General Motors Place Taps Riedel Artist

General Motors Place, home of the Vancouver Canucks NHL hockey team, has replaced its existing intercom with a multi-node Riedel Artist digital matrix. The system was designed and installed by Rocky Mountain Production Services in collaboration with John Riley, head of audio for GM Place, as part of a major audio and communication upgrade of the 475,000-sq.-ft. facility. The Artist system includes two Artist 32 frames linked via fiber, a variety of intercom control panels, plus several Performer C3 digital beltpacks and interfaces for existing analog two-wire beltpacks.

“What really made our decision was the Director configuration software,” says Fred Michael, president of Rocky Mountain. Key features of the software include drag-and-drop programming, live status and error indicators, as well as the ability to remote-control intercom stations from configuration computers. “It’s particularly easy to make changes on the fly,” he adds.

Rocky Mountain installed one Artist 32 mainframe in the building’s broadcast production-control room and added a second frame connected via fiber in the central patchbay area. Together, the two frames form a single decentralized non-blocking matrix. Both units include redundant CPUs with built-in fiber connectors so no frame slots were lost due to fiber networking. 1000 series panels with LED displays and individual volume controls for each key are used throughout the facility. DCP-1016 desktop panels equipped with CSX-11 commentator add-ons are used by the announcers. All panels connect to the matrix frames on CAT-5 or coax cabling and provide broadcast-quality AES digital audio.

GM Place hosts more than 100 events per year and will be the primary venue for ice hockey during the 2010 Winter Olympics. “Artist has really good features for a building with users at various levels of technical expertise,” adds Michael. “There’s a big story for Riedel in Canada. Our involvement with Riedel will deepen because of our experience here.”

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