VUE Audiotechnik Debuts New al-12 Arrays At BottleRock Napa Valley
Delicate Productions provides full production support for Food, Wine and Music Festival while deploying new arrays at the Miner Family Winery Stage.

July 01, 2016, by PSW Staff


Bay area based Delicate Productions provided full production including staging, lighting, video, and audio on all five stages of this year’s BottleRock. 

For the fourth year edition of the Napa, CA based Food, Wine and Music Festival; Delicate Productions deployed VUE Audiotechnik loudspeakers including the brand new al-12 array which was utilized for its inaugural run on the Miner Family Winery Stage.

This first public outing saw a 20-box main system supported by 16 brand new double 21-inch, self-powered ACM subwoofers, supplying sound for the fans of such performers as Buddy Guy, Diego’s Umbrella, Pimps of Joytime, and Atlas Genius.

The mains setup for the outdoor stage included 20 al-12 elements in 10-box stereo arrays as predicted by Easy Focus 3.0 and only minimal EQ points were added to balance the covered outdoor venue ceiling and reflections off the concrete building lining up the length of the audience area on one side.

Delicate Productions front of house engineer for the Miner Family Winery stage Sebastien Poux’s first impression of the al-12s was solid: “They pack a punch. There’s plenty of power out of the box, which basically lead to a lot of headroom on my master fader.” This should not be surprising as each of the al-12 drivers was designed from the ground up for higher efficiency increased power handling and reduced power compression.

Every individual component development project in the al-12 has carefully weighed the design trade-offs—optimizing parameters for maximum output capability and heat dissipation, frequency response linearity, duty-cycle reliability, and minimum size and weight. Pimps of Joytime front of house engineer, Stephen Asafano was also pleased: “I was particularly impressed with low-mid response of the boxes, lots of warmth and punch, without feeling boxy or muddy. I never felt like I was fighting with the system to get a desired result.”

16 hs-221 subs were placed in a cardioid pattern on the ground along the stage, bringing the low-end coverage down to 25Hz. The user-selectable low-pass filters for the hs-221 Sub can be adjusted in the SystemVUE software for any venue setting, with the hs-221 default being set at 70Hz. The hs-221 subs are only slightly larger than most dual 18-inch subwoofers, thanks to VUE’s ACM technology, which combines both band-pass and vented alignments into a single, compact footprint providing more output and definition. These subs provide 143dB peak SPL in free field and 149db peak SPL in a half space environment.

George Edwards, Delicate Productions GM, has given his stamp of approval: “VUE’s chief designer Michael Adams and VUE have outdone themselves with the al-12 system and the new 21-inch hs-221 sub. The system has all of the features that any touring engineer would expect.” Edwards continues: “The fly hardware and dolly carts are self explanatory and easy to deploy, which is integral for a touring system. The audio quality is easily in the top five systems.”

Additional front fill was provided by four single al-8s spread out on top of the hs-221 subs. Sound on-stage was also an all VUE offering with hm-112s and hm-212s stage monitors extending the VUE sound for the artists, and hs-28s with two hs-12s placed atop per side as side fills.

“The combo of the dual-21 subs with the al-12s was really nice - the al-12 gives you all the range and power you need. Looking forward to hearing them again,” concludes Poux.

The festival’s main stage, the Jam Cellars stage, featured a 3-story high VIP area with 17 premium private skyboxes. Time-aligned VUE h-8 loudspeakers extended the main PA sound into the partially covered premium boxes. One larger VIP-box had two VUE h-8 loudspeakers, while the other 16 VIP boxes had one each.

William “Snoopy” Fuquay of WFA Audio was in charge of the h-8 with Dante setup for the VIP section and ran the sound with Delicate Productions’ 20-yr-old networking guru Jacob Choplin. Both the sound and video were delivered with zero time discrepancy thanks to Dante networking platform.

“We used Dante to send the show feed 1000ft from a DME Rack at front of house through a Cisco FSP 10 port switch down Tech-10 military grade fiber running to the stage then crossing over to house left, and then literally through the brush and tree-line to Skybox control located under the first level of the VIP Skyboxes structure. We used the same Switch at skybox control via laptop and Dante Controller to feed one Cisco 10 port switch. The 10 Port at control fed 2 Cisco 20 port switches each switch supporting nine of the VUE h-8 self-powered speakers. We elected to feed each speaker directly from the switches, as jumping through the h-8 might have some latency issues.  We also elected to do so since it would also be easier to trouble shoot, but we had no trouble whatsoever- the system was rock solid.” Explains Fuquay.

SystemVUE Software was used to control volume and delay times: “No EQ was used as the h-8s are brilliant out of the box, thanks to Michael Adams”, VUE’s chief designer - or “The Tone Doctor”, as Fuquay refers to him. 18 separate delay times were set down the line, with the only odd area being the last and furthest VIP box because the delay array out in the field sneaked in a bit, but the signal was still fully usable. “You would be looking for my body if I asked the guys to move the delay array back another 20 feet.” Laughs Fuquay.

VUE Audiotechnik

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VUE Audiotechnik Debuts New al-12 Arrays At BottleRock Napa Valley