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Rat Sound Debuts New EAW Anya System At Coachella Festival

The sound system in the GOBI tent at Coachella employed seven Anya modules per side with a single out fill module flanking a main column of six.

By PSW Staff May 16, 2013

The Gobi tent stage before the second weekend with video screens still lowered because of the dust storm. The EAW Anya system remained in place throughout the two week installation, including the entire dust storm. On page 2 of this post, we see an upward view of an Anya array.

Rat Sound deployed the new Anya system from Eastern Acoustic Works (EAW) at the Coachella Festival’s Gobi tent.

The system employed seven Anya modules per side with a single out fill module flanking a main column of six.

This was the first use of the new Anya system for a public event, and the Coachella Festival is one of the largest and best known festivals in the world.

Rat Sound principals Dave Rat and Jon Monson, who worked with EAW to develop the MicroWedge line of stage monitors, contributed throughout the research and development process for Anya.

According to EAW President Jeff Rocha, the decision to deploy the initial pilot build for the high-profile event came relatively late in the planning cycle.

“When Dave and Jon came to the factory to work with the final engineering prototypes, they asked if they could use the first 16-module build live at Coachella,” Rocha said. “Naturally, we were thrilled to showcase our new product at one of our industry’s most important and demanding events.”

The Coachella Festival, held at the Empire Polo Grounds near Palm Springs, features two massive outdoor stages and three very large tent stages. The Gobi tent’s audience area measures roughly 165 feet wide by 200 feet deep (50m x 61m).

Gobi hosted performances from midday until past midnight three days running on back-to-back weekends. Weather conditions ranged from 50° to 100° F and included a once-in-a-decade dust storm that shut many roads for a number of days.

Despite the many challenging conditions, the fully integrated Anya system performed flawlessly for the entire run of the show.

“The Anya system sounded great and did an excellent job of covering the space,” Dave Rat said. “It is really exciting to have a hands-on experience with a new technology system thrown right into a challenging, real-world application.

“It’s especially interesting that even though this was the first time this system was deployed, we were able to hear a wide variety of engineers mix on it. It became readily apparent that Anya is positioned to become a world-class system.

“Anya fulfilled its sonic and performance expectations, solidifying Rat Sound’s commitment to take delivery of the first 40 production units in June.”

Notable performers on the Gobi stage included: Foals, TNGHT, Janelle Monae, Pusha-T, Purity Ring, Booka Shade, OMD, Father John Misty, Japandroids, Spiritualized, Lee “Scratch” Perry, Jello Biafra and many, many more. The stage saw a total of 37 performers each weekend, and the wide range of musical styles demonstrated the versatility that the Anya system provides.

Anya uses a comprehensive technology platform that EAW calls Adaptive Performance. Adaptive Performance allows an Anya array to rapidly generate virtually any three-dimensional wavefront surface and simultaneously optimize the system frequency response to perfectly match the optimal requirements of any venue.

Specifically, the tremendously high resolution of transducers allows for the use of devices that are perfectly sized to reproduce their target bandwidths. “Gone are the break up modes of large format compression drivers,” Rocha said.

“Each Anya module incorporates a sophisticated acoustics package that includes 22 transducers that are independently driven by 22 amplifier channels and 22 channels of DSP,” Rocha continued. “The horizontally trapezoidal columns hang straight, allowing out fill arrays to hang adjacent to the mains.

“Gaining so much control over so many devices means that small relative processing differences between neighboring devices result in significant changes in three-dimensional directivity while still maintaining an extraordinary impulse response.”

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