OMNILINE DOES THE BUSINESS AT AMSTERDAM ARENA
TM Audio equips three corporate rooms for Ajax FC
Since fitting out the Amsterdam ArenA, home to Dutch football giants Ajax, when the stadium underwent a €1.4m acoustic transformation back in 2006, TM Audio has maintained a steady programme of maintenance and upgrade at the venue.
Over the next five years they expanded the voice evacuation system while sister company Ampco Flashlight Rental (AFR) continues to provide sound engineers on match days and for other events.
But recently they engaged on another major project with the expansion of the business centre - the most radical investment since the stadium was originally built in 1996.
With Ajax winning the Dutch League (Eredivisie) championship over the past two seasons, interest has grown considerably on the corporate side. With the investment of €20 million in adding a further 6000 sq. m. to accommodate three hospitality rooms, the Business Centre is capable of hosting anything from a business meeting to a corporate social occasion to a small-scale fair. In planning the design, strong emphasis was placed on easy circulation between the spaces.
Tasked with providing a technical infrastructure, TM Audio - working in conjunction with the ArenA's technical director, Tim Oosterop - turned to a discreet OmniLine solution from one of their distributed brands, Martin Audio. This was in keeping with the fundamental principle of making the upgrade carbon neutral by 2015.
'Because of the environmental aspect of the building, selecting the right audio equipment was vital,' confirmed Oosterop. At the same time he was insistent the audio system should fit in with the business look and feel of the function rooms.
These aesthetic micro arrays also received architectural approval and were ideal for providing reinforcement from a wide variety of sound sources in the rooms, which respectively measure 775 sq.m, 485 sq.m and 375 sq.m.
TM Audio's sales and marketing manager, Rudolf Nagtzaam, explained, 'The ArenA had been clear that it didn't want the rooms to look like concert halls. Whatever we used needed to blend into the background - which is why we chose Martin Audio's OmniLine micro line array rather than space speakers around the room.
'We felt this solution offered the best combination of speech intelligibility and dynamic musical range in a business-like design package,' he continued. 'Speech was a particularly important criterion with live broadcasts of press conferences and so on.'
Modular and scalable, OmniLine is perfect for architectural environments such as this, where the rooms have also been acoustically treated. Intelligent software enables an array to be configured to deliver sound precisely over any vertical angle to fit the venue profile without spillage. Furthermore, elimination of high-frequency side-lobes gives OmniLine an advantage over conventional DSP steered columns making it suitable for high quality speech and music reproduction even in reverberant spaces.
Under the management of TM Audio's Reinier Bruijns and Martijn Verkerk, TM Audio deployed a total of 96 OmniLine elements, split into 48 pieces (4 x 12) in the largest room on level 4, with a further 16 (2 x 8) in the nearby smaller room. In the large hall up on level 6 they have deployed a further 32 cells, in 4 hangs of 8.
These have been complemented by TM Audio's BassBeam subwoofers, manufactured by sister company XLNT, which are flown from the ceiling.
Source inputs to the system include wireless mic, Ajax TV, music computer, local aux (iPod), voice evacuation system and further aux inputs for a band mix.
Reviewing the installation, Tim Oosterop says, 'Each of the rooms is unique in the way the OmniLine arrays have been hung. We have put together a system that allows us to have various settings with the loudspeakers in order to get the best coverage in each instance.'
In conclusion, Rudolf Nagtzaam added, 'Amsterdam Arena has now become not only a football stadium, but a completely upgraded business centre - opening up the opportunities for the venue. The whole install went very smoothly and that's always enjoyable.'