Six shows held over three weekends during late October and early November, saw end-of-season fireworks display at Legoland Windsor Resort’s Legoland Heroes the its spectacular and ambitious yet. Sound designer, Dave Shepherd, has been looking after the sound for the fireworks display since 2003. This year, he used the event to try the recently launched Halo Arena large format line array system from EM Acoustics.

‘There are multiple viewing areas populated with buildings and trees that we need to work around,’ Shepherd explains. ‘We also have fairly tight noise restrictions due to the proximity of local residents to the park’s boundary.

Legoland Heroes

‘The largest viewing area of the park is Miniland where the public can be up to 170m away from the sound system, but due to the topology of this area, it’s impossible to set up delay systems meaning that the coverage has to come entirely from the main LR line arrays. It’s therefore key for me to use a system with properly controlled dispersion and excellent rear rejection characteristics so that I can put the sound where I need it and not cause a nuisance for the neighbours.’

Shepherd approached Delta Live, his preferred audio supplier for all Legoland requirements, who provided a total of 20 Halo-A line array elements (ten per side), two pairs of MSE-159 full-range, wide-dispersion loudspeakers for local fill and six MSE-218F high power, reflex subwoofers per side. The system was run off two EM Acoustics touring racks (one per side) incorporating EM Acoustics’ Dante-enabled DQ20D advanced system amplifiers, thus allowing Shepherd and his crew networked control from anywhere in the park.

‘Halo-A surpassed all expectations and helped deliver the best show to date,’ Shepherd reports. ‘Between comments from the crew who’d never used the system before about how quick and easy it was to rig, and from both the client and the crew about how good the area sounded, it was clear that choice to use Halo Arena proved to be a great success. The rear rejection was phenomenal which allowed me to achieve a good show volume for the audience without having an impact on the neighbours. We were all thoroughly impressed with the results.’

Legoland HeroesAssociate engineer for Delta, Griff Hewis, agrees: ‘Like Dave, I was eager to use the new EM Halo-A system out in the field. Four weeks left outdoors in inclement October weather is always a good road test for any new product and it didn’t miss a beat. As Dave’s ears out in the park I can say it exceeded my expectations in terms of throw and coverage. Standing around 120m away the arrays were still crystal clear and it was certainly on a par with the other leading manufacturers systems we have used in the park. I would happily use it again for future projects.’

Indeed, EM Acoustics has proved to be a popular brand for the Legoland Windsor resort as Shepherd has recently installed some custom outdoor EMS-81Xs and EMS-118 subwoofers as part of Legoland’s permanent stunt show installation.

‘For the first time we were able to utilise the stunt show system to enhance the audio experience in the fireworks viewing area situated in that location, which made a big difference,’ he notes. For the past five years, Shepherd has also installed twenty EMS-51s in a forest area of the park for a Brick or Treat themed Halloween event running every day during October. These individually fed speakers allow him to create a soundscape consisting of background music as well as spot and moving sound effects.

‘I’m always impressed by the audio delivered by Dave and the team at Delta Live, but this year we have really been able to up our game through the use of the new kit from EM Acoustics,’ remarks Hannah Ratcliffe, head of entertainment at Legoland Windsor Resort. ‘From the big Halo-A system in Miniland through to the smaller kit in the Enchanted Forest, we are able to surpass our guests’ expectations time and again, and deliver amazing and memorable experiences through high quality and engaging sound systems.’

More: www.emacoustics.co.uk

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