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Electro-Voice Delivers Precision Solution For UAW Convention At Detroit’s Cobo Center

Aerial Enterprises used four rows of time-aligned Electro-Voice X2, XLC, and XLD line arrays for coverage with clarity


By PSW Staff July 9, 2018

At the top of the page we see a panorama of the Cobo Center during the UAW convention; directly above, the image provides a look at some of the EV loudspeakers deployed to serve the event.

Regional AV company Aerial Enterprises (Whitmore Lake, MI ) worked with Amazing Audio to deploy a sound reinforcement system headed by Electro-Voice components for the recent United Auto Workers (UAW) International Union 37th Constitutional Convention at Detroit’s Cobo Center.

The Aerial Enterprises team worked with Amazing Audio owner Jeff Jones on the system design to serve more than 1,100 delegates and 2,000 members in attendance.

“The coverage area for this event is roughly the size of a soccer field, about 300 by 100 feet,” explains Jim Lillie, president of Aerial Enterprises. “It’s primarily spoken word in a very reverberant convention center, with no real entertainment other than anthem singers. Our job was to make sure every word was heard and understood clearly by everyone.

:The other thing we needed was a quick load-in and set-up. After all, it was a union gig!” he continues. “With Electro-Voice rigging and IRIS-Net DSP control, we had the entire system in the air, tuned and checked in one day.”

The venue’s 30-foot ceilings and the UAW’s generous use of iMag video screens meant line array use was limited. The solution was a series of short, six-element arrays – four across the front, augmented with three more time-aligned rows to ensure smooth, even coverage across the entire depth of the convention center.

The four primary six-box arrays of X2-212/90s were flown over the stage, while a dozen Xi-1122 compact, two-way loudspeakers served as fills across the stage lip, with two more flown as down fills in the center. The first row of four delay arrays included twin hangs of XLC127s in the middle, flanked by compact XLD281 arrays on the outside.

Meanwhile, the third row of arrays was all XLD281s, chosen for their ability to minimize cabling by running a six-element array with one set of EV CP3000S amplifiers. The last row of speakers comprised four two-element hangs of Xi-1122, chosen for their ability to deliver direct sound to the back rows while avoiding unwanted rear wall reflections. To ensure a rich depth of tone, eight dual-18-inch Xsub subwoofers were ground stacked at the stage.

The stage itself was almost like a second venue, with a long, raised platform with lectern across its 100 by 60-foot expanse, seating dozens of union executives. Primary monitors were provided for the lectern position and the American Sign Language (ASL) presenter, each of which were served by two EV ZXA1 powered loudspeakers. Participants who were seated on stage heard their audio via a system of 16 Xi-1122s, half of which were flown and half aimed upward from the floor.

This arrangement meant that no audience member was further than about 70 feet from the nearest loudspeaker, keeping the entire hall at a consistent level with minimal reflections for enhanced intelligibility. This also helped prevent feedback from the eight wireless microphones located at all the major aisle intersections, used for comments and debate by the delegates.

EV TG-7 amplifiers with RCM28 remote control modules powered the X2 arrays; CP3000S amplifiers with Dx46 controllers handled the XLC and XLD arrays, along with the 38 Xi-1122 fill speakers throughout the room.

To keep the four-day event running smoothly across the expansive space, the crew was outfitted with over a dozen RTS intercom stations, with eight channels of RTS wireless intercom for mobile crew members.

Lillie reports that everything went according to plan: “We really only had to use IRIS-Net during set-up. The system was extremely cohesive and stable, with headroom for days,” he reports. “Using delayed arrays allowed us to overcome the room’s reverb, and the clarity and intelligibility were spot on. Everyone was happy, and Amazing Audio and Aerial Enterprises will be back in two years to handle the event again.”

Electro-Voice

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