Issue 27



17 February 2016

SANTA CLARA, CA - FEBRUARY 07:  Coldplay, Beyonce and Bruno Mars performs during the Pepsi Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show at Levi's Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Santa Clara, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The task of providing pristine and reliable audio to a crowd of 71,088 people at the Super Bowl 50 fell to amplifier manufacturer Powersoft, 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 featured energetic performances by Lady Gaga, Coldplay, Beyoncé and Bruno Mars, and reached no less than 111.9 million viewers.

Audio services provider 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.

Pre-game programming included performances of ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’, ‘America the Beautiful’ and the Walter Payton award presentation; the much anticipated halftime segment included electrifying performances by Coldplay, Beyoncé and Bruno Mars; the post-game programming featured the presentation of the Vince Lombardi trophy and Most Valuable Player award.


For the halftime performances, ATK Audiotek’s team had just six minutes to roll out and set up the entire audio system, with the stage itself consisting of 28 individual pieces in addition to the loudspeaker carts that had to be rolled into position on the perimeter of the field. For the duration of the entertainment programming, the Powersoft amplifiers, drawing power exclusively from generators, enabled an energetic and memorable experience for fans in the stadium and television audiences at home.

During the event planning processes, efficiency and footprint were key concerns, as Kirk Powell, Systems Designer of ATK Audiotek explains: “For events of this size, there is enormous power usage so efficiency is absolutely key. The Powersoft K10s minimise our power draw and provide maximum output efficiency,” he says. The small size of the amplifiers also significantly reduces truck weight and transportation expenses. “We had five packed semi tractor trailers carting gear up to the stadium, and every bit of space counted,” he adds.

The compact Powersoft amplifiers occupy approximately one third the space of conventional amplifiers, which helped enable a smooth transition during set up from game time to halftime. “They were able to set up and tear down the K10s really fast — and there was absolutely no shortage of power in the stadium,” says Entertainment FOH engineer Toby Francis. Francis was impressed with the sound and performance of the K10s, in what was one of the most energetic halftime performances in history: “The K10s 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.”

James Berry, monitor engineer for Beyoncé, was also pleased with what he heard: “The wedges sound incredible on the Powersoft,” he states. “The amplifier can make or break the sound of a speaker, and these amps sound really great. Plus it was amazing how fast they were able to set up and tear down the system.”

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Issue 27