SoundTube at the Olympics: Bringing great audio to thousands
The Olympic Games held in London in summer 2012 were a resounding success. Part of the success
came from the organizers’ desire to accommodate as many people as possible, not only in the venues
themselves but in overflow and entertainment areas. One of those areas was along the banks of the
Leah River, where two giant video screens were set up to show live events to large crowds.
SoundTube distributor Sound Directions Ltd. was asked to come up with an outdoor sound system
capable of playing back events shown on the giant screens, with superb intelligibility and sound quality
for up to 10,000 people at a time. “We had a very short turn-around time,” says Stanislas Boivin-
Champeaux, Director of Sound Directions Ltd., “and we had to limit the environmental impact while
providing the required sound that would cover an area of 15,220 square meters.”
Sound Directions Ltd. designed a system using 90 SoundTube XT850 in-ground speakers. XT speakers
produce an omnidirectional coverage pattern in a durable, weatherproof, low-profile housing designed
to blend into the environment. The speakers were powered by Cloud VTX amplifiers, linked to an
EtherSound ring and controlled over IP via an optical fiber link. Over a kilometer of optical fiber runs
were used in the system and web monitoring of the audio feeds was used throughout. The audio system
included 32 channels of time aligned audio and 12.8 kW of amplification.
Sound Directions Ltd. reports that the system performed flawlessly, bringing superb audio to the
crowds. It entertained visitors from early morning to late evening through every day of the Games and
the subsequent Paralympic Games.