Pyeongchang 2018

Behind the Scenes at the Olympic Games

Behind the Scenes at the Olympic Games RAMSA returned in a higher spec than ever to fill the venues with sound

Photo of RAMSA two-way speakers installed at a PyeongChang 2018 Winter Games venue
Photo: John Paul Giancarlo, International Olympic Committee (IOC)

John Paul Giancarlo
Internationl Olyumpic Committee
Technology Leader

Photo :Junichi Koga

Junichi Koga
Panasonic Connected Solutions
Media Entertainment Business Division Technology Center RAMSA Project Leader

At sports competition venues, sound technology plays an important role in supporting proceedings and conveying information via clear audio. But this is not the only thing. For example, in figure skating, sound fills the arena with the view of the world as depicted by the skater, while in snowboarding and freestyle skiing, the DJ buoys crowd and competitors like uplifting sound. With our RAMSA high-end professional audio systems, Panasonic heated up the freezing competition venues more than ever before.    

A comeback at the Olympic Games with crisper sound at every venue

Panasonic's professional audio systems – RAMSA. A brand of global renown supplying high-end audio to halls and events, RAMSA returned to the Olympic Games for the first time in four Games since Vancouver 2010. More than 100 speaker units were supplied to the PyeongChang 2018 and brought fervent sound to the various venues. These included the new line-array speakers, which had been developed over three years in the hope of being ready in time for the PyeongChang 2018.

The newly-developed line-array speakers can supply highly articulate sound across both short and long distances in larger spaces. John Paul Giancarlo, the Head of Technology at the IOC, was impressed.
"We installed Panasonic audio systems in almost all the venues, but of particular note was the Bokwang Snow Park where the extreme sports like half pipe, ramp, and aerial events were held. Despite the fact that these events took place outside, the audio quality of Panasonic's latest equipment created the ideal environment for spectators to enjoy a real show with the athletes' superb performances."

Panasonic's unique solutions allowed for faster installation

Today, there are demands for speaker systems with the optimum audio properties to suit facilities like stadiums and event halls. When they are installed temporarily at events like the Olympic Games, it is particularly important that installation and adjustment work can be performed quickly. Junichi Koga of Connected Solutions Company, Panasonic Corporation was involved in the development of the line-array speakers, and says that Panasonic's solutions experience was vital in that regard.
"Even with a veteran's experience, it usually takes a full day to achieve the optimum acoustic field tuning for where the speakers are installed." But with this project, we at Panasonic also developed software to simulate the acoustic fields based on measurement data. We used this software in conjunction with our line-array speakers and were able to set up the ideal acoustic field in about an hour."

Efforts have also been made on the installation side. This saw the development of pull-back clamps designed for faster installation. The speaker angle does not need to be fixed at ground level; it is fixed when hanging the speakers from above, making the installation work faster.
"We listened to our customers' opinions, brought prototypes to them, and received advice about things like coupling methods and component operability. This information was then reflected in our further developments. This coming and going was the most difficult thing, but it was also what led to the fine end result."

Inspiring the world at the Tokyo 2020 Games with absolute safety

Panasonic's RAMSA professional audio systems underwent continued testing and improvements to provide clear sound amidst freezing conditions in PyeongChang. The next target is the Tokyo 2020 Games. Panasonic has already certified the safety of its newly-developed line-array speakers ahead of their deployment in Tokyo. Koga told us about this process.
"Line-array speakers are heavy objects, so we conducted a series of tests at a university facility to verify whether they are strong enough to withstand earthquakes when hung from above. The safety rating we received declared that there would be no problems even at level 6 on the Japan Meteorological Agency seismic intensity scale; and with this assured, we put the products on sale."

"Our objective is to supply our RAMSA line-array speakers to the Tokyo 2020 Games. We hope that Tokyo 2020 Games will be the trigger for people all around the world to use our speakers and experience the passion provided by our equipment."
Panasonic has developed its audio technologies over many years in the desire that its RAMSA professional audio systems can deliver this emotion in a broader range of arenas – beyond the Olympic Games to stadiums and theaters around the world.