Thursday, August 06, 2015
K-array Introduces KR802 Portable Line Array
Self-powered stereo package claims to be the loudest portable system offered by the company.
K-array announces the new KR802 system featuring a pair of KMT218 (2x18-inch) subs each with 2 channels of 2500 Watts matched to two KY102 with 4-inch neodymium elements.
All the systems feature two channels of class D amplification, housed in the subwoofer.
The rear panel provides input for a balanced line signal, a balanced microphone signal with phantom power, and digital signals in AES/EBU protocol, also on an XLR for ease of cabling.
All DSP functions, including EQ can be controlled with remote managing software via USB or RS485, again conveniently on a standard XLR.
135 dB continuos, 142 dB peak
Fitted with integral handles
Line array emission wavefront
DSP on-board with dedicated presets
Fast set-up and dismantling system
Analog and digital AES-EBU inputs
Theatrical sound reiforcement
Cinema and special effects
RCF Rolls Out New VMAX Series Loudspeakers
The VMAX Series offers dedicated models with focused horn directivity designed for both portable and permanent situations.
RCF is now shipping their new lineup of passive solutions designed for the club and live sound markets.
The VMAX Series offers dedicated models with focused horn directivity designed for both portable and permanent situations.
Designed for both live situations and recorded music playback, the VMAX Series excels in vocal reproduction and subwoofer energy.
Included in the VMAX Series now shipping are 6-inch, 10-inch and 15-ich two-way cabinets, a dual 15-inch two-way cabinet, plus dual 18-inch dual 21-inch subwoofers. A V6-L dual 6-inch line array module is schedule to start shipping by the end of the year.
The VMAX Series incorporates exclusive RCF design and technologies including Precision Hyper-Vented woofers, high power and low distortion neo compression drivers, Constant Matching Design of transducers with lower crossover points to maximize efficiency and output, CMD Coverage Matching Design providing consistent horizontal and vertical pattern control, and their exclusive LICC Crossover Systems matching amplification and control system to fully optimize performance and long-term durability.
The sound performance of the VMAX Series is accomplished by RCF using larger voice coils with inside/outside windings for better heat dissipation and mechanical resistance, high performance matched compression drivers enabling RCF to lower the crossover point for improved sound quality and musical clarity, mid-bass transducers providing accurate frequency response linearity with very low distortion, and designing cabinets of compact dimensions to the acoustic output.
The cabinets are a reinforced construction birch with heavy duty coated weather resistant polyurea paint, free from any spurious vibrations. The grilles is an epoxy coated heavy duty steel grille, both cosmetically attractive and strong to handle the rigors of both club and portable use. The cabinets are multi-functional, with the two-way cabinets including pole mount cup and a number of M10 flypoints for permanent installation.
Let’s take a quick look at the VMAX Series:
V6 6” compact two-way
· 6” mid-bass with 1.8” voice coil + 1” titanium neo compression driver with 1.75” exit
· 250 watt AES
· 60 Hz-20 kHz
· 90x60 coverage pattern
· 124 dB max SPL
V10 10” compact two-way
· 10” mid-bass with 2.5” voice coil + 1” titanium neo compression driver with 1.75” exit
· 400 watt AES
· 60 Hz-20 kHz
· 90x60 coverage pattern
· 131 dB max SPL
V35 15” bass reflex two-way
· 15” Hyper-vented woofer with 4” voice coil + 3” titanium neo compression driver
· 900 watt AES
· 40 Hz-20 kHz
· 90x40 coverage pattern
· 132 dB max SPL
· Switchable bi-amp or full range
· Monitor cut on cabinet for low profile monitor positioning
V45 2x15” front-loaded two-way
· Dual 15” Hyper-vented ferrite woofers with 4” voice coil + 4” titanium neo compression driver
· 1800 watt AES
· 30 Hz -20 kHz
· 90x40 coverage pattern
· 137 dB max SPL
· Switchable bi-amp or full range
· Monitor cut on cabinet for low profile monitor positioning
V218-S 2x18” subwoofer
· Dual 18” Hyper-vented woofers with 4” voice coils
· 3000 watt AES
· 30 Hz-250 Hz
· 141 dB max SPL
· Switchable parallel or independent amplification
V221-S 2x21” subwoofer
· Dual 21” Hyper-vented woofers with 4.5” voice coils
· 4000 watt AES
· 25 Hz-200 Hz
· 143 dB max SPL
· Switchable parallel or independent amplification
Wednesday, August 05, 2015
Bose L1 Portable Systems Used At Timberland Corporate HQ
L1 systems used for artist performances, corporate presentations and more at Timberland company headquarters.
