3G Productions Broadcasts Pope Francis Live From Mexico

Posted Aug 4, 2019 12:56:43 PM

3G Productions supplied audio for the last appearances by Pope Francis in the remote outposts of Morelia and Juarez, Mexico with limited time to set up a vast fiber network to carry signals covering several zones from the console to the amplifiers over exceptionally long distances.

The actual venues for the Pope’s final Mexican appearances included the Jose Morelos Pavon Stadium and the Estadio Venustiano Carranza, a soccer stadium, in Morelia along with a park, Parque Publico Federal El Chamizal, and a small adjoining soccer park in Juarez just north of the U.S. border.

Shervorn “Shevy” Emmanuel, 3G System Tech for the Morelia Pavon Stadium event, describes the challenges: “We had to cover the main stadium and a surround system in the parking lots for the crowd overflow and even though we had a total of 232 d&b boxes overall, the real challenge was signal distribution without loss or degradation over long distances.

“We created a drive system with switches at Front of House which connected to other switches at the delays in the parking lots, the stadium, and stage left and stage right. Front of house was approximately 1,000 ft. from the delays and 300 ft. from the stage cable-wise, it would have been very difficult to devise an analog or AES method to distribute the audio; fiber was the best way to do it.”

Bottom line, wherever anyone was sitting, they had to hear every word the Pope and Cardinals were saying…

Shervorn “Shevy” Emmanuel, 3G System Tech

As for the speaker system, Shevy explains that, “for the 39,000 in the stadium, the main system throw was about 600 ft. Bottom line, wherever anyone was sitting, they had to hear every word the Pope and Cardinals were saying, not to mention a full orchestra that we were responsible for mixing as well. We couldn’t have pulled it off without the network.”

The speaker setup for Pavon Stadium basically consisted of two main hangs of 16 d&b J8 and J12s, two outfill hangs of 12 J8 and J12s, two infill hangs of d&b Ys, and three delay hangs with 8, 4 and 4 d&b J-Series respectively for a total of 96. Parking lots 1, 2 and 3 had a total of 136 V-Series speakers to cover distances of 350, 250 and 200 ft. respectively.

For all three events, SSL L500 consoles were used at FOH and Digico SD10’s were used for monitors.

“The most challenging thing was the ability to adapt when things changed at the last minute with several layers of authority from the Mexican government to our client and down to us. Reacting quickly and effectively to the challenges and making sure the audio was clean and clear and we had good backup in case anything went wrong.”

According to Jon, the results were successful enough to elicit positive from Pope Francis himself: “His secret service detail came to FOH, thanked us and said the Pope felt it was incredible sounding. He had been concerned about how it would sound in Juarez and Morelia because those were later dates and kept getting pushed back because of the scheduling. According to his staff, the Pope was expecting it to sound inferior to the other sites like Mexico City, but he was really impressed!”

3G provides intercom systems and fiber-based networks for the distribution of video, audio, and data signals. Whether on tour, at live events, festivals, stadiums, convention centers, 3G communication solutions power broadcasts and events.