-- The Alb Stadium in Heidenheim has been expanded and renovated and was recently renamed the VOITH Stadium
-- A completely new sound reinforcement system has been installed that combines equipment from Electro-Voice and DYNACORD
-- Ingenieurbüro Kummich & Weißkopf was responsible for the planning; system installation was by ELK GmbH (in collaboration with the prime electrical contractor)
What was once the Alb Stadium and later, after extensive building and renovation work, the GAGFAH Arena in Heidenheim was recently renamed the VOITH Arena after the largest employer in the region. The expansion of the stadium was necessitated by a surge in the performance of the football team FC Heidenheim 1846, which was promoted two years running – from the fifth division to the third. A year in the reconstruction, the recently reopened stadium now has a capacity of 10,000 spectators, with the option of further expansion to 15,000.
The entire sound reinforcement system was replaced in the course of the work. As was the case with the Olympic Stadium in Berlin and the Allianz Arena in Munich, great importance was attached to the quality of the audio equipment in the VOITH Arena, the result being that all three stadiums now are equipped with systems from Electro-Voice and DYNACORD. The client opted for a sound reinforcement concept proposed by Ingenieurbüro Kummich & Weißkopf of Bopfingen, with ELK GmbH of Dischingen assuming responsibility for the configuration and commissioning of the installation and training staff in its use. The new sound reinforcement system, comprising ELA components from DYNACORD and pro audio systems from Electro-Voice, serves all areas of the stadium – from the access roads to the grandstands, corporate boxes and ancillary rooms of the stadium itself.
In the control room, an audio mixing desk is installed for the playback of music from a variety of sources. For the control of the parameters, a TPI-12 touch panel from Electro-Voice is provided, which is integrated into the IRIS-Net network. With this system, various presets and settings can be chosen and controlled by means of a clearly laid out user interface. In the Business Club housed in the main grandstand, another TPI-12 touch panel has been installed and it, too, is fully integrated into the audio control network. The entire control and equipment concept is based on a main control centre in the south grandstand furnished with two 19-inch cabinets and a further such cabinet in the north grandstand opposite. Both control rooms are equipped not only with DYNACORD Promatrix components but also with P64-1500 matrix controllers and linked by fibre-optic cables – with the control data transmitted via Ethernet and the audio data via CobraNet. An analogue backup for control and supervision contacts offers additional security.
The signals in the VOITH Arena are amplified by DSA 8405 and DSA 8410 multi-channel power amplifiers from DYNACORD. These are notable for their innovative technology, high output power and extreme efficiency as well as their optional integration into IRIS-Net networks. In addition, thanks to the Variable Load Drive (VLD) technology of the RCM-810 modules, they exhibit unique flexibility: each channel can be individually configured to deliver its maximum output of 500 or 1,000 watts respectively into any load from two to ten ohms.
As early as the planning phase, Richard Merget conducted an acoustic simulation to ensure homogeneous coverage, as well as the sound pressure levels and speech intelligibility index prescribed for the stadium. The simulation values for the installation with full-range loudspeakers from the Electro-Voice ZX5-PI- and DYNACORD D-12-PI series were corroborated by System Engineer Dieter Kellner, who was pleased to report that "all the conditions laid out in the model measurement protocol were fulfilled".