In support of the new album Rewind, Rascal Flatts as well as supporting artists Sheryl Crow and Gloriana have embarked on a new concert tour, with audio provider Sound Image (Escondido, CA and Nashville) supplying a large-scale main system headed by Harman’s JBL Professional flagship VTX Series line arrays and Crown Audio I-Tech HD power amplifiers.
Specifically, the system incorporates 60 JBL VTX V25 line array loudspeakers and 32 S28 subwoofers, complemented by six JBL VerTec VT4889 line array loudspeakers and two VerTec VT4880 arrayable subwoofers for side fills. The loudspeakers are driven by 72 of Crown’s flagship I-Tech 12000HD amplifiers.
In a typical configuration, 30 VTX V25 loudspeakers and 16 S28 subs are flown on either side of the stage with three VT4889 loudspeakers flown on either side and aimed towards the stage as monitors, and two VT4880 subs are placed on the ground of the stage floor, aimed towards the performers.
“Everybody likes the new rigging system used on the VTX arrays,” says Jeremy Overall, Sound Image systems tech. “Everything goes together pretty easily, which is a huge advantage when you have to set up literally 100 loudspeakers night after night.”
The VTX proprietary S.A.F.E. suspension system is streamlined for speed and efficiency with improved, integrated hardware for faster setup and greater security. Overall and his crew are also using the new JBL VTX vertical transporters, rolling frames that facilitate the transport of VTX line arrays for tour sound applications. “It actually makes moving all these arrays pretty easy,” he notes.
Sound Image was one of the first tour sound providers to add the JBL VTX Series to its inventory. “We got the second VTX rig and have been carrying it for about a year and a half,” Overall says. “It’s a significant improvement from anything else we’ve used with a lot more bottom end and good punch. The new D2 dual compression driver and waveguide really smooth out the high end – there’s no harshness to be heard.”
The Rascal Flatts rig is set up and tuned using JBL HiQnet Performance Manager software. “It’s so user-friendly – everything we need is right there,” Overall says. “For examplem when we need to associate speakers to their amplifiers everything is built-in on a single tab. When we need to configure delay and processing, we just tell the program what speakers we’re setting up and all the control panels come right up.”
Overall is also a big fan of the I-Tech HD Series amps, noting that Sound Image has had dozens of the amps working reliably on the road for two years. “I’m not the first person to say this but the amps work really well with the VTX arrays,” due to built-in presets that enable the VTX models to be optimized for frequency response, crossover points and slopes and other sonic attributes.