Technomad Associates, LLC, a leader in high-powered weatherproof PA systems and communications equipment for military, security and government audio applications, supplied a networked PA system to broadcast clear audio to more than 200,000 spectators each day at The Great New England Air Show, which took place September 6-7, 2008 at the Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee, Massachusetts. The system used was similar to Giant Voice systems used around the world by US and allied Armed Forces.
Linking multiple loudspeaker points over one mile of distance, the Technomad Modular Military PA System delivered the drama of the event to every corner of the flight line, ensuring that spectators furthest from the action could hear the audio loud and clear.
This year’s Great New England Air Show commemorated the 60th anniversary of the Air Force Reserve, and the upgrade over PA systems from previous years was immediately obvious to everyone involved in the event.The Technomad system provided pristine audio throughout the event, projecting clear, intelligible voice and high-quality musical reproduction to the entire flight line, where the crowd gathered.Performers at the two-day family-oriented event included the United States Air Force Thunderbirds precision aerial demonstration team and the spectacular US Army Golden Knights parachute team.
Larry Rutt, a United States Air Force veteran and Air Show announcer since 1976, served as the announcer and master of ceremonies for this year’s Great New England Air Show and experienced Technomad sound for the first time.According to Rutt, having a clear sound system to work with allows him to more effectively invoke emotion into the aerial and ground demonstrations, and provide authoritativeness in the event that crowd control is necessary.
Rutt found himself using the Technomad system for both reasons, including a description of fire and rescue efforts during a truck stunt that went awry on the flight line and halted the show for a brief period.The audio clarity of the system allowed Rutt to keep the crowd calm and informed while broadcasting clear messages about the accident and the emergency response.
“The high-fidelity sound is much more pleasing to the ear than systems I have used in the past, whether I am making announcements or listening to music associated with the acts and performers,” said Rutt.“The Technomad loudspeakers provide full range audio with outstanding low end, and offer a much smoother sound than horn-based systems.The Air Show sponsors also benefit by getting their messages across more effectively.It makes a world of difference to hear a pleasant sound rather than that harsh horn-driven PA sound.There is no comparison.”
Technomad loudspeakers are as powerful as horn-driven systems, but provide smoother audio dispersion to entire venues than horns, which tend to produce a “hotspot” up front and lose coverage on the sides.Technomad loudspeakers also provide a far more accurate frequency response, which improves voice intelligibility and musical reproduction.
The Technomad Modular Military PA system included five loudspeaker points spread over approximately 1.25 miles on the flight line, linked together via twisted pair wire.Each remote loudspeaker point included two Technomad weatherproof loudspeakers, and an “output pack” featuring a Technomad amplifier and six-channel mixer for signal processing.Technomad also provided two loudspeakers and a “source pack” at the origination point with a 16-channel mixer, amplifier, plus a dynamic wired microphone for Rutt and a wireless microphone for the performers.Pre-recorded music was fed to the source pack mixer from a laptop in between announcements and events.
Technomad’s unique weatherproof design proved ideal, remaining outside in heavy downpours as the remnants of Tropical Storm Hanna moved through the region.All Technomad loudspeakers are IP56-rated for superior protection against hazardous parts and water ingression, and are built to withstand the harsh environs of any climate.
“I think the weatherproof design is very important for these events,” said Rutt.“I served as the announcer for another recent Air Show that had full range speakers, but they were covered in plastic bags because of the rain threat.They were forced to protect their equipment, which wasn’t necessary at Westover even with the heavy rains from Hanna.”
Technomad Military PA Systems are available in both Modular and Turnkey versions, the latter of which offers extremely quick and efficient setup times for fixed and mobile applications. Aplications include Giant Voice, Big Voice, Force Protection, PSYOPS, ceremonial auido, MWAR, and more. All
Technomad Military PA systems are shipped with weatherproof loudspeakers, protective cases with gasketed lids, loudspeaker stands, cables, microphones and a shock-mount rack with a pre-wired amplifier and CD player.Additional rack space is present for options such as the Technomad SuperConductor™ mp3 playback and recording system, which provides the ability to record field audio and immediately schedule the files for playback from a front-knob position.
Disclaimer: As policy, the US Air Force does not make any endorsements concerning donated equipment.
Technomad Associates, LLC, founded in 1995, designs and manufactures loudspeaker systems for the professional audio and security / military technology / mass notification industries. The company invented the first reliable full-range military PA systems and now offers eight networkable models with range up to one mile, as well as the SuperConductor military MP3 player and FireFly ultra-lightweight PA system.