This article initially appeared on the Lighting & Sound International website.
Technomad reports that DevonWood Equestrian Centre, among the premier horse show facilities in the United States, has reached 10-years of trouble-free, continuous outdoor event audio with Technomad loudspeakers.
With one indoor and three outdoor competition rings, four warm-up rings, a boarding stable and several commons areas, the specialised, international-level equestrian sports facility continues to expand its zoned audio system with Technomad at the core. The privately-owned, 42-acre facility recently added multiple Technomad Vernal and Vienna loudspeakers in the VIP seating and other outdoor areas including a beer garden, picnic area and several lengthy walkways; and converted its zoned audio distribution system to an all-digital infrastructure.
DevonWood Equestrian Centre has used Technomad Paris loudspeakers since first opening its gates, installing four in each competition ring, three more in each warm-up ring, and eight in the 250-capacity horseshow stables. Although the Paris provides clear speech and high-quality musical reproduction over very long distances, DevonWood added two dozen Viennas and Vernals to provide unquestionably good sound to localized audiences and enable a more efficient zoned audio system.
Announcers can target specific announcements or background music to each loudspeaker zone, sub-groups or every loudspeaker in the facility. Digital audio is transmitted wirelessly to each zone where local mixers and amplifiers directly drive the loudspeakers.
According to Justin Rattner, principal at DevonWood Equestrian Centre, intense studies of outdoor loudspeakers were completed before standardising on Technomad. Rattner brought in Glenn Micallef, a well-known professional sound consultant and motion picture/television sound engineer, who recommended Technomad after considerable research.
“Most horse competition facilities use traditional metal horns, which are adequate for voice but a terrible choice for music, and top-quality music is absolutely critical for our musical freestyle events,” said Rattner. “The initial tests with Technomad were very reassuring and we were blown away by how well they covered and how crisp and clear they sounded over very large open areas. I didn’t have any expectations about service life, but ten years on everybody still raves about the sound – including the professional announcers, who rarely use systems of this quality. The outdoor Technomads are in the elements 365 days a year and are hit with blistering heat in the summer, year-round rain and occasional snow and sleet in the winter.”