Hibino Sound takes CODA Audio AiRAY into Saitama Super Arena. Japanese singer and superstar Takanori Nishikawa, also known as T.M. Revolution performed consecutive shows in May at The Saitama Super Arena in the Greater Tokyo area. The performances celebrated 20 years since the creation of T.M. Revolution.
FOH engineer Shintaro Sato is one of Hibino Sound's new generation of top young engineers and takes up the story:
"Using CODA Audio AiRAY for this concert was a revelation. I couldn't believe the sound of the system from 70 metres away - the detail was incredible - it was as though I was listening very close up. Really, it's hard to describe just how near you feel, even at that distance. Also what amazed me was the reproducibility of the output sound against the input signal - meaning the audience is experiencing a more 'real' sound."
The flexible design mechanics of this large arena allow for horizontal and vertical adjustments of the internal structures that can respond to virtually any desired stage and venue configuration. Hibino Sound was engaged to supply audio for the shows and its Chief System Designer Hiroshi Inoue decided on a CODA Audio AiRAY system to take care of what has often appeared to be an acoustically challenging space to handle.
For the T.M. Revolution shows, the production wished to create as much intimacy as possible in a large space. The artist’s proximity to his audience was a high priority and the stage was centrally set on one side of the arena, with crossed runways in front to allow as much close contact between the star and his fans. Whilst the chosen layout achieved the aim very well, from the point of view of the FOH sound engineer, the position he might expect to occupy was no longer available. The long runways meant that the FOH was stationed 70 metres from the front of the stage. To add to this, the lateral runway created an obstruction between FOH and the ground stack subwoofers below the main stage, creating further potential difficulty for the engineer. Overcoming the ‘difference’ between the sound at the mixing desk and the ‘actual’ sound experienced by the audience is a common feature of arena shows, so in this example, the potential for stress was compounded.
FOH engineer Shintaro Sato is one of Hibino Sound’s new generation of top young engineers and takes up the story:
“Using CODA Audio AiRAY for this concert was a revelation. I couldn’t believe the sound of the system from 70 metres away – the detail was incredible – it was as though I was listening very close up. Really, it’s hard to describe just how near you feel, even at that distance. Also what amazed me was the reproducibility of the output sound against the input signal – meaning the audience is experiencing a more ‘real’ sound.”
As an ultra compact system, AiRAY’s power often takes very experienced audio professionals by surprise and its light weight is similarly deceptive. Shintaro Sato continues:
“AiRAY cabinets are really light and when I reported the total weight of the flown arrays to the stage designers they asked me if I’d made a mis-calculation! I’m not surprised that they were wondering, given that the total weight was less than half of what they were accustomed to…”
Hibino’s Chief of System Design Hiroshi Inoue adds his view:
“Normally, when doing shows at the Saitama Super Arena, we’ve always had issues with 200Hz to 300Hz in the central area around 90 metres from the main stage and we’ve always had to work hard to resolve it. On this occasion, using AiRAY in there for the first time, we had clear sound in any position in the arena and I realised that our previous issues were not caused by the design of the venue at all. It was amazing that I could feel the ‘shape’ of the sound very close up no matter where I stood in the audience areas – when I closed my eyes it was like having a delay speaker in front of me!”
The Saitama Super Arena is a state-of-the-art venue with exceptional facilities for the staging of spectacular shows by top artists such as T.M.Revolution. Against such a backdrop, there can be no room for compromise when it comes to the delivery of precise audio to each and every member of the paying audience. The sight of the Super Arena venue dancing as one with perfect timing to the rhythm of T.M. Revolution, suggested that CODA Audio’s AiRAY achieved its aims with plenty to spare.
Hibino Sound Used CODA Audio:
(Cabinets listed are per side)
Front Flying (Main)
SC2-F x 3
AiRAY x 12
AiRAY x 8
SCV-F x 12
TiRAY x 6
LINUSRack40T-J (with LiNET Master & Switch) x 6 racks