DiGiCo Helps Arena Boost Its Audio Game
In 2021, NAMM Member and audio equipment manufacturer, DiGiCo assisted in completing a major renovation project for the KFC Yum! Center, one of Kentucky’s largest live events venues. Fans can now enjoy a much-improved sonic experience for concerts and sporting events in the arena.
The Chessington, UK based DiGiCo was established in 2002 and is now part of its parent company, Audiotonix, a multinational holding company out of London. Audiotonix was established in 2014 under the leadership of former DiGiCo CEO James Gordon and now includes the brands Allen & Heath, Calrec, and DiGiCo. In 2017, Audiotonix acquired Solid State Logic and the following year brought KLANG:technologies into the fold. This year, the company acquired Sound Devices, making it one of the premier manufacturers of professional audio equipment.
DiGiCo’s digital mixing consoles are in numerous venues and utilized in events including live sound, theatre, broadcast, and postproduction industries. One of the most recent US-based installations was in the 22,000-plus-seat KFC Yum! Center. The arena is primarily home to the University of Louisville (KY) Cardinals men’s and women’s basketball teams and hosted the Indoor Football League’s Lousiville Xtreme. The venue is also known for its concerts, hosting artists ranging from Metallica to Alan Jackson and Celine Dion. Upon opening in 2010, the arena featured integrated scoring and video LED display systems within the arena.
Earlier this year, the KFC Yum! Center announced a major renovation that included upgrading the dynamic video, audio, and broadcast systems. The venue reports that the “all-new digital experience will significantly enhance the fan atmosphere and drive incremental revenue opportunities for the arena.”
“Since 2010, the KFC Yum! Center has been an integral part of the resurgence and growth of downtown Louisville as the city’s most iconic entertainment venue. One that attracts nearly a million fans to world-class sports and entertainment events annually,” said Louisville Arena Authority Chair Leslie Geoghegan. “As we are celebrating our 11th year of operation, these upgrades allow us to give the arena a brand-new look and feel that will continue to create unique experiences for our fans moving forward.”
As part of the renovation, DiGiCo and its S31 console was selected as the new front-of-house console, and the S21 acts as the router for a newly expanded video production facility for the arena, all of which are connected via Dante using DMI-Dante interface cards. Jack Covert, Senior Audio Design Engineer at Richmond, VA-based AJP said, “I choose DiGiCo S-Series consoles for many reasons. They offer high channel counts, remote-operation capability, and as a package, together with the stage boxes and Dante capability, it was the perfect solution here, where we’re using junction-box technology (JBT) to distribute the audio signal.”
The addition of Dante facilitates the connection between amplifiers, microphones, mixers, processors, and speakers and eliminates the need for cumbersome analog cables that would traditionally be required to make these links. With the addition of Dante’s computer network, the KFC Yum! Center now has a more efficient, modern, and reliable audio-visual network.
Louisville-area AVL solutions business, Sound Ideas and owner Doug Woosley consulted on the project. Woosley reports that “Fans at the Yum Center can now be guaranteed a resilient operation for in-house events as the Digico upgrade eliminated many single points of failure over old analog wiring and transformer splitters.”