Aero on tour with Bellator
The tremendous surge in interest has resulted in Bellator's events being televised every Saturday
As the first of its kind Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) promoter, Bellator Fighting Championships commenced broadcasting nationally in the United States as of April 2009 through an exclusive television agreement with Spanish language sports channel ESPN Deportes. Reflecting a global interest in this new form of Mixed Martial Arts, Ballator's championship fights are also broadcast to countries around the world through a collection of broadcast agreements. from a variety of locations around the U.S. and for every event, the sound reinforcement system of choice is drawn from D.A.S. Audio's Aero catalog.
Miami Gardens, FL-based Beach Sound, a full service production company providing technical support to all facets of the entertainment industry and corporate world, was contracted to provide sound reinforcement for the Bellator Fighting Championships. With its existing inventory already committed to a variety of tours, the contract with Bellator prompted Beach Sound owner Andre Serafini to invest in a new line array system specifically for use with the MMA fighting events.
Knowing full well the system would travel extensively with Bellator, Serafini selected a D.A.S. Audio Aero system consisting of sixteen Aero CA-28A powered line arrays, eight CA-215A powered subwoofers, and four LX-218A powered subwoofers. "Because this system is constantly traveling from one location to another," explained Serafini, "size, weight, and efficient truck pack were all critical considerations with this purchase. Since, in many cases, the loudspeakers must share the support beams with an extensive amount of lighting hardware, weight assumed an entirely new perspective. Further, we were looking for loudspeakers that offered broad horizontal dispersion and high SPL characteristics. For its compact form factor, the D.A.S. Aero CA-28A was spot on."
At every location, which includes forthcoming stops at Datyon, Ohio's Hara Arena, Chicago's Aragon Ballroom, and the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT, the setup is consistent. This involves four array clusters at each corner of the ring facing out toward the audience. These clusters include dual CA-215A subwoofers on top with the CA-28A line array modules flown beneath. The four D.A.S. LX-218A subwoofers are positioned underneath the ring on each side-facing out in four directions. Loudspeaker management is provided by a Dolby Lake processor.
The new D.A.S. Aero system offers a number of additional benefits, as Serafini explained, "We've been very impressed with the rigging hardware. It's easy to use and fully captive, so we don't have to be so concerned about losing parts. Matthew Holden and Steven Roesink are the two Beach Sound techs assigned to this project and, at each location, one of them is on-site and supported by a local crew. The system goes up quickly and the included EASE Focus aiming software does a great job of aiding with the positioning of the loudspeakers. The system is very accurate and the sound is both predictable and consistent throughout the entire house."
D.A.S. Audio's customer support services also impressed Serafini and influenced his purchase decision. "If we need assistance, we need to know the manufacturer is going to be there," said Serafini. "In that regard, D.A.S. has been very impressive. Everyone at the company has been very responsive and accommodating. They were very prompt in responding to our questions and processed our order very efficiently. We needed a quick solution when this project came about and D.A.S. stepped up to the plate and made everything happen."
Text by Roger Maycock