intended to add a new dimension to the stadium experience. For instance, in one animation package, a virtual fuse is lit on one scoreboard and burns down, traveling along the ribbon boards. An accompanying “sizzle” sound effect travels with it through each of the eight zones, matching the animated fuse’s location in the stadium and culminating in an explosion on the opposite scoreboard.

“I’ve never seen any animated graphics paired with sound effects like that before,” says Mark Graham, an associate at WJHW and designer of the audio system.

The same goes for the stadium’s new stage. Handled by local SR provider Morris Sound, the sound will move digitally along an Audinate Dante network to the venue control room and from there through the distributed PA system.

Running live music through a distributed audio system presented an interesting challenge. When the band set up for a sound check, the live drum kit thundered through the resonant concrete bowl, still plenty loud when the sound arrived to nearby spectators but nearly 100 milliseconds ahead of the rest of the music through the distributed system, which has various delay times built in. The solution was to change out the live drum kit for an electronic one that could be plugged directly into the FOH console to match the rest of the music signals.

“That’s made everyone happy,” says Graham. “Except maybe the drummer.”