Canton Tower sound team
Inaugurated on 29 September, Guangzhou’s Canton Tower is the world’s third tallest building and contains television and radio transmission services, restaurants, exhibition spaces, conference rooms, shopping, 4D cinemas and outdoor gardens – as well as breathtaking views across the city from different levels, including the very top.

For the tower’s grand opening ceremony, audio supplier Rightway Audio Consultants wanted to ensure that the sound was handled perfectly, and chose DiGiCo SD8 and SD9 consoles to play a key role. ‘Although it wasn’t a technically complex production, it was a very important event for Guangzhou, so the reliability and stability of the audio system was the top priority for us,’ says the company’s Stanley He.

‘In order to ensure there were no hitches, we prepared for the event for a long time. The dual redundancy of the SD8 and SD9, plus the unrivalled sound quality of the Super FPGA technology, made them our first choice for the job. The sonic quality of the desks is amazing – it’s smooth, accurate and musical.’

Canton TowerDivided into three parts, the opening ceremony was attended by local VIPs, including the Mayor of Guangzhou Wan Qingliang, Governor of Guangdong province Huang Huahua, and Zhang Guangning, Secretary of the Guangzhou Municipal Committee. First a ribbon-cutting ceremony officially opened the Canton Tower, then guests took lifts to observation points to enjoy the view across the city. Finally, a ceremony was held to officially ‘switch on’ the architectural lighting which will highlight the tower after dark. This was followed by an evening party. The SD8 was used for the first and third parts, the SD9 for the second. Despite it being a fairly straightforward event, the desk’s EQ, compression and snapshots were very much in use. ‘We are very impressed by the snapshot facilities,’ says Stanley He.

Referred to as Guangzhou TV & Sightseeing Tower, Xiao Man’s Waist and Supermodel, the tower’s design uses two horizontal, virtual ellipses – one at ground level and one at 450m – which are joined by virtual uprights and then twisted in opposite directions. The result is a form that tapers inwards from ground level up to the central ‘waist’ and then out again to the 450m roof level. On top of this is another 160m of broadcast antennas.

‘The client was really happy,’ He says. ‘They told us they had never heard such great audio quality from a mixing console. Thanks to the SD8 and SD9, the Canton Tower’s grand opening was perfect.’

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