University of California at Irvine Gets President to Speak and Anya To Hear

When the leader of the free world speaks, everyone listens. But that doesn’t mean everyone can hear him, especially when some of them are sitting two football fields away, with 50,000 other people between them.

Such was the situation for leadership at the University of California-Irvine in June, when President Barack Obama accepted their invitation to speak at the university’s general graduation ceremony, held June 14 in Anaheim Stadium. The special event was in commemoration of the school’s 50th anniversary.

The school contracted with Goodman Audio Services to handle the sound for the event, a project that would have presented sound and production challenges, regardless of the occasion, said Trace Goodman, President and Senior Audio Designer.

“There were some challenges, such as not being able to put cabinets on the grass of the ball field,” he said. “And if we did, we would have had multiple time arrivals at each seat based on where the main arrays were located.”

What’s more, sound needed to reach beyond those seats on the field to seating in the stands, some 600 feet away. So Goodman turned to EAW and its Anya system to provide a solution.

“The best way to overcome these obstacles was to use Anya, a box that we knew would handle the challenge of being able to throw the 600′ to the furthest seat,” Goodman said. “It was a clear choice who to go to.”

Goodman employed 28 Anya cabinets used in 2 hangs of 12 and 2, a setup that took half the time and labor that would have been required to set up multiple arrays throughout the stadium.

“Ease of connecting via Dante and only having to voice two arrays instead of many arrays with different delays times again saved time,” Goodman said. “It was definitely the right decision and the client clearly agreed.”

When the President comes to town, it’s a big deal. Being able to hear him is the whole deal. Thanks to Anya, everyone at UCI did.

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