The New Hampshire headquarters of global lifestyle brand Timberland is host to not only corporate events for several hundred employees, but also the occasional musician who stops by for a visit and special performance.
For the best experience, Timberland relies on L1 portable line array systems from Bose Professional to fulfill its need for convenient and versatile audio systems for audiences of varying sizes.
The Timberland headquarters houses five Bose L1 systems, including the L1 Model II and L1 Compact.
The audio systems are able to handle everything from sound reinforcement for large corporate presentations and investor meetings, to playing recorded music for employee barbecues and community service events.
The Bose systems even provide audio backline for artist appearances on the back patio, where recent sets have featured singer-songwriter Andy Grammer, blues-rock legend George Thorogood and Dispatch/State Radio frontman Chad Urmston (aka Chadwick Stokes).
John Merrill, senior manager of facilities at Timberland, states, “We use our Bose systems on a daily basis, for a range of applications, and they always deliver. Recently, we hosted a large group of business analysts for a full day of events, and we used the systems for both pre-recorded and spoken presentations, as well as background music during the cocktail hour. The L1 systems provide crisp and clear sound, and their versatility means they can accommodate any artist who stops in to perform as well as a host of other applications. Even with daily use, the performance is consistent and reliable.”
Sound duties are split between the L1 Compact system for smaller speaking engagements or live or recorded music at small events, and the L1 Model II system with a B1 bass module and T1 ToneMatch audio engine, which provides multichannel mixing and proprietary presets for both mics and instruments. The L1 Model II is Timberland’s go-to system for large meetings with mixed audio needs – from microphones for speaking, to live or recorded music.
“We never have an event without Bose products. Since we began our relationship with Bose, they have gone above and beyond to provide personalized service for our organization,” notes Peter Dillon, lead concept developer for VF Corporation (Timberland’s parent company) and organizer of the musical performances at the Timberland headquarters.
“The Bose L1 systems provide tremendous peace of mind to everyone involved, including the artists. We can consistently expect high quality sound and the effortless set up allows for convenient use anywhere around campus. The ToneMatch audio engine allows us to save presets for returning artists so we can dial up the best sound again and again. We couldn’t ask for more.”
beyerdynamic Introduces DT 1770 PRO Reference Headphones
Tesla 2.0 drivers provide a high magnetic flux density for enhanced performance and accuracy in studio and live applications
beyerdynamic has introduced new DT 1770 PRO reference headphones, designed for studio and live applications and representing an evolution of the company’s DT 770 PRO headphones that have been utilized by professional engineers for decades.
The closed 250-ohm headphones incorporate Tesla 2.0 drivers characterized by a high magnetic flux density for enhanced performance and accuracy. A triple-layer compound membrane reduces unwanted partial vibrations, emphasizing brilliance in the reproduction of overtones and enhancing bass response.
In addition to sonic quality, the DT 1770 PRO offers an attractive design, with the clear, aesthetic contours reflecting the heritage of the DT 770 PRO while numerous details add fresh accents.
The exchangeable ear cushions are covered with soft velour or high-quality artificial leather. The circumaural ear cups provide high ambient noise reduction while fitting comfortably for long sessions. The spring-steel headband is adjustable and equipped with exchangeable padding.
The included coiled and straight cables are single-sided and attach securely to a lockable Mini XLR connector. A hard case protects the headphones and accessories during storage and transportation.
DT 1770 PRO headphones are handmade in Germany, come with recommended retail price of $599, and will be available in September at specialist stores and at www.beyerdynamic.com.
