The Snowboard World Championships in Valmalenco, Italy earlier this year, utilizing the area’s 60 kilometers of ski slopes, saw Frate Professional delivering audio (and video) systems that included stations equipped with RCF HDL 26-A line arrays and HDL 35-AS subwoofers.
The system requested by the client had to guarantee sound reinforcement for the entire competition area, including the start and the finish zones, with a distance of about 800 meters between the main diffusion points. Owner Fabio Frate and his team devised an approach to avoid long cable runs and utilize Neutrik Xirium wireless bridges to send signal from the ski lift technical room up to the finish area, where the control room was positioned. An already existing balanced line of the chairlift facilities also allowed a wired connection with the sound diffusion spot of the start area.
The system was installed along the snowboard slope for several days, including one day of pre-setup, running non-stop for eight hours each day, outdoors and under the snow, with the loudspeakers using only the rain cover accessory to protect the rear connection panel for each unit. “
RCF assured us the system would work with great ease, as all components are waterproof and can work smoothly in sub-zero temperatures, and it did,” Frate says. “At night here, temperatures can go right down to -25 degrees Celcius.”
The logistical challenges were not confined to the harsh climate; the inaccessibility of the stations also had to be dealt with. “All of the equipment was transported on the snow, using snowmobiles and snowcats, which, thanks to their load capacity, made it possible to integrate our RCF HDL 26-A units with HDL 35-AS subs, i.e. modules from the same RCF series, for better musical performance. The low end delivered by those small subs is impressive and could be felt even at a great distance.”
In the audio control room, a Yamaha QL1 digital mixer facilitated handling both all of the incoming audio signals from wireless mics and contributions and the mix routing to the TV broadcasters.
Frate concludes, “The performance of this small-sized line array is top notch, the audio was clear and intelligible along the entire snowboard slope. Although the audience was small in number, the HDL system still reached everyone even hundreds of meters away. I was positively impressed by the reliability of the system. It always delivered maximum performance, even when turned on first thing in the morning after a night of freezing temperatures.”