Installing a new sound system at Argentina’s latest state-of-the-art stadium

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The Estadio Unico Madre de Ciudades in Santiago del Estero, Argentina, is the first stadium in the country to include the design and installation of sound systems right from the building stage to future-proof this state-of-the-art venue.

In April 2018, the Government of Santiago del Estero, together with the Argentine Football Association (AFA), began drawing up plans for a new provincial stadium that was to commence construction in June 2018.

Now complete, the finished Estadio Único Madre de Ciudades consists of a cylindrical covered stadium with a capacity of 28,000 seated spectators, and includes VIP sections, press booths, spaces for catering, and covered parking for 400 cars; as well as a main access plaza and sports museum.

The audio portion of this ambitious project was entrusted to Equaphon Sistemas de Sonido SRL, an Argentine company with more than 45 years of experience in the professional audio market.

The main sound system features stadium voice, emergency, and paging functions, and is divided into a number of distinct areas. The team installed a total of 19 Quattrocanali 4804 DSP+D amplifier platforms to cover the majority of the stadium, as well as two Mezzo 322 AD and two Mezzo 604 A for some of the smaller rooms. The audio system is complemented by a Xilica Solaro FR1 DSP and XTouch control system centralizing IP audio processing, distribution and management.

At the design stage of the project, working with acoustic simulations, the team decided to cover this area by hanging up eight arrays from the stadium ceiling, which were made up of 12 Equaphon-manufactured STS Touring Series V15+ cabinets each. This model is an active line array system powered by a two-channel Powersoft D-Cell504 IS module and has a 10” 500 W neodymium speaker and a 1.4” 160 W neodymium driver.

“As the system was to be permanently hung outdoors, work was done to optimize it for these circumstances,” said Branca. “It became a bi-amped passive box, with a newly designed fixed rigging structure. The amplifier chosen was the Quattrocanali 4804 DSP+D, which drives six cabinets at once.”

The system design decentralized the amplifiers by taking advantage of the Dante protocol and the fiber optic ring, distributing them in 11 racks placed at strategic points of the stadium. This minimizes cabling, which, in turn, reduces costs while allowing for the maintenance and inspection of the amplifiers without the need to disturb the whole system.

“In the north, east, and south stands, the high tray blocks the coverage of the upper part of the low stalls,” explained Branca. “For that reason, 100 V line speakers are used to reinforce that area, which is amplified by two channels of another Powersoft Quattrocanali 4804 DSP+D.”

The indoor areas at the Estadio Único Madre de Ciudades feature 2-way wall-mount cabinets or STS Touring Series Onyx8 two-way coaxial ceiling speakers, both in 100 V lines. These areas and the VIP boxes are driven by three Powersoft Quattrocanali 4804 DSP+D and two Mezzo 322 AD distributed in three strategically located racks.

Both the home and the visiting teams will have access to video rooms where the coaching staff can play motivational or tactical videos. Both rooms have an STS Touring Series mikra4 stereo setup and a mikraSub12 subwoofer as a compliment; all of which is powered by a Powersoft Mezzo 604 A.

The final rooms, where press conferences are due to be held, features two portable STS Touring Series Suono8 systems in a stereo configuration. Each one includes a 15in powered subwoofer and a column with 8 3.5in speakers and is powered by a Powersoft LiteMod HV module and processed with a DSP-Lite.

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James has been Editor of Stadia since 2018 having worked at magazines and websites around the world for the past 10 years covering everything from technology to motoring and more. He also edits Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International.

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