Transducer Type: Dynamic
Operating Principle: Closed
Frequency Response: 5 Hz - 40 kHz
Nominal Impedance: 250 ohms
Nominal SPL: 102 dB SPL (1 mW/500 Hz)
Maximum SPL: 125 dB SPL (200 mW/500 Hz)
T.H.D.: less than 0.05 percent (1 mW/500 Hz)
Nominal Power Handling: 200 mW
Sound Coupling To Ear: Circumaural
Weight (Without Cable): 388 g
Length/Type Of Cable: 3 m/straight cable or 5 m/coiled cable (stretched), each detachable with 3-pin mini XLR cable connector, single-sided
Connection: Gold-plated mini stereo jack (3.5 mm) & 1/4-inch adapter (6.35 mm)
World DJ Festival Deploys NEXO STM Series
Way Audio covers 90,000 EDM fans at Korea's Song-Am sports complex stadium in Chuncheon City.
Korea’s high-profile World DJ Festival makes good use of NEXO’s STM Series modular line array systems.
The annual EDM festival is held in the Song-Am sports complex stadium in Chuncheon City, and this year was headlined by French DJ Justice.
Now one of the biggest outdoor events in Asia, the Festival lasts two days, with a capacity of 90,000 EDM fans.
The event was previously held in Yang-Pyeong, but moved to Song-Am stadium in the famous nature and leisure resort of Gangwon province for the first time.
Rental company Way Audio is the regular audio service provider for the World DJ festival, and once again chose to deploy a large NEXO STM Series PA, using main arrays of 18x STM M46 mains and 18x STM B112 bass cabinets per side, together with 16x S118 subbass flown behind each main array.
Stage monitoring was delivered by STM groundstacks, each comprising a S118 sub with 3x STM M28 cabinets on top. Front-fill is provided by 14x NEXO PS15 cabinets. A DiGiCo SD10 is at front of house.
The DJ artist line-up was sourced from all over the world. As well as headliner Justice, the roster included DJ Snake, Julian Jordan, Swanky Tunes, Henry Fong, Cash Cash, Dubvision and Paul Mayson.
Stone Harbor Municipal Courthouse Upgrades With Yamaha
The new system includes one MTX5D processor, an XMV4140 amplifier and VXS8 and VXC8 ceiling loudspeakers.
The Stone Harbor Municipal Courthouse located in Stone Harbor, New Jersey consists of a single 100-seat courtroom on the second floor of the Borough Building.
The courthouse recently upgraded the PA to a Yamaha Commercial Installation Solutions (CIS) system, thanks to the talents of ACIR Professional of Mays Landing, NJ.
The new system is comprised of one Yamaha MTX5D processor, an EX18 rack mounted input extender, Dugan MY16 card, one XMV4140 amplifier, a wireless DCP4V4S-US, two VXS8 and four VXC8 ceiling speakers.
“The Yamaha CIS system is set up to accommodate zoning and mix minus engineering.” states Bobby Harper, vice president/sales, ACIR Professional.
“These features are required to get the best tonal quality and gain before feedback on podium-type microphones.” Typically, the court clerk or deputy clerk would control the system. “Since there is only one courtroom handling all of Stone Harbor court appearances and town meetings, the Yamaha DCP4V4S handles the required presets to turn microphones on and off remotely.”
“The team from ACIR is nothing but professional.” states Carrie Bosacco, CMR, deputy clerk/deputy registrar, Borough of Stone Harbor.
“They asked what we were looking for in a sound system and definitely delivered. The system we had was lacking in several areas; it was distorted and if you sat in the back of the courtroom, you couldn’t hear a thing. With the new Yamaha CIS System, the quality of sound is unbelievable.”
Yamaha Commercial Installation Solutions
Tuesday, August 04, 2015
Meyer Sound Chosen For Franco Dragone’s New Show At Lido de Paris Cabaret
The exotic production of Paris Merveilles relies on UPQ-1P loudspeakers and 1100-LFC low-frequency control elements for the 1,100 seat venue.
Director Franco Dragone’s new show Paris Merveilles (English: Paris Wonders) has recently debuted at the Lido de Paris cabaret in France with Meyer Sound loudspeakers.
A lavish re-imagining of the Bluebell Girls, the exotic production relies on UPQ-1P loudspeakers and 1100-LFC low-frequency control elements to diffuse balanced audio throughout the chandelier-laden, 1,100-seat venue.
