Cedar Point Amusement Park Expands to the Future with QSC

Complete Audio System Upgrade Includes Q-Sys™ Integrated System Platform, WideLine™ Line Array Loudspeakers and PowerLight™ Amplifiers

Sandusky, OH (June 2012) –Cedar Point amusement park/resort, which has been voted as the “Best Amusement Park in the World,” for a record 14 consecutive years, has upgraded the audio system on its legendary main midway with the Q-Sys™ Integrated System Platform, more than 30 PowerLight™ 3 Series amplifiers and  WideLine™ Line Array loudspeakers. The QSC equipment provides distributed PA along the park’s midway as well as sound reinforcement for a brand new 70-feet-wide outdoor performance stage on Celebration Plaza, home to the new high energy Luminosity: Ignite the Night show, which features dancers, drummers, DJs and circus performers, plus a spectacular display of lasers, lights and fireworks.

Luminosity, Powered by Pepsi, officially opens on Friday June 8th at Cedar Point, a 364-acre park located on a peninsula jutting into Lake Erie. Luminosity begins around 9:15 p.m. each night and features a contemporary dance party soundtrack from artists such as Jennifer Lopez, Pitbull, Britney Spears, LMFAO and Pink, as well as “Glee”-style remakes of old classics.

According to Eric Choucroun, CTS, Account Executive, Washington Professional Systems (WPS), the design-build firm for the entire project, “We used six WideLine-10s per side and three GP218 dual-18-inch subs, ground-stacked, per side, at the stage. We engaged audio rigging consultants Polar Focus to devise a rigging solution to hang the weatherized WideLine-10s from existing steel poles.”

Forty-eight outdoor speakers, powered by 25 QSC PowerLight PL340 2 x 800 W and eight PL380 2 x 1500 W amplifiers, cover the midway area, which runs east-west, as well as the Sky Ride stations. A single QSC Q-Sys Core 3000 manages all routing, processing and control functions for the entire system. Existing audio playback equipment integrated into the Q-Sys network is used for background music and to deliver the National Anthem daily.

“There are 10 racks distributed around the midway area and each has a Q-Sys I/O Frame and Layer 3 switch, plus a variety of amplifiers,” says Choucroun. The system is additionally available for public safety announcements. WPS also installed a Q-Sys PS-1600 16-button networked page station in the park’s Security Office.

The scalability of Q-Sys appealed to John Lyle, Manager of Technical Services at Cedar Point, who plans to expand the system into other areas of the park in the future. “The thing that’s nice about Q-Sys is that you just need an I/O Frame and a switch, then you find your amp clusters and you’re good to go. Our IT department is really pleased with the scalability and future-proofing that the Q-Sys system offers, as we are. We didn’t want to make a jump into something that was going to be limited in a year or two.”

Lyle is also pleased with the improvement in audio quality. “We were able to change completely from the analog to the digital world in those positions where we installed the QSC equipment. Our source music is also digital now, so it’s digital right through the Core to the speakers. The quality is so much better, even with the older content that we distribute out on our analog lines.”

Larry McCoy, Audio Specialist at Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park,CA, consulted on the configuration and setup of Q-Sys. Knott’s Berry Farm is another of the 11 theme parks throughout North America that are owned and operated by Cedar Fair Entertainment Company. “We were the first amusement park in the U.S. to have Q-Sys installed as a park-wide solution,” says McCoy. “I’ve been lobbying our other parks to look into this technology.”

“The thing I like about Q-Sys is that there’s one Core, one central processing unit, then it branches out through network connections to your vaults or audio closets. All of the DSP in handled centrally and branched out through the network,” says McCoy. “QSC has been making digital processors for 15 years and were pretty much the first in the business, so they have a lot of experience with DSP and digital audio. And QSC has a good reputation, and a great support base.”

“The opportunity came to us, the timing was right and the QSC products fit the applications just perfectly and it went together so well,” adds Choucroun, summing up his experience on the projects. “We had tremendous support from QSC, and we got everything we needed in the time we needed. We just couldn’t be happier.”