Inspiring Installs: Powersoft selected for Singapore Sports Hub

Audio Media International looks back over 2014 to highlight some of the year’s stand-out installations, whether it be for innovative use of technology, scale, value for money or impact…

The new Singapore Sports Hub, constructed at an estimated cost of S$1.33 billion (just over US$1 billion), opened towards the end of last year on the site of the former National Stadium in Kallang. With the newly-constructed 55,000-capacity stadium as its centrepiece, offering spectacular views over the waterfront and Singapore city skyline, it also includes the 6,000-capacity OCBC Aquatics Centre, 3,000-capacity Arena (scalable into six halls), Water Sports Centre, located along the Kallang Basin, and commercial areas for leisure, shopping and dining activities.

Construction began in 2011, and the following August, Electronics & Engineering Pte (E&E) won the contract for the full integration of the Event Sound System and HD giant screens. Working to an architectural and engineering design prepared by the consultants, they specified well over 130 Powersoft 1U K-Series and Duecanali Series amplifiers to drive the various PA and sound reinforcement systems. They described the project as “probably the largest high-powered distributed audio system that E&E has ever worked on."

The network design for the National Stadium audio transmission was extremely complex, involving switching via 40 Netgear Gigabit 1000 base network switches. The main racks are populated by no fewer than 70 Powersoft K10 amplifiers, capable of delivering 12,000W into 2 ohms and 26 K2 amplifiers, incorporating the company’s proprietary DSP+AESOP technology to offer fully integrated sound shaping and system management capabilities.

These are found in 16 air-conditioned racks up on the Catwalk where they power six EAW MQX speakers, 35 QX speakers and 48 SB528zP subwoofers to serve the entire stadium bowl. This is processed by Symetrix SymNet Edge DSP while a PC runs Dante software control and patching.

The Catwalk location for the amp racks was determined at an early stage in order to minimise the cable runs to the speakers. This was logistically challenging in view of the available space. However, Gary Goh, deputy managing director at E&E, acknowledged that despite the limited rackspace, the fact that Powersoft amplifiers output extraordinary power from just 1RU chassis made this possible: “To derive sufficient power from such compact real estate required the superior switchmode amplification technology of Powersoft’s K series, with its incredible power to weight ratio. It really helped to maximise the space efficiency.”

The audio distribution design was based on an amplifier network running AES inputs as standard and analogue inputs as backups. The amplifiers are controlled and monitored via the Armonía Pro Audio Suite software and deliver EAW Greybox settings in the DSP to the loudspeakers.

Elsewhere, a similar network was constructed for the OCBC Arena, using Powersoft’s energy-saving Duecanali 2-channel installation series. Via Netgear 1000 base network switching, in Amp Room 1, 22 x Powersoft Duecanali 3904 amplifiers were specified to power large quantities of EAW and Community loudspeakers at various levels in all six halls — with signal processing again carried out in SymNet Edge, with signal transport over Dante.

Operating on the same principle in the Aquatic Centre are a further 15 Powersoft Duecanali 3904 amplifiers populating Amp Rack 1 and 2 to power the EAW loudspeakers installed at the Catwalk to serve the swimming pool area and further column speakers, installed at pool side, to service the corridors.

The final deployment of Powersoft amplification is in the Water Sports Centre, which, like the other zones is fully featured with Netgear switching, Symnet DSP, full audio control/mixing and playback devices. Here, the final three Powersoft Duecanali 3904 can be found in the Amp Room driving three EAW speakers installed at the top tower of the Centre.

The upgrade will future-proof the new Singapore Sports Hub for years to come — ensuring on the one hand that the public address and voice alarm systems can be heard intelligibly while the line and live playback pack plenty of punch.

”We are truly honoured to have had the opportunity to work on this prestigious project, especially since we were also involved in the original National Stadium more than 40 years ago,” Goh told Audio Media International exclusively. “A lot has changed since then and we wanted to bring the latest technological advancements in the fields of audio and video to match the state-of-the-art facilities at the new Singapore Sports Hub and I believe we have achieved our goal. The clients trusted us to deliver all their technological requirements and I am confident that we have succeeded.”