A Tour Of Toronto's Skydome
Engineering Harmonics is an engineering and design firm specialising in audio, A/V, control and communication based systems. Formed in 1988, Engineering Harmonics has experienced rapid growth in its primary market segments, providing solutions to the broadcast, recording, entertainment and public sectors. During 1994, Engineering Harmonics broadened its service offerings to include corporate communication and training.
The SkyDome Project
In 1996 Engineering Harmonics was retained to investigate, test and re-tune the system. The result of this effort was a substantial improvement in the audio, including more even coverage; better audio quality; better adjustment for baseball or football modes, and more reliable operation. In 1997 SkyDome retained Engineering Harmonics to prepare cost estimates and a plan to upgrade their systems. The new systems will provide state of the art in high fidelity sound for the SkyDome by optimising the three basic elements of performance sound: the loudspeaker systems, the power amplifier systems, and the audio signal chain.
The new loudspeaker system features better low frequency performance and more even coverage. The previous systems suffered from hot spots resulting in complaints about loudness from some patrons, while others heard nothing at all. The new systems use many smaller loudspeakers to cover under-balcony areas well as 21 large high level loudspeakers to throw sound to distant patrons, such as those seated closest to the field. The new systems will produce sound levels of 95dBA with 5dB of headroom. The new power amplifier systems feature computer control and monitoring of all amplifier functions, allowing the operator complete control of the loudspeakers as well as providing instantaneous feed back on the operating status of the amplifiers and the loudspeakers.
Amplifier levels can be adjusted to accommodate different crowd capacities, and zoned delays allow matching in support of touring sound systems as used for concerts. Should any component fail, the operator is advised instantly. After significant research, an architecture was chosen from a digital audio signal chain that provides previously unheard of performance and flexibility was developed. Other system features:
- integrated interface for the operator, allowing ease of use and minimised operator error;
- extreme manipulation of the audio signal for exceptional sound quality;
- dynamic programming of the signal for special effects;
- signal redundancy which satisfies the Fire Marshall's needs for emergency evacuation;
- a networked audio path which greatly simplifies the design, programming, set-up, testing, maintenance and hence, optimises the systems reliability;
- easy reconfiguration to accommodate changes.
Dave ClarkDave Clark is a systems designer and project manager at Engineering Harmonics. He has been designing sound systems for ten years and has operating them for many more. He has had design responsibility for many sound systems projects including:
Current Projects include:
- SkyDome, Toronto
- Orpheum, Queen Elizabeth and Playhouse, Vancouver
- Ford Centres for the Performing Arts, Vancouver, NYC, Chicago
- Molson Centre Arena, Barrie, Ontario
- Convocation Hall, University of Toronto
- Capitol Theatre, Windsor, Ontario
- Centennial Concert Hall, Winnipeg, Manitoba
- Academy Awards Theatre, Hollywood
- Walt Disney Concert Hall and Amphitheatre, Los Angeles
- Penn's Landing Amphitheatre, Philadelphia
- Copps Coliseum, Hamilton Place Great Hall, Hamilton, Ontario
- Houses of Parliament, Ottawa, Ontario
For the Toronto Transit Commission's subway traffic management system, Dave has successfully implemented a large-scale computer-integrated system.
Mr. Clark is a Professional Engineer, licensed in the Province of Ontario and has a B.A.Sc (Industrial Engineering) degree from the University of Toronto. He is a member of the Audio Engineering Society. His professional interests include equalisation, fire alarm/sound systems integration, hearing impairment and the physiology/psychology of hearing.
Jeff joined Engineering Harmonics in 1996 after graduating with a Masters in Physics from the University of Waterloo where he studied in the Audio Research Group.
Jeff is proficient with the Ease acoustical modelling program; he has created acoustical simulation models for many Engineering Harmonics projects, including the Hershey Centre in Mississauga and the SkyDome in Toronto. He also is a "Factory Certified Soundweb Designer" and a registered "SIM System II Operator". Mr. Bamford designed the new overall network structure for the Soundweb installation at SkyDome. Mr. Bamford contributed largely to the new Courthouse Technology Standards for Ontario Courthouse. He has also designed systems for Court Houses in Cornwall and Toronto as well as Hearing Rooms for the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario and the Labour Relations Board of Ontario. Mr. Bamford is a member of the Audio Engineering Society and the Canadian Acoustical Association. He has presented papers at conferences for both organisations.
For more information, please contact:Engineering Harmonics Inc.
29A Leslie Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4M 3C3
Phone: 416-465-3378, Fax: 416-465-9037
Date Tuesday, April 25th Time 7:30pm Place Toronto Skydome Address 1 Blue Jays Way
Take the Skywalk from Union Station to the foot of the CN Tower
Enter SkyDome by Gate 3
Pre-Meeting Dinner 5:30 pm
Lone Star Cafe - 200 Front StW (north side)