“With the Meyer Sound system, I can get even more SPL out of boxes that are smaller than the ones they replaced, which expands the sight lines at many seats,” says Steve Dubuc, primary system designer for Paris Merveilles.
“The system was chosen due to the number of constraints presented by the Lido design, including a very low trim height. With Meyer Sound, I could be sure the sonic signature would remain uniform throughout the space.”
A veteran theatrical sound designer who now runs his own consulting and design firm, Dubuc’s past experience with Meyer Sound played a large role in his loudspeaker choice for the Lido.
“As always, I look for systems that have the best sound and are the easiest to implement, and in those respects, Meyer Sound products are the best I have ever used,” he says. “The work John Meyer has done over the last 30 years is simply second to none.”
The new Lido system deploys side clusters of three-each and a center cluster of four UPQ-1P loudspeakers, in addition to two ceiling-mounted 1100-LFC elements. Three clusters of three UPJ-1XP VariO loudspeakers cover rear seating, and six UPJuniorTM VariO loudspeakers complete the main room coverage. On-stage foldback and behind-stage cueing are supplied by two ceiling-mounted MJF-212A stage monitors and four UP-4XP loudspeakers, respectively. A Galileo loudspeaker management system with three Galileo 616 processors handles optimization and signal distribution.
The system was supplied by Paris-based Best Audio, Meyer Sound’s France distributor. Marc De Fouquières adapted Dubuc’s design to on-site requirements and tuned the system with assistance from Cyril Ubersfeld.
“The management is thrilled with the results,” reports Corrado Campanelli, production sound designer for the show. “It’s great to hear people who have worked here for many years saying, ‘The Lido has never sounded like this before.’”
After directing many prestigious Cirque du Soleil shows, Franco Dragone launched his own production company in 2000 and has since earned accolades for Le Rêve and Celine Dion’s A New Day… in Las Vegas, House of Dancing Water in Macau, and most recently the The Han Show in Wuhan, China.
Located on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, the Lido de Paris cabaret has presented revues with pre-show dining since 1946.
Community Announces R SERIES Compatibility With EASE Focus 2
Allows system designers to create accurate 3D models of complex R SERIES arrays using EASE Focus 2
Community Professional has added R SERIES to its growing library of manufacturer-authorized EASE Focus 2 GLL data files.
It allows system designers to create accurate 3D models of complex R SERIES arrays using the EASE Focus 2 software application from AFMG.
R SERIES loudspeakers are designed to deliver musical sound quality with high voice intelligibility in continuous outdoor exposure.
Dave Howden, director of technical services for Community, states, “Because EASE Focus 2 makes it easy to see the direct-field coverage of a loudspeaker array, it’s a great prototyping tool.
“Community is pleased to support system designers by providing manufacturer-authorized EASE Focus 2 GLL files for a wide range of our products.”
EASE Focus 2 is a free application available directly from AFMG (here). Manufacturer-authorized EASE and EASE Focus 2 GLL files for Community loudspeakers may be downloaded from the Community website (here).
EASE Focus 2 model of a soccer field with R SERIES loudspeakers.
Portland’s Revolution Hall Steps Up To Ashly
The former George Washington High School adds nXp 8004 network amplifiers as part of the conversion to mixed-use space.
Revolution Hall in southeast Portland, Oregon is the former George Washington High School which closed in 1981 due to low enrollment and remained unoccupied until investors purchased the former school in 2013 and remodeled it as a mixed-use space.
Classrooms became offices, the roof became a deck suitable for weddings and other events and the old auditorium became the 800 seat Revolution Hall with new network amplifiers from Ashly Audio.
Rose City Sound, a local audio rental, engineering, and installation firm, designed and installed Revolution Hall’s sound reinforcement system using Meyer Sound and Fulcrum loudspeakers along with a Midas console.
“They’ve got twelve Fulcrum loudspeakers on stage – ten FA-15s and two FA-12s – and apart from that, Ashly is the entire monitoring system,” explained Eric Iverson, owner and chief at Rose City Sound.
“Ashly has a nice FIR filter implementation in its Protea digital processing software, which allowed us to simply select the Fulcrum loudspeakers from a drop-down menu.”
