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EAW QX Series Gives Voice To The Waters Of Olympic Park At The 2014 Winter Olympics

Sound reinforcement for a 247-foot diameter white metal sculpture with 700,000-gallon tank

By PSW Staff February 12, 2014

The Waters of Olympic Park at the 2014 Sochi Games. Below is a look at one of the EAW QX loudspeakers being installed within the structure.

The Waters of Olympic Park, located in the epicenter of Medals Plaza at the ongoing 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, is an elegant fountain and sculpture installation by WET presenting a water, fog, and light show, topped by sound via Eastern Acoustic Works (EAW) QX Series loudspeakers.

Surrounding the fountain’s 247-foot diameter, 700,000-gallon tank, a white metal sculpture structure, inspired by Russian composer Igor Stravinsky’s 1910 ballet The Firebird, envelops the pool with its wings and holds the burning Olympic Cauldron at its zenith.

Inside the sculpture’s “neck,” EAW QX Series loudspeakers and SB subwoofers reinforce classic orchestrations of Russian composers such as Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich.

“The long, bird-neck structure` had very little space for a sound system,” explains Jim Scheffler, sound design audio engineer for WET, which conceived, designed, engineered and manufactured all of The Waters of Olympic Park. “However, I had to have exceptional coverage and output, and the QX boxes were exactly what I needed.”

The sculpture’s audio system was not to be visible, and with a structural support 1-meter in diameter running up the center, as well as the gas supply for the Olympic Cauldron’s flame, Scheffler had to choose components wisely.

He achieved 270-degree coverage around the fountain with just four QX544i-WPs as a center cluster, with another four QX564i-WPs along the left and right sides. Six SB2001 subwoofers are spread around the base of the structure. All loudspeakers are driven by 12 Powersoft K10 DSP+AESOP 2-channel power amplifiers.

“The EAW Resolution software made it easy to map out the performance I needed,” Scheffler notes. Even though the nearest spectators are 200 feet from the structure, 100 dB of output is attained at the closest range, with 85 dB at the extremes of the park.

“Our intention was for an extremely smooth, full-fidelity reproduction of music,” he states. “Classical music is to be heard—not hyped—as close to linear as possible. This EAW system has it all, from great sound to high output.”

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