The Minsk Arena
Line arraytechnologies assume a prominent role at the new sports facility
In addition to its position as the capital and largest city in Belarus, Minsk is also headquarters of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Given its prominent role throughout the region, it's only fitting the city wanted a flagship venue for the varied sports and other activities that take place here. Enter the Minsk Arena.
Completed in December 2009, the newly constructed Minsk Arena includes a multi-sports and entertainment arena for 15,000 spectators, which is currently the largest capacity venue in the KHL (Kontinental Hockey League). Other facilities include a skating stadium for up to 3,000 spectators, a velodrome with a capacity for 2,000 spectators, 10 locker rooms, the Governmental Lounge featuring a hospitality area and multi-purpose rooms, a VIP Lounge with a hospitality area, 38 sky boxes, 2 media lounges, a press conference hall, and 3 restaurants.
Minsk-based Art Ramos Studio a.l.c., a design/build firm specializing in the professional sound, lighting, cinema, and staging markets teamed up with D.A.S. project design specialist Eva Argandoña to present a solution that was awarded the contract for the arena's sound reinforcement system. After final designs were approved in November 2008, the firm proceeded to install a system that revolves around Aero Series line array technology.
According to Anton Streltsov, Deputy Director of Art Ramos Studio, "The key audio challenge on this project was achieving clear speech intelligibility. We measured very high reverberation times during our tests, so as a means of addressing this condition we determined that loudspeakers systems with clearly defined and controllable dispersion patterns were essential. This led us to line array technology and our deployment of models from the D.A.S. Audio Aero Series."
"We chose the D.A.S. Audio Aero 38 as the main loudspeakers because they deliver excellent sound quality and we had a very positive experience with them on a previous project- the Bobruisk Ice Hockey Palace," Streltsov continued. "Hence, we were quite certain they would work well for the Minsk Arena. We also had space considerations, as the loudspeakers were to be positioned above the video displays. We required a certain amount of cabinets to create the target SPL and D.A.S. is one of just a few manufacturers who offer powerful systems with such relatively compact enclosures."
All loudspeakers are positioned over center ice above the media cube-an octagonal unit sporting eight large LED displays with a total surface of more than 500 square meters created by large screen specialist Palami of Minsk. The centrally positioned ring of loudspeakers was determined to be the most effective means of providing even coverage throughout the space. The setup includes three loudspeaker models from the D.A.S.
The largest loudspeakers are the D.A.S. Audio Aero 38's. The installation includes six loudspeaker clusters, each consisting of eight Aero 38's. Two clusters of D.A.S. Audio's Aero CA-28B loudspeakers augment the Aero 38's.
"Because of their compact design, we were able to position these loudspeaker clusters neatly between the hanging point and the video screens," Streltsov explained. "The Aero 38 clusters cover the main tribunes of the arena while the sides are covered by the Aero CA-28B's due to their wide horizontal dispersion. "Six D.A.S. Audio BiDriver Plus 2-way horn speaker units augment the eight flown line array clusters.
"With this group of loudspeakers," Streltsov remarked, "we achieved even coverage throughout all seating areas. Thanks to the D.A.S. BiDriver Plus loudspeakers, we also have full coverage over the hockey field, as these are targeting that area with some additional support coming from the Aero CA-28B's. This combination of loudspeakers results in the best price/performance combination we've ever encountered."