Feb 2019 | News | Sports Arenas | GEO S12 | France

Arena Pays d’Aix is a state-of-the-art, multi-purpose venue which can house audiences of up to 8500. Designed to host a wide range of events, the arena has now been equipped with a NEXO and Yamaha audio system which delivers high quality, flexible audio throughout the complex.

Located close to the southern French city of Aix-en-Provence, the outside of Arena Pays d’Aix presents a futuristic vision, its clean, sweeping lines contrasting with the surrounding countryside of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur. It has quickly become a popular destination for sport and entertainment from throughout the region, including nearby Marseille, France’s third largest city.

Designed by architect Christophe Gulizzi, the futuristic vision continues inside, where a modular format allows the 4000㎡ interior space to offer 17 different configurations, depending on the type of event being hosted.

The main space (Grande Salle, unofficially nicknamed The Cauldron) is the home of the Pays d’Aix University handball club, which competes in Division 1 of the Ligue Nationale de Handball. With an audience capacity of up to 7000, it can be configured to host a wide range of other events, including tennis, wrestling, indoor motocross, live concerts, ballet and much more.

Arena Pays d’Aix also features a secondary arena (Salle Annex) with room for up to 1500 spectators, as well as three exhibition / event spaces which can hold up to 450 people each, bars / concessions and a press room. The main concourse (La Coursive) can also be used to host events, with a capacity of 1800 people.

The venue’s interior designer Kanju commissioned consultants Solus3 to design the AV systems. Solus 3 approached Aix-en-Provence based systems integrator Société Texen to deliver a solution where flexibility and quality were the most important features.

Texen’s Thomas Goeuriot recommended a Dante-networked Yamaha and NEXO system, which is centred on four ‘nodes’ installed throughout the venue, each comprising a system rack with a MTX5-D matrix processor, XMV series amplifiers, 24 port switches and, where required, Tio1608-D i/o racks.

In The Cauldron, 30x NEXO GEO S12 loudspeakers delivers high quality sound to sport and event audiences. Arrayed as 10 flown clusters of three around the edge of the arena floor, they are powered and controlled by NXAMP 4×4 and NXAMP 4×1 amplifiers.

“Many manufacturers approached us to provide the Cauldron system,” says Thomas Goeuriot. “Coverage and intelligibility were really important and NEXO provided the best technical solution. The GEO S12 speakers cover low enough frequencies without needing subs and they provide seamless coverage to every seat.”

“Arena Pays d’Aix has the most modern, high quality facilities installed throughout and the audio system is fundamental to delivering the best experience to all users,” says Yamaha’s Pascal Bessenet. “The entire audio system was single-sourced from the Yamaha and NEXO family, delivering not only high quality sound, but exceptional flexibility and reliability. We know these qualities will serve the Arena well for many years to come.”

Audio spec for The Cauldron:

    • 1 x Yamaha MTX5-D matrix processor
    • 1 x Yamaha MY8-DA96 interface card
    • 30 x NEXO GEOS12 loudspeakers
    • 2 x NEXO NXAMP 4X4
    • 1 x NEXO NXAMP 4X1
    • 1 x 24 port switch