Norwest Productions, Australia’s largest audio services provider, deployed new EAW KF740 line arrays for one of the main stages featuring artists such as Bjorn Again and Orbital at the Playground Weekender Music Festival.
Held near Wisemans Ferry (northwest of Sydney), the uniquely Australian music festival has emerged as an eclectic gathering featuring a diverse mix of international and local artists, coupled with a relaxed outdoor atmosphere featuring multiple music stages.
The system deployed by Norwest Productions was headed by 24 high-output, 3-way KF740 modules flown in two arrays (each with 12 modules) on either side of the stage.
The arrays were augmented with eight EAW SB1002 dual-18 and 16 EAW SB1000z large-format subwoofers, as well as four EAW KF650z compact arry loudspeakers offering 60-degree horizontal dispersion for front fill. The Norwest crew had the entire system flown in under an hour.
Powersoft DIGAM K10 amplifiers powered the KF740s, and Lab.gruppen FP6400 amplifiers drove the subs.
“One of the advantages of using this array is that it isn’t as heavy as some other arrays, and still packs a lot of punch,” observes Scott Harrison, Audio Systems Engineer at Norwest Productions. “As we were hanging [the system off] of the stage roof superstructure, weight was very important.
“Given the short time frame we had to get the PA in the air, the easy rigging was a great advantage. With input from EAW’s Resolution software, we got a hang that looked like what the computer said it should, and covered all the area it needed to. From start to finish we had both of our 12-box hangs flown in under an hour.”
“We were also able to keep the rig down to one amp rack per side, plus a sub rack,” Harrison adds.
Mixers and technicians who worked that stage at Playground Weekender offered positive comments. “All the engineers who came to mix were impressed with the sound of the PA,” notes Harrison. “In particular, I had comments about how even the sound was, in both planes – left to right, and the transitions between boxes front to back – how it had a great presence without being overpowering, and how well it carried right out past 250 feet from the stage.”
The rig operated at medium-to-high SPL during the weekend for an estimated crowd of approximately 10,000 people. “We never saw a sign of a clip light or any signs of speaker stress,” Harrison says, noting the diversity of artists using the system, ranging from 3-piece bands to 25-piece orchestras, as well a choir.
“The tonal character of the system was considered excellent. I thought the SPL and clarity of the boxes was great, and when combined with the weight/size combo and the easy rigging, it goes up fast, and doesn’t disappoint. I’d definitely use it again.”