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Premium Sound on the Ice Rink: The Plaza at Gateway Park

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A panoramic view of the entrance gates to the Plaza at Gateway Park

The Plaza at Gateway Park opened it doors to guests last month. A product of community collaboration, the timbered building and ice rink are hard to miss rounding the corner to downtown Neenah. Whether lounging fireside with a hot cup of cocoa from Globe Coffee or renting skates to take to the ice, attendees will be able to enjoy high quality festive music.

Arrow AV Group was chosen as the integrator for this background music and paging system project. In this case study, we will explore some of the solutions Arrow AV Group provided when executing this project.


Challenge:

A large listening space with indoor and outdoor zones and limited mounting locations, less loudspeakers need to cover more area.

Solution:

Arrow AV Group chose Martin Audio to supply the outdoor speakers. Covering the entire rink are ten award-winning CDD6 loudspeakers, mounted on the surrounding lamp poles.

With Martin’s innovative Coaxial Differential Dispersion technology, the 6-inch coaxial speakers provide premium sound and even coverage to every inch of the rink. Unlike conventional fixed point source speakers with a trapezoid coverage pattern, the patented technology creates more consistent coverage to off-axis listeners with a rectangular coverage pattern.

A excerpt from the Martin audio brochure, showing the difference between conventional coaxial coverage and their innovative CDD technology.
Martin Audio CDD series brochure, Page 7

How does this actually affect guests as they skate around the rink? The music won’t rise and fall like someone playing with the volume; turning it up and down over and over again. Just clear, consistent music all the way around.

Inside Globe Coffee, you’ll find several Soundtube SM590I-II playing background music. With a lower loudness requirement inside and less mounting constraints, the Soundtube loudspeakers were a cost-effective choice for making sure indoor guests had an enjoyable experience.


Challenge:

As a year-round outdoor venue, loudspeakers need to be able to withstand the elements that Wisconsin weather can throw at them, from blizzards to summer sun.

Solution:

All the Martin CDD series loudspeakers can be fully weatherized for extra protection against the elements. When weatherized, the loudspeakers feature water and particle resistant grills, stainless steel fixings, hydrophobic cones, and waterproof inputs. The loudspeakers have been environmentally tested to meet an IP54 rating and can operate as low as -4 degree Fahrenheit weather.


Challenge:

With reliance on seasonal workers, management need a system interface extremely easy to learn and operate for a variety of sources and output zones; all while remaining reliable from open to close.

Solution:

Arrow AV Group chose the QSC MP series as the backbone of the system because of its reliable reputation, flexibility, and multiple control options.

The venue has a simple list of sources to be mixed for the main output.

  • A Shure SXL-D handheld wireless mic is used for on-ice announcements.
  • A TOA PM-660U desktop paging mic is used for paging from the skate rental counter
  • A Denon DN-300Z media player provides multiple options for playing music. With Bluetooth®, USB, SD Card, aux, and radio options all built into a single rack space, there’s always a way to play the music needed.

These sources are all wired to a QSC MP-M40, where the signal is mixed and processed before being sent to the QSC MP-A40V for amplification to the speaker zones.

Although the MP-M40 is doing all the mixing, the main point of control is a single MP-MFC at the skate rental counter. This simple wall plate controller features a menu screen and three button operation: up/down and enter. From here, users can choose what zone to adjust volume for without any worry of breaking the system.

For wireless control, QSC offers the MP Manage smartphone app, available for iOS and Android. This app allows end users to have basic control on the go! Within the app, management can control zone level, source selection, scene recall, scheduling, and mixer control as well as manage access control.

Summary

With the loudspeakers tuned and management trained, the Plaza & Globe Coffee is fully equipped for the slew of winter and summer festivities on the schedule.