Yamaha’s annual System Designers Conference was held this year in the Czech Republic, attended by more than 300 sound industry professionals from 40 countries. The venue was the O2 universum in Prague, only recently equipped with a permanent NEXO STM Series sound reinforcement system.
‘Immersive audio’ was the theme of this year’s SDC, which featured a wide range of different presentations and demonstrations. These included the Prague Music String Quartet demonstrating the benefits of acoustic room enhancement using Yamaha’s AFC4 active field control system, followed by a stuffed chicken being sent flying around the room, its clucking tracked by the AFC4 system. Other sessions saw the arena AFC4 system used to demonstrate how stage tracking heightens the experience of theatre and live music, as well as how regenerative audio systems can be used to boost the atmosphere at sports venues.
In the main Hall at the Universum Arena, twelve of the new NEXO P12 point source models were positioned above the audience to demonstrate the crowd enhancement abilities of AFC4. “In arenas, acoustic absortion is required to increase intelligibility, but as this is detrimental to ambience, electroacoustic means are required to enhance it,” explains NEXO’s Director of Engineering Support, François Deffarges.
Another immersive sound solution, currently under development at Yamaha, was demonstrated using 36 of NEXO’s super-compact ID24 cabinets, on poles, supplemented with 8x ID S110 subs. Another even larger demo was undertaken, showing the powers of AFC4 with live musicians and more than 60x ID Series cabinets.
NEXO hosted seminars on system design and finance for large arenas, and partnered Yamaha colleagues in sessions on acoustic measurement and analysis, digital networking, EN54 certification in stadiums and arenas, remote conferencing, education in production management, certification workflows, and artificial intelligence-based voice assistance.
Special mention must also be made of Yamaha Music Europe’s Ron Bakker, Christine Denner and Robert Jurik, whose hard work behind the scenes made the whole event possible.