Pool Cue — AV.technology
ProAV Solutions uses Bose loudspeakers to bring clarity to the pool deck of St Andrew’s Aquatic Centre on the Sunshine Coast.
Text:/ Derek Powell
The state of the art St Andrew’s Aquatic Centre in Peregian Springs on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast opened in August 2019. The centre boasts a competition standard 50 metre pool (complete with a 500-seat grandstand and full electronic scoreboard); an undercover learn to swim pool; fully equipped changing rooms, club rooms, a function space, and the popular Lanes Café.
Not only is the centre an incredible resource for St Andrew’s Anglican College students but it also services the wider community — offering fitness classes, squad swimming and much more.
MAKING A SPLASH
“Significant investment was put into the engineering of the pool to allow the centre to host state and national events in both water polo and swimming,” explained Joel Tomkins, Head of Media and AV Services at the College. For a premier aquatic venue sound quality is crucial as event organisers like to use music playback to build excitement and keep the audience involved.
“Knowing the noise that can be generated by up to a thousand excited people at a championship event, I recognized we needed a sound system that could provide an appropriate and even SPL right across the pool deck and through the various audience areas,” Joel continued.
Aware of the high standards demanded by the college, integrator Pro AV Solutions (Queensland) proposed a solution that leveraged the wide range of speaker systems available across the Bose Professional Audio range. “Right from the start we involved Bose, as our trusted audio partner, to assist with some preliminary design focus suggestions,” recalled Shannan Brooksby, Senior Account Manager for Pro AV Solutions QLD.
The final brief for the project was quite a challenge. The sound system had to provide high fidelity, high SPL sound evenly across the outdoor pool deck, covered grandstand and a variety of indoor and outdoor areas with ceiling heights ranging up to nine metres. What’s more, pattern control was crucial to keep spill sound away from nearby residential areas.
“Through consultations with Joel, myself and the Bose engineers, we stepped through different speaker design scenarios for the pool deck, grandstand, Café and so on. Each had quite different requirements, but given the dynamic range of Bose product, we were able to select a specific speaker type, together with matching Bose amplifiers, for each application and space” noted Brooksby.
Using the architectural plans, Bose engineers modelled each space, providing crucial feedback on speaker positioning and validating the performance of each speaker type across the range of indoor and outdoor spaces. “That gave me confidence that the proper thought and design had gone into [the project],” Joel acknowledged.
For the pool deck, Pro AV Solutions created custom mounts to position Bose ArenaMatch AM40 speakers on the existing lighting stanchions, giving uniform coverage across the ten lanes of the pool. To cover the fifty metre wide grandstand, nine ArenaMatch AMU208W speakers were placed high under the lip of the roof, powered by a Bose PowerMatch 8500 located in the ceiling space. To keep the voicing consistent across the different acoustic environments, the foyer, reception and café areas were served by a mixture of surface and ceiling-mount transducers from the Bose DS40 range. A Q-SYS head-end and control system, chosen to match the existing College infrastructure, seamlessly manages all areas.
Despite the challenging and varied acoustic environments, the system has delivered flawlessly across assignments ranging from regular squad swimming and learn to swim classes, right through to Queensland Water Polo Premier League fixtures. Joel Tomkins regularly monitors the system and reports that reaction from the user group has been very positive. “The sports department love being able to pump up the music and get all the kids excited,” he noted, “I’ve had one staff member tell me that our centre has the best [sound] system that he’s ever come across!”
MAIN SYSTEM RACK
1× Bose PM8250N amplifier
2× Bose PM8500N amplifiers
1× Q-SYS Core 110f DSP
4× Bose DS40SEW
CAFE & COVERED AREA
5× Bose DS40FW
4× Bose DS40FW
4× Bose AM100X40 (speakers on poles)
9× Bose AMU208W
LEARN TO SWIM POOL AREA
4× Bose RMU206W
CONTROL & DSP: Q-SYS