All the arrows are pointing upward for young country star Amber Leigh. Recently named south Florida’s female artist of the year, this hard-working multi-instrumentalist has built an impressive fan base by doing about 200 gigs per year.
As an independent artist, Leigh has built a self-contained organization to assure the same high quality shows no matter where the road might take her. Recently, the band added a Turbosound NuQ portable PA system to their touring operation.
“The idea is to be truly independent without sacrificing quality,” notes Holland Ryan, sound engineer for Amber Leigh Band. “So we got a small NuQ system from Turbosound. It’s compact, lightweight, and sounds incredible. So if the venue we’re playing doesn’t have their own sound system, like an outdoor festival or a hotel ballroom, we can still put on a quality show. It’s been amazing.”
Amber Leigh agrees. “With Turbosound speakers, each night I step on stage, I know my performance will sound terrific, and the audience will get to hear the show the way it should sound every time,” she says.
The Turbosound NuQ system employed by Amber Leigh Band includes four NuQ-12DP mains, supported by four NuQ B-15DP subwoofers. All are self-powered, eliminating the need for an amp rack. Typically Ryan double-stacks a pair of the B-15DP subwoofers on either side of the stage, with one NuQ-12DP on a pole mount above them. A second NuQ-12DP is then mounted on a tripod stand to the side, aimed as needed depending on stage width and the shape of the venue.
“Having the NuQ system has been fantastic for us. It’s extremely flexible and easy to use,” says Holland Ryan. “I can use all of it or part of it and provide great sound for anywhere from 100 to 1,500 people. The subs are under 100 pounds and are on wheels, so I can set the whole thing up by myself if I have to. And with the on-board DSP, I can optimize the performance for any situation. All I need is a power source and we’re good to go.”
For an independent artist like Amber Leigh, a self-contained rig like the Turbosound NuQ system helps ensure consistent sound regardless of the venue. “That’s always been our goal,” notes Ryan. “We could be playing a gymnasium, an outdoor park, small club or a hotel, and know that we’re going to sound good. Everyone who hears it is intrigued at how compact the setup is, and how polished and professional it all sounds and looks. It’s the kind of thing that gets you invited back.”
For gigs around their home base in Delray Beach, the Amber Leigh Band travels by van, carrying everything they need in a 6x10-foot trailer. The Turbosound NuQ comprises the PA system while a rack of in-ear systems provides monitors for the five-piece group, with Holland Ryan controlling it all from a single Allen & Heath iLive-T112 console. “The simple fact is, you can’t always afford to hire a full PA and crew for every gig,” he explains. “Being self-contained means we can do more gigs and know that the audience is getting great sound, no matter what kind of venue it is.”
Having used the Turbosound NuQ system for a couple months now, Holland Ryan is convinced the band made a smart choice. “The NuQ is the cleanest, clearest, flattest sounding box I’ve heard in a very long time,” he concludes. “The output they provide in such a compact size is almost insane. I can produce sound in the mid-90s decibels for over 1,000 people and still have plenty of headroom to spare. And when I push the system close to its limits at big shows, it doesn’t get distorted, and it stays accurate, with none of the midrange honk you get from a lot of other systems. It’s really amazing.”