A Warm Welcome to Friends from Afar

Top names came together for the lighting and fireworks art performance entitled A Warm Welcome to Friends from Afar at the recent Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit held in Qingdao, China Director Zhang Yimou, stage designer Sha XiaoLan, sound engineer Jin Shaogang and music producer Laozai were supported by sound specialist EZPro, delivered a spectacular performance.

The summit was chaired by People’s Republic of China President, Xi Jinping, who welcomed leaders from SCO member countries around the world. EZPro handled the set-up, commissioning and operation of the sound system, meeting the challenges of design and build in the show area adjacent to the sea. 

‘The system was installed for two months of typical seaside weather. The environment was a real test for a sound system to withstand, with large temperature changes, high humidity, high salinity and strong sea winds,’ EZPro International Project Manager, and sound engineer, Zheng Lungang, explains.

A Warm Welcome to Friends from Afar To ensure system stability and reliability, the EZPro team collated Qingdao weather data for the previous three years, including temperature, wind speed, precipitation, humidity and salinity. Consequently, the climate could be fully considered when the system was designed and devices chosen.

‘We also needed to choose the ideal loudspeakers for uniform coverage of the audience area, while providing the best perspectives for CCTV’s official television broadcasting and allowing an unobstructed view for the audience,’ Zheng says.

EZPro chose all-weather versions of Community’s new IV6 modular vertical array as the preferred solution. The system was designed using IV6-1122WR wide-dispersion 12-inch two-way array elements and IV6-118SWR subwoofers. Two arrays, groundstacked either side of the audience area, provided the main system. Two further arrays were installed as a subsystem in front of the audience seating. ‘The arrays worked seamlessly together to provide full coverage with really spatial stereo effects,’ Zheng says.

‘Community applies an advanced material called PolyGlas to the enclosures and this provides extreme resistance to moisture and salinity,’ adds EZPro Product Manager, Ma Cong. ‘The compact cabinets have a streamlined, premium appearance and are aesthetically very pleasing.’

In addition to the IV6 arrays, EZPro chose the all-weather Community R.15Coax as stage wedges. These were installed at 5m- and 8.5m-intervals to provide even coverage of high quality fold-back for the performers.

Location of the system control was another major problem to overcome: ‘Since there was no spare space in the show area for installation of a control room, we set this up in a passenger ship on the water, 30m from the stage,’ Zheng says. ‘The longest cabling distance was more than 300m, much further than normal for such an event. Cable safety was a great challenge due to unstable tides and movement of the ship.

‘Despite all of the difficulties, EZPro’s experienced engineers were able to overcome all of the challenges and provide a system that worked flawlessly, delivering great sound for this impressive event.’

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