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Behind the Bricks: IMS Public Address sound system

Welcome to Behind the Bricks, where we take you behind the scenes of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) and reveal the fascinating stories that unfold beyond the track. In this episode, we delve into the world of the Public Address system with our guest, Will Curry, the Facility and Event AV Engineer. Our goal is to provide race fans with an exclusive glimpse into the updated Public Address system at IMS, showcasing the central location that houses one of the largest sound systems in the world.

Did you know that the IMS PA system operates from a discreet and temperature-controlled room? This room holds remnants of the original “telephone” room, featuring concrete flooring that dates back to the 1920s. The analog telephone system, still in operation today, holds a legacy of at least 70 years. As new stands were constructed around IMS, power amplifiers from Navy ships became the source of power for the PA system. Though the system has undergone updates, including in 2022, its foundation originated around 70 years ago.

With the aid of modern technology, Will Curry has the ability to control the IMS PA system from anywhere using his phone. He can seamlessly play music, adjust audio in specific areas of the track, and perform numerous other functions. Join us as we uncover the intricacies of operating the Public Address system at IMS, including the pressures of Indy 500 Race Day and the significance of non-Race Days. We’ll also explore the recent updates made to the system during the offseason, and discover what it’s like for Will to work with both cutting-edge technology and remnants of analog systems.

Furthermore, we’ll discuss the noteworthy improvement in music selection at IMS in recent years, a change for which Doug Boles, President of IMS, credits Will Curry. Learn about the inspiration behind enhancing the music experience for race attendees. Get ready to embark on a captivating journey through the realm of sound at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where tradition meets modern innovation.