German loudspeaker manufacturer, d&b audiotechnik has recently designed the new sound system for the Royal Albert Hall, which is now considered to be the world’s largest single-room loudspeaker system.

View of the new sound system recently installed in the Royal Albert Hall in London

The project was led by one of our very first BSc (Hons) Sound, Light and Live Event Technology graduates, Steve Jones, who is head of Application Support and Education at d&b.

Steve came up to Derby this past week (along with Pat Smith from SFL Group, who handled the installation of the system) to talk to our students about the project.

Derby graduate Steve Jones walks students through his d&b ArrayCalc file for the new Royal Albert Hall system

Steve explained the importance of taking a holistic approach to the project, as many decision-makers were not audio professionals. As part of the tendering process, Steve had to go head-to-head with some of the biggest names in the industry, who were all vying for this prestigious project.

While the design of the system (using d&b ArrayCalc and EASE, software that our students learn on our courses) was challenging enough, the actual installation of the system was even more arduous. Luckily, Pat was on hand to describe to the audience the numerous challenges (and solutions) of installing such a system in a nearly 150 year old Grade I listed building.

Talking the group through the speaker systems installed in the boxes (including the many practical challenges involved)

The talk highlighted to the students the importance of technical expertise in areas such as acoustics, electroacoustics, psychoacoustics, electronics and rigging, along with project management, communication skills and practical hands-on experience; all areas covered on our BSc and MSc courses.

Ultimately, Steve, Pat and the rest of the team were able to deliver the project on time and within the budget, bringing world-class audio to a world-class venue. 

 

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