Located on the site of a former World War II airfield, Silverstone hosted its first British Grand Prix in 1948, attracting an estimated crowd of 100,000 people. In 2023 this number is expected to be closer to half a million over the race weekend, and things have moved on; just as the original hay bales and ropes were no longer deemed appropriate trackside barriers, the circuit’s PA system was also showing its age, no longer delivering the audio clarity and quality expected from such a prestigious venue or the crowds it gathers, and was in need of modernisation.
It was while watching NASCAR in the United States that one of Silverstone’s technical team first heard the Audac HS208T full-range speaker and was impressed by the performance. Upon returning to the UK, they contacted CUK, one of the UK and Ireland’s most successful and innovative distributors of audio, video, and control products, as well as the distributor for Audac products.
As one of CUK’s preferred installation partners, NoiseBoys were approached to deliver phase one of the multi-year project within a tight timeframe, the ambition being for the upgrade to be ready in time for this year’s British Grand Prix.
NoiseBoys coordinated fast and efficient delivery of the speakers to the circuit for Silverstone’s in-house technicians to begin installing along Club Corner, the Hamilton Straight and Abbey sections of the circuit, while our own team installed new Powersoft amplifiers to drive the new speakers.
As well as the new sound system, the circuit’s PA control system was in desperate need of updating and consolidation, lacking the flexibility and features demanded during the day-to-day operation of a leading sporting venue.
The solution was a pair of Symetrix Prism 16x16s serving as the brain of the new system, delivering the desired functionality, customisation, and expandability for future enhancements. Ease of operation and clarity of information was paramount, as the system must be easily operable in high pressure situations such as a major accident or emergency situation.
The circuit’s requirements were very specific, such as being able to individually select and isolate any of the approximately 40 zones around the track and trigger specific pre-recorded evacuation instructions from a single ‘pane of glass’ interface.
It is in these bespoke elements that NoiseBoys really shine! Using a combination of Symetrix’s own SymVue software and our own custom programming, we were able to create a complex yet elegant user-interface, all easily operated via a Kindermann 55” touch screen display from the race control tower.
With the first phase of the project completed, NoiseBoys have remained on hand to support the Silverstone team as they prepare for their biggest weekend of the year – the British Grand Prix – with the new system truly being put through its paces.