Federation Square Gets a Sound Check

Federation Square opened back in 2002 as a civic precinct and landmark on the edge of Melbourne City. The site takes on a multitude of forms as it provides offices, bars, café's and a live outdoor entertainment area with a large LED screen that has held over 10,000 punters in the past. The sound installation has always been problematic due to the large open spaces bordered with offices and busy roads, but recently, Connell Wagner was asked to come in and re-vamp the venue's sound system.


Melbourne's Federation Square


Federation Square presented a unique challenge as the venue has slanted and up hill planes with thin corridors facing the screen stage where sound needed to be heard. Simultaneously, the sound needed to be focused as the existing system caused delays and sent sound bouncing around the precinct causing countless complaints from local business tenants.

Rutledge Engineering was employed to carry out the assessment, design and install of 6 x Nexo Geo S805 speakers per side with 4 x NS242 processors and 4 x Camco Vortex 6 amplifiers. The speakers were installed at either side of the huge LED screen making them completely invisible to the public and maintaining the desired aesthetic of the architecture.


The Federation Square Screen

 Above: A snapshot of sound coverage using EASE audio emulation and layout software. 


4 x Nexo CD12 Subwoofers were also provided which are portable and can be pulled out when needed for larger events. The choice to go with the Nexo Geo S8 speakers was due to their narrow vertical dispersion and throw sound straight ahead over a long distance.

The Nexo Geo S805's have a 5° spread which ensures sound is distributed directionally and doesn't adversely affect nearby offices. In addition, the system was designed so that half of the array could be switched off if the event didn't have a capacity audience that filled the rear sections of the area.


Federation Square in Melbourne's Heart


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