More than 120 pro audio professionals from around the world gathered in Houston, Texas in mid March to attend the Electro-Voice PA Roundup, an audio expo hosted by the Bosch Communications Systems Division.
The event was timed to coincide with the three-week-long Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo at Reliant Park—attended by around 1.8 million people annually—where one of the world’s largest Electro-Voice X-Line sound systems is deployed annually by Houston-based EV partners LD Systems for the biggest live concert event series in the world (with a total annual attendance of around 1.2 million).
The system at Reliant Stadium includes 112 EV X-Line boxes powered by an equal number of EV P3000RL and TG-7 remote control amplifiers running IRIS-Net control and supervision software. For the first time in 2009, all system processing was via EV NetMax with FIR-drive.
The PA Roundup’s wide-ranging program of seminars, demonstrations, and presentations was held at LD Systems’ state-of-the-art, 85,000 square-foot facility, where the EV team brought guests up to date on the latest leading-edge audio technologies, including FIR-drive, NetMax N8000-1500 processing, EV transducers, amplifiers, and rigging, and a preview of IRIS-Net V2.0 system control and supervision software. The new PRO6 mixing console from Midas was also on hand.
The event saw a gathering of EV engineering, product management, and sales team members on an unprecedented scale for an event of this kind. Along with the familiar faces of senior EV Engineers, Product Managers, and Tech Support personnel, attendees were introduced to the young engineering talents behind some of the company’s most recent audio innovations.
The overarching theme for the event was partnership. To that effect, LD Systems’ Rob McKinley and Robert Ausmus gave a detailed presentation on their long association with the Houston Rodeo, describing how they continue to raise the bar for audio production there year after year with EV systems and hands-on support from the EV team.
The Q&A session focused on the IRIS-Net and NetMax processing and control solutions that have radically streamlined LD’s hardware deployment for the rodeo while vastly improving sonic performance. Following that, guests headed to 73,000-capacity Reliant Stadium to hear LD’s efforts first hand for a night at the rodeo followed by Clint Black live in concert.
In addition, special guests Phil Scobee of Morris Entertainment and Harry Witz of Clair Global gave presentations covering their groundbreaking work with EV at the highest level of touring. Scobee walked guests through his X-Line/NetMax/IRIS-Net system design for the Kenny Chesney tour – the largest touring EV rig in the world; Witz shared stories from his long association with EV and discussed his latest X-Array system design for AC/DC’s mammoth Black Ice world tour, currently underway.
“These are obviously challenging times in our industry,” says Thomas Hansen, VP Americas, Communications Systems Division, Bosch Security Systems, “but Bosch is being pro-active about the positive aspects – providing solutions with which our customers can grow and, of course, getting together and having a good time. The enthusiasm our customers showed by flying in from all around the world showed we’re on track; it’s important for them to have confidence in us and the equipment we produce, and our engineering team demonstrated that they are the best around. Phil Scobee and Harry Witz were, as always, great ambassadors for the brand, and their stories showed the heights we can achieve together. We would like to thank our friends at LD Systems for their superb hospitality and for being exemplary partners – there’s no better way to show EV at its best than by coming to Houston during the rodeo.”