Spring loaded with Coda Audio N-RAY
Thursday, 27 May 2021
springThe gala was recorded at Xingguang Film and TV Centre in the Daxing District of Beijing
China - The annual Spring Festival Gala staged by BTV (Beijing Radio and TV Station) which celebrates the Chinese New Year is one of the most watched television spectaculars in the world. The 2021 edition of the show, with its central theme of unity was no exception, attracting a large audience and wowing its audience with a combination of art and high tech.
Recorded at the 3,600sq.m studio at Xingguang Film and TV Centre in the Daxing District of Beijing, the Gala presented a song and dance extravaganza (including virtual performances) that used a 360° panoramic immersive performance area.
The show presented its production team, Beijing Zenith Culture and Art Company, with many challenges, breaking down as it did the traditional barriers between audience and performers.
The design of the audio system in particular was demanding - the immersive approach meant that performance areas were fragmented and a staggered layout would be required. Audio specialist Mr Ma Xin, of the Chinese Coal Mine Art Troupe, was the chief sound designer for the Gala and deployed Coda Audio’s compact three-way line array N-RAY system to overcome challenges.
The immersive layout of the space required not only that the audio had to be of the highest quality, but that the enclosures had to be small and lightweight and have very accurate directional control. Without the necessary accuracy, there would be an increased danger of feedback and also that the sound reflections in the room could compromise the clarity across the venue and even affect the recording quality of the broadcast. The combined weight of the other production elements present - lighting, video screens, special effects - left very little to spare for the audio system, further emphasising the need for compact loudspeakers.
N-RAY fulfilled every requirement for the job at hand in the main T-shaped performance area. The enclosures’ light weight overcame any problems with hanging points, and N-RAY’s compact size meant that no sight-lines were compromised. The ability to precisely adjust coverage angles, which Mr Ma Xin had explored thoroughly during his first use of N-RAY some months before, was an equally important factor in its selection for the Spring Gala event.
Mr Ma Xin comments: “I selected the Coda Audio N-RAY not only for its sound quality but also its light weight and small size. The ability to accurately control the coverage angle was especially important - the ability to adjust the angles even by 1° can make a really noticeable difference.”
The production team also used loudspeakers from Coda Audio’s HOPS range to cater for areas away from the main PA’s coverage. These included HOPS8 either side of the main stage as side-fills and further HOPS8 and HOPS5 to cater for several sub-stages and entrance areas. A total 12 N-RAY, eight HOPS8 and four HOPS5 loudspeakers were used for the event.
David Webster, global marketing director for Coda Audio, comments: “N-RAY certainly allowed the team working on the Spring Festival Gala to finesse the audio in exactly the way they required. The boxes are so powerful and adaptable, yet are small enough to be discreet amongst the rest of the production. We’re very proud that Coda Audio was an integral part of such an important event in China and achieved such outstanding results. Our Chinese distributor Zhejiang Tongbo Technology is doing a fantastic job.”

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