The Midas Pro 6 console at front of house is capable of delivering twelve independent monitor mixes. Those mixes feed three Ashly nXp 8004 network amplifiers, each of which offers four 800W amplifier channels with built-in Protea digital signal processing.
“We’ve been using Ashly gear for a long time, and we continue to use it because it’s always been very reliable,” Iverson said. “The power density and price point on the nXp amplifiers is excellent, and they offer us the ability to upgrade to Dante if the owners of Revolution Hall decide they want to go digital from the board. All-in-all, it’s a simple but extremely powerful monitoring rig.”
The front of house system is entirely self-contained. Eight Meyer JM-1P arrayable, self-powered point-source boxes with proprietary Meyer front-end processing start it and complete it. Revolution had a few soft-openings, but the official opening happened on April 27 with a concert by the Drive-By Truckers. Another regular performer at Revolution Hall will be Live Wire! – NPR’s twenty-first-century variety show.
North Carolina’s Elon University Selects Meyer Sound CAL
Audio & Light of Greensboro installs UP-4XP loudspeakers and M1D-Sub subwoofers in the acoustically challenging Great Hall.
North Carolina’s Elon University has selected a steerable Meyer Sound CAL column array loudspeakers for the Great Hall, a large common room with acoustically reflective architectural elements typically found in centuries-old European institutions.
“The plan was to use the room for everything from video game tournaments and movies to graduation-related ceremonies, and CAL has proven ideal on all counts,” says Joe Davis, assistant director of campus technology support and solutions architect for Elon University.
“The vast expanse of windows on three sides, plus one largely flat, sheetrock wall create a highly reverberant space that could be over-excited by amplified sound. And any permanent system had to be practically invisible while still providing high-level, full bandwidth sound. The CALs disappear into the décor and really do the job.”
Two, color-matched CAL 96 loudspeakers are mounted 13 feet high alongside wood-finish columns flanking the hall’s massive fireplace. Programmed with a downward beam tilt, each CAL loudspeaker covers half the floor area, which measures a total of 88 x 158 feet with a peak ceiling height of 43 feet.
Two UP-4XP loudspeakers fill in the extreme side corners, while two M1D-Sub subwoofers are concealed in the central columns. A Galileo loudspeaker management system with one Galileo 408 processor provides audio distribution and optimization. The room’s complete AV infrastructure was designed and installed by Audio & Light of Greensboro, N.C.
“The real calling card of CAL in the Great Hall is its intelligibility—it provides amazing clarity and natural voice quality right to the back corners of the room,” reports Brian Cox, sales engineer for Audio & Light.
“We initially considered some other steerable column arrays for the room, but after hearing CAL at an InfoComm demo we were convinced it would provide a more powerful and musical solution. The end result was all we had expected—sound levels are practically flat across the entire room, and though it’s not meant to be a rock ’n’ roll system, it gives you the output and low end for music reproduction.”
The Great Hall audio system also incorporates a Biamp Tesira DSP unit for mixing and processing, with a variety of inputs available for connecting microphones, a Blu-ray player, or video game consoles. Two Shure wireless receivers are available, pairing with either SM58 handheld or WL185 lavalier transmitters. The audio system supports two NanoLumens video screens. A Crestron CP3N system handles overall AV control, with four user interfaces around the room.
Ransom Steele Tavern Renovates With Yamaha And NEXO
Nomad Sound helps to update the historical Apalachin Tavern in upstate New York transition into a modern music venue.
Originally built in 1830, the historical Apalachin Tavern in upstate New York has been reborn as the Ransom Steele Tavern, filling a hole in this neck of the woods by providing a place to eat, drink, and listen to bluegrass/blues folk music.
Nomad Sound of Austin, Texas was hired to design and install a serious sound system that would not compromise the look or feel of the renewed Tavern, they found the solutions in Yamaha and NEXO.
“I initially did a walk through of the building and thought the NEXO PS 15 and 10 Series combination would be perfect to cover the space and look good as well,” states Jamie Wellwarth, production manager at Nomad Sound.
The NEXO system consists of two PS15s on the main floor PA, two PS10s on the upper level to cover the balcony, four LS18 subs, four NEXO 4x4 power amps powering the system, and a Yamaha CL3 digital audio console at front of house with an iPad used for monitors thanks to the console’s StageMix App, and a Rio3224-D input/output box.”
