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Exceeding Standards: Stewart Independent Productions Puts It All Together
Working sound gigs in high school, Shannon Stewart and Dan DeVisser didn't know...
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The four DJ rigs are mixed down to an SC48 at stage left, and from there, signal goes to HDL 20-A main arrays. Add TT25-SMA monitors for in fill and eight TTS18-A subwoofers to deliver the serious low end that the applications requires, and as Stewart notes, “we’re ready to blow the roof off the place.”

Next up, the team and many of these components move along to the opening of the Academic Year Mass Picnic, an evening event for 7,000 that takes place on a large campus quad, featuring live music.

This is followed by a large outdoor comedy show as well as starting load-in for the culmination of kick-off week, the B1 Block Party. “The student techs receive a true taste of live event production during that first week. It’s almost a baptism by fire,” Stewart chuckles.

The comedy show requires setting up a hydraulic Stageline SL100 stage, as well as a Barco B10 video wall and a significant complement of RCF loudspeakers joined by an SC48 console. At the same time, another Stageline stage, this time a SL320, and two Barco video walls for the B1 Block Party need to be put together outside the football stadium.

Meeting Expectations
This year’s Block Party reinforcement system, serving up a national artist as well as a variety of top regional artists for several thousand in attendance, was significant in scale. As a result, Edge ShowTek of Chicago was contracted to fulfill Stewart Independent’s design calling for 12-deep NEXO GEO D line arrays for mains, flown left and right, and joined by NEXO RS18 subwoofers in mono blocks on the deck.

The Block Party by day during setup, and later at full throttle.

Several HDL 20-A array modules were posted on stage to provide stage fill, with performers served by several TT25 and TT45 wedges positioned as needed. The national act had Yamaha consoles at its disposal, including PM5DRH at front of house and an M7CL for monitors. SC48s did the same for the regional acts.

“This system worked really well. Particularly for national acts, the audience expects it to be loud,” Stewart notes. “But because it was held outside and there are residential areas nearby, the sound also needed to be contained. What we were able to attain were the expected concert levels volume and punch that dropped off where we needed it to.” 

The Block Party marks the culmination of a very hectic, concentrated period of activity for professional and student tech teams alike, but the time for breathing room is brief, with the university launching into a steady stream of events, programs and more for the next several months.

“It’s vital that our systems, as well as the way we implement them, be done with the right combination of quality and efficiency,” Stewart concludes. “We must allow enough time to insure a high level of service- and face-time with the client and it’s constituents. They have very high standards, and exceeding those standards is something we’re very proud of.”

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