Twickenham Stadium gears up with QSC Q-Sys

A QSC Q-Sys audio management system, supplied by QSC’s UK installed sound distributor Shure Distribution UK, has been installed at London’s Twickenham stadium, home of the Rugby Football Union (RFU).

The Q-Sys platform, based around a pair of Core 1100 processors (one main and one redundant Core), routes audio and controls the PA and voice alarm systems at the venue, replacing a Peavey Media Matrix system.

2015 is a big year for the RFU. As well as hosting key matches in the Six Nations Championship in February and March this year, the ground will also be the venue for the final of the quadrennial Rugby World Cup at the end of October. With these key events in mind, the RFU elected to refurbish the stadium’s audio systems in time for both tournaments. The Q-Sys audio management system was specified by Vanguardia, programmed by consultant Richard Northwood of RH Consulting, and installed by the project’s AV integrator Sysco.

Twickenham’s existing PA speakers and Lab.gruppen amps were not replaced, and instead integrate seamlessly with the new Q-Sys system. Audio inputs to the system were installed from the Master of Ceremonies’ box, and also at the players’ tunnel to allow input from on-the-spot commentators and live bands playing before fixtures.

According to Northwood, the installation was one of the first to use Dante interfaces with Q-Sys internationally, feeding 64 channels of digital audio via Dante from a mixer in the stadium to the recently-released CDN64 Dante interface cards in Q-Sys. The audio is then processed within Q-Sys and routed on to the Lab.gruppen amps via Dante, passing out of Q-Sys once again via the CDN64 cards.

“I’ve been an advocate of Q-Sys for some time,” explained Northwood. “It’s easy to configure even complex setups, and overall operation is so straightforward compared to other systems. Taking an example from Twickenham, setting up redundant mode on a Q-Sys Core is a question of ticking one box – and you’re done!

“Because it was very early days for the CDN64 Dante cards, we had a couple of minor teething problems, “but they were quickly resolved with help from Shure Distribution, and an update from QSC and their international support agent Martin Barbour.”

Although this part of the installation is now complete, Northwood explained that further expansion is planned at Twickenham, the Q-Sys system having been specified with these in mind. “The twin 1100 Cores are capable of much more than the current system requires of them,” he revealed, “but this was a bit of future-proofing on the RFU’s part. They plan to install a new IPTV system at the ground in the future, and when that happens, it will integrate perfectly with Q-Sys.”