St. Louis–based freelance sound engineer Doug Fowler has developed a fast, efficient method for setting up and tuning PA systems.
Fowler relies on Line 6 XD-V digital wireless systems, Josephson C550H precision condenser microphones and AFMG SysTune 1.2 real-time measurement software to equalize and align all system elements immediately after the sound system is hung.
“Measurement microphones are designed for mostly flat, full-range response,” notes Fowler. “The Line 6 system is digital, has no companding and measures well electrically so it can be trusted for measurement work. Being wireless allows us to move around quickly, without messing with cables. It speeds things up quite a bit.”
Because his measurement microphones aren’t designed in handheld versions, Doug Fowler runs his Josephsons through a Line 6 XD-V70 Bodypack System. Connecting them requires a TA4-to-XLR adapter and an in-line phantom power module, which in turn plugs into the measurement microphone.
The entire rig is then mounted on a telescoping tripod stand for easy portability. At the other end of the system are the Line 6 receivers, which feed an audio interface connected to Fowler’s laptop running SysTune.
“We tune the PA system to a target curve, finding and addressing the non-linearities using multiple channel averaging,” says Fowler. “That includes subwoofers on the ground, PA in the air, plus any and all outfills and frontfills. The key is to be fast and accurate, so the crew can then finish their load in.
Sometimes I only get 10-15 minutes to tune the system. SysTune 1.2 Delay Analysis makes the alignment task much easier, and this in combination with the Line 6 system allows me to work more quickly.”
Working with wireless measurement mics has made the process much more efficient. “It varies by venue, but typically I do a four-microphone setup, two wired and two wireless,” Fowler explains. “I control the SysTune software by wireless remote to my iPad, so I’m fully mobile. With an assistant, we can cover a lot of ground quickly. Line 6 digital wireless gives us the agility we need, and meets the exacting technical requirements of a measurement microphone. It’s the right tool for the job.”