Powersoft delivered audio to a crowd of 71,088 gathered for Super Bowl 50 at Levi’s Stadium with over 120 of its K10 high-performance power amplifiers and eight custom subwoofers featuring Powersoft M-System drivers.
The pre-game and halftime entertainment portions of the event – powered solely by Powersoft amplifiers – featured performances by Lady Gaga, Coldplay, Beyoncé and Bruno Mars, and reached no less than 111.9 million viewers worldwide.
Elite audio services supplier, ATK Audiotek, provided system integration and audio services for the landmark event, creating an agile audio solution that consisted of 18 mobile speaker carts – each equipped with JBL VT4889 line array elements, JBL VT4880A subwoofers and Powersoft K10 amplifiers. The speaker carts were rolled onto the field for the pre-game, halftime and post-game portions of the event.
The compactness of the Powersoft amplifiers – which occupy approximately one third the space of conventional amplifiers – helped enable a smooth transition during set up from game time to halftime. “They were able to set up and tear down the K10’s really fast – and there was absolutely no shortage of power in the stadium,” said Entertainment FOH engineer Toby Francis. He was impressed with the sound and performance of the K10’s, in what was one of the most energetic halftime performances in history: “The K10’s really held it all together,” said Francis. “The low end was tight as it could be, and the overall response was really good for a stadium like this.”
In addition to the full service sound system ATK provided for the entertainment elements, the existing stadium PA system was augmented with additional low-end reinforcement for mid-game music bumpers, referee announcements, and announcer calls. “When the speakers were not out there and we were in game mode, they wanted subwoofers to make gametime more exciting – so we had eight locations of Powersoft subs set up permanently against the audience wall on the field,” explained Pat Baltzell, Sound Designer and FOH mix engineer for ATK. “These helped us get an extra half-octave of audio, reaching the super-low frequencies, between 25 and 35 Hz.”
By using the M-Force loaded cabinets with 30″ cones, the ATK team was able to leverage roughly three times the power of conventional drivers, the subwoofer count on the field from 24 to eight.
The M-Force powered subwoofers were positioned against the audience wall on the field, four on each side, in evenly spaced intervals. Each cabinet, measuring approximately 3.5ft by 4.5ft by 3.5ft, was powered by a single Powersoft K10 amplifier. “
In addition to harnessing Powersoft’s amplification capabilities, ATK also used the company’s Armonia software to handle tuning and DSP settings for the halftime show. “All of the system tuning, including filtering, was done in Armonia,” said Baltzell.
“By using the filters in Armonia, we are able to attain a much finer resolution in the DSP than if we were using a standalone device. Also, if the DSP is in the amplifier, you are that much further ahead and you have eliminated another piece of equipment that could potentially fail,” he added.