Water Cube, Beijing

The Challenge

In the 24th Winter Olympic Games, Beijing will host all ice sports, and the curling competition will be staged at the National Aquatics Center. The National Aquatics Center “Water Cube” was the competition venue for swimming, diving and synchronized swimming in the 2008 Olympic Games. During the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, it will be converted into an “Ice Cube” as a competition venue for curling events for 4,600 spectators to watch the competition at the same time. The Water Cube will be the first venue to have a curling track on an international swimming pool.

The Solution

The sound reinforcement system was upgraded and renovated, and the control system and speaker system were updated in all aspects. Soundcraft Vi digital mixing console system, JBL VRX900 series speakers, JBL CBT line array sound columns, and Crown DSP digital power amplifiers with Dante protocol were adopted. The audio transmission system adopts DANTE digital master and backup signal as the main signal, analog audio as the backup signal, and the system has triple backup transmission to ensure reliability of the audio signal.

The Soundcraft Vi series digital console family appears at every important moment, bringing high-quality sound mixing effects to the Beijing Olympics, National Day ceremonies, New Year’s Eve concerts, art centers, theater auditoriums. The new console incorporates a unique control surface concept based on Vistonics and is small enough to fit inside the control surface.

The Soundcraft Vi2000 console software now includes vMIX automatic mic mixing and the renowned BSS DPR901ii dynamic equalizer, using a pluggable processing pool that also includes Lexicon multi-effects, and can be plugged into any external device.

In addition to a complete set of onboard microphone and line inputs and outputs, the console also includes two 64-channel expansion slots, which can connect up to two stage boxes based on multi-channel audio digital interface; in addition, the expansion slot can also connect various D21m input and output tabs for all industry standard audio formats.

The built-in 64×64ch Dante interface provides direct record/playback connectivity to any PC and Mac-based recording software via Ethernet, as well as integrating the Vi2000 into existing Dante networks.

The Dante interface is complemented by an additional optical multi-channel digital audio interface designed for connection to recording feeds or Soundcraft’s real-time rack plug-in engine, adding powerful Universal Audio UAD-enabled plug-ins to the Vi2000’s pristine audio quality.

The result is an ultra-compact frame design with a width of only 1.15m and a total of 16 input faders and 8 output faders, allowing the console to fit into applications with limited space and budget. Patented features such as fader lighting, VM2 mic monitoring and Vistonics provide a uniquely user-friendly mixing experience, and a 40-bit floating-point digital signal processor environment with BSS, Lexicon and dbx algorithms ensures high-quality sound.

JBL VRX900 series speakers are specially designed for fixed installation of small and medium-sized theaters, stadiums, multi-purpose halls, conference rooms, etc., as well as outdoor performances, mobile sound reinforcement, etc. JBL VRX932LA’s high-density plywood cabinet consists of a 12-inch (300mm) low-frequency driver and three 36mm neodymium-iron-boron high-frequency drivers on two high-frequency horns with a coverage angle of 100° horizontal × 15° vertical. The internal components are equipped with a passive frequency divider together with a high-frequency protection circuit, which can prevent overload damage to the tweeter driver. During installation, the box has built-in M8 multi-point hanging points, which can be applied to different environments.

The JBL VRX932LA speaker has a real and natural performance, which is characterized by small size, light weight, long projection distance, high sensitivity, strong penetration, high sound pressure level, clear voice, strong reliability, and uniform sound coverage between areas. For durability, high-density plywood is used as the structural material of the box, and the surface of the box is painted with high-durability gray-black emery paint. Such speakers have very strong anti-aging strength, can withstand the sun and rain for a long time, and can be installed indoors to prevent harsh environments such as humidity.

JBL CBT constant wave width technology, high output two-way line array sound column speaker, adjustable vertical coverage angle and tapered horizontal waveguide, reduce the lobe effect beyond the coverage. The CBT1000 can be installed indoors or outdoors, the unit is specially treated, and the glass fiber reinforced ABS cabinet is ideal for outdoor use. External screws are stainless steel, powder-coated, and 1050 aluminum grille resists rust in harsh environments.

The Impact

Following the completion of the sound reinforcement system in the competition hall of the Beijing Olympic National Aquatics Center in 2007, in 2020, on the original competition venue, we once again undertook the sound reinforcement of the 2022 Winter Olympics curling competition with our rich industry experience and strong technical strength. After months of hard work, all the renovation tasks of the project were completed by the end of November 2020, becoming the first fully completed renovation venue for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.