The multi-purpose Arena Pays d’Aix hosts a wide range of events and can hold audiences of up to 8,500. With these requirements in mind, a newYamaha and Nexo audio system provides high-quality, flexible audio throughout the complex. Located close to the southern French city of Aix-en-Provence, the arena’s exterior offers clean, sweeping lines contrasting with the surrounding countryside of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur. Designed by architect Christophe Gulizzi, this vision continues inside, where a modular format allows the 4,000m2 interior space to offer 17 different configurations, depending on the type of event being hosted.

Arena Pays d’AixThe main space (Grande Salle, unofficially nicknamed The Cauldron) is the home of the Pays d’Aix University handball club, which competes in Division 1 of the Ligue Nationale de Handball. Featuring an audience capacity of up to 7,000, it can be configured to host a wide range of other events, including tennis, wrestling, indoor motocross, live concerts and ballet.

A secondary arena (Salle Annex) has room for up to 1,500 spectators, alongside three exhibition/event spaces that hold up to 450 people each, bars/concessions and a press room. The main concourse (La Coursive) can also be used to host events, with a capacity of 1,800 people.

The venue’s interior designer Kanju commissioned consultants Solus3 to design the A/V systems. Solus 3 approached Aix-en-Provence based systems integrator Société Texen to deliver a solution where flexibility and quality were the most important features. Texen’s Thomas Goeuriot recommended a Dante-networked Yamaha and Nexo system, which is centred on four ‘nodes’ installed throughout the venue, each comprising a system rack with a MTX5-D matrix processor, XMV series amplifiers, 24 port switches and, where required, Tio1608-D I/O racks.

All areas apart from The Cauldron feature Yamaha loudspeakers, including VXC5F-VA (voice evacuation model) and NS-IC400 ceiling speakers, VXS1ML and VXS3FT compact surface mount models.

Arena Pays d’AixIn The Cauldron, 30 Nexo Geo-S12 loudspeakers deliver sound to sport and event audiences. Arrayed as ten flown clusters of three around the edge of the arena floor, they are powered and controlled by NXAmp 4x4 and NXAmp 4x1 amplifiers.

‘Many manufacturers approached us to provide the Cauldron system,’ says Thomas Goeuriot. ‘Coverage and intelligibility were really important and Nexo provided the best technical solution. The Geo-S12 speakers cover low enough frequencies without needing subs and they provide seamless coverage to every seat.’

In addition to the installed VXC5F-VA and NS-IC400 ceiling models, the Salle Annex features four CBR15 loudspeakers, driven by P7000 amplifiers, for added audio power and depth for sports training sessions, plenary sessions and other events. A TF5 digital mixing console was also supplied, which can be plugged into the system for local mixing in any area. The press room features a pair of VXS8 loudspeakers for event monitoring, with the system also providing broadcast I/O.

‘Arena Pays d’Aix has the most modern, high quality facilities installed throughout and the audio system is fundamental to delivering the best experience to all users,’ says Yamaha’s Pascal Bessenet. ‘The entire audio system was single-sourced from the Yamaha and Nexo family, delivering not only high quality sound, but exceptional flexibility and reliability. We know these qualities will serve the Arena well for many years to come.’

More: www.yamahaproaudio.com

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