Athletes gathered in Athens with a strong determination: to achieve the most epic performance at the birthplace of the Olympic Games. The team heading up Panasonic’s audio system, RAMSA, was equally resolved to outdo itself with their state-of-the-art, line-array speakers. These speakers, the culmination of the experience and skill gathered over the years, were the pride of the RAMSA engineers. They had dedicated many hours into the design to ensure perfect performance when the Olympic Games returned to Greece.
The Birth of RAMSA out of Setbacks
Used in most venues at the past Olympic Games, the Panasonic RAMSA audio system conveyed the thrill of the Olympic competition through its dynamic sound. However, at the Olympic Winter Games Salt Lake 2002, the RAMSA team’s expectations were dashed. The team could not carry out system installations to all venues as previously planned, as the prepared speakers did not meet the specifications of the main stadium. To the RAMSA engineers, the Salt Lake 2002 left a bitter taste of regret.
With this in mind, Panasonic developed the line-array speaker to provide Athens 2004 with an unprecedented and elevated level of sound.
With conventional speakers, sound suffers from attenuation: sound weakens with distance. Line-array systems minimized this attenuation so that all spectators in the vast Olympic venue could enjoy the clear, high-quality sound regardless of seating. At the Olympic Games Athens 2004, 1,800 of RAMSA’s innovative speakers were to be installed at 33 Olympic venues: under the scorching sun, in vast gymnasiums, atop the roof of a 20-meter building. Even with precise calculations for each of the varying conditions, the RAMSA team would need to perform meticulous fine-tuning during installation. The engineers carried out the installation process, patiently clearing each hurdle one by one.
Filling the Hallowed Space with Superior Sound
With one week to go before the Opening Ceremony, the sacred space symbolizing the Olympic Games was at last fitted with 44 line-array speakers. Damian Rowe, Panasonic’s Chief Engineer, had led the local staff during many of Panasonic’s past Olympic Games projects. With Rowe at the helm, the team made up of RAMSA staff and support members from Japan, united to install the line-array speakers in the classic horseshoe stadium. In the midst of his umpteenth control-room test, Rowe broke into a smile. It had all come together.
Panasonic’s preparations are already underway for the next Olympic Games in Beijing. Just as athletes strive for ever-higher glory at the Olympic Games, Panasonic continues to advance its technology – to bring wonder, four years later, to the world again.