Originating in 1951, Wests Bulldogs Rugby Club is a leading Brisbane rugby club which competes in the Queensland Premier Rugby competition. Everything for the rugby enthusiast can be found here, whether it be for 3 to 5 year-olds in ‘Puppy Pack’ or ‘The Bullfrogs’ for Golden Oldies.
The bustling club recently put up a new building, so it needed an audio system to service its clientele. Besides rugby, the club has several function areas which host sporting and corporate events.
Jason from Soho Sound Design oversaw the installation of all new audio elements at Wests Bulldogs Rugby Club. The requirement to keep all audio elements discreet was stated upfront by the architectural firm, so Jason knew he had to pick his speaker deployment spots wisely.
Besides the speaker locations, everything had to be zoned in a way that suited the venue’s intended use for the spaces. All up there were nine zones which needed audio coverage: three dedicated function rooms including a sports bar, an outdoor function terrace, the front outdoor area which is split into three zones, and two zones over the far north seating area overlooking the rugby field.
The d&b audiotechnik 4S and 5S loudspeakers pack a surprising punch for their size, and thanks to Jason’s extremely positive prior experiences, the decision to install them at Wests was a no-brainer. Brendon McDonald from NAS supported Jason in the installation.
Indoor areas were tackled with a repeatable and functional system design. “The function rooms are basically one long narrow room which can be broken up using bi-fold doors,” says Jason. “I decided to go with the 5S tops and the 12S subs. Each room has four or six 5S loudspeakers and one 12S sub.”
The 12S subs were creatively mounted near the ceiling corners of each function space. This keeps the large enclosures out of the way while not sacrificing coverage. Jason: “We had a 500mm gap around the edges of where the slatted wooden ceiling stopped, so we put all the subs up there. You almost don’t notice them unless you’re really looking for them.”
Though they look small, the gutsy d&b 5S speakers cover all outdoor grandstand seating areas as well. The little boxes never fail to impress during rugby matches, effortlessly handling crowds even up to 2000. “They absolutely hammer,” says Jason. “It’s ridiculous.” All d&b speakers run off three quad-channel 10D amps.
Each room has its own input for bands or DJs but given that it’s after all a sports club they have three Foxboxes so they play a lot of sport through the system. Each room has a projector or a TV or two in it. The whole system is controlled via custom GUIs on iPads. These allows the staff to operate all audio and video functions wirelessly. The wireless mics use a number of antenna points around the venue and field to allow coverage for functions and big game days where over 2000 people can be in attendance.
From playing sports audio in the function rooms to reinforcing commentators at games, Wests Bulldogs Rugby Club staff are impressed with the sonic fidelity and power produced by the d&b system.
Club president, Graham Brown, said, “From a customer point of view, we’re lightyears from being audiovisual experts. We had a budget to keep within, Jason knew what our requirements were, and the installed system suited it. We’re more than happy with the end result.”