“The building has been completely renovated inside and out, states co-owner Michael Liberty. The bar was left in the same spot as it has been since the 1940’s but everything around it has changed. It is a two level venue with catwalks and a balcony to view the music from, as well as a dance floor. The opening weekend was the start of a new life for the historical tavern. It was like witnessing a barn raising all over again, difficult to describe in words, but you can catch a glimmer of something special, seeing the old Tavern renewed and revitalized.”
Wellwarth said he mixed the second show at the tavern to ensure there was even coverage throughout the room. “The system sounds great and the wood in the room adds to its rich sound.”
“The system sounds clear and very powerful, says Liberty. It fills the entire room without blowing people out of their shoes with a very crisp, clean sound. You are able to detect each and every instrument being played.”
Stefan Bouts and Randell Squires of Nomad worked alongside Wellwarth as installation techs.
VUE Audiotechnik Delivers At BottleRock Festival
Miner Family Winery Stage features al-Class line arrays, h-Class subwoofers, side-fills and stage monitors with V Series system engines for amplification.
BottleRock Festival in Napa Valley welcomed over 100,000 fans and more than 70 acts featured Robert Plant, Snoop Dogg, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Public Enemy, No Doubt and Imagine Dragons performing on five different stages.
One of those stages - the Miner Family Winery Stage - featured an exclusive lineup of VUE Audiotechnik products including al-Class line arrays for mains, h-Class subwoofers, side-fills and stage monitors, and V Series system engines for amplification.
The immense undertaking of complete technical production for BottleRock from staging to sound to video & lighting was provided by Delicate Productions, with Jason Alt, president of Delicate Productions, and George Edwards, GM of San Francisco facility of Delicate Productions at the reigns.
Fans of acts performing on the Miner Family Winery Stage - which included Los Lobos, AER, Xavier Rudd, Napa Crossroads featuring David Pack, Grizfolk and Lettuce - were treated to VUE’s al-Class line array systems paired with VUE’s V Series systems engines for amplification and networked DSP.
Each side of the main PA was outfitted with ten al-8 high output line array cabinets hung over four al-4 subcompact line array cabinets used for front- and down-fill. Additional front-fill was provided by four stacks of two al-4s arrayed along the stagelip. The al-8 employs dual 8-inch woofers, four 4-inch Kevlar/Neodymium mid-frequency drivers and dual 1-inch high-frequency compression drivers, while the al-4s each house dual 4-inch Kevlar/Neodymium woofers and one HF compression driver. The high-frequency elements for both models utilize VUE’s proprietary Truextent beryllium driver technology, which reduces mechanical breakup while improving linearity and high-frequency extension.
Audio engineers manning the desk for acts on the Miner Family Winery Stage were impressed with the results.
Tib Csabai has been mixing front-of-house for 15 years, the last year and a half for alt-rock act Grizfolk. “Given this band and my personal taste,” Csabai says, “I want what’s coming out of the PA system to be about as flat and representative as what’s coming from the console. Good coverage is important too, but a neutral-sounding PA is key. If I want it to rock a little harder, have more edge, or have it be smoother when I’m mixing jazz, I like to be able to control that.”
“The guys in Grizfolk do a lot of harmonies so the vocal range needs to be on top,” continues Csabai. “I didn’t have any issues getting the vocals up on top of the band. Two areas where PA systems tend to be trouble for me are the high-mid area (2 to 4 kHz tends to be kind of stabby), and then there’s usually some funny business going on in the low-mids, which doesn’t sound right. I found myself not having to make corrections to those areas on the VUE PA because it was so smooth. I’ll definitely be happy to see this PA again.”
“I mixed on the VUE system tonight and it sounded great,” agrees Mark Allsbaugh, front of house engineer, Lettuce. “I loved it. The VUE system was nice, clean, and rich. I had a good experience mixing the show and I look forward to the next time I can mix on a VUE system.”
As Deanne Franklin, front of house engineer for Napa Crossroads at the festival, with an impressive list of bands she’s mixed since 1982 (Tom Waits, David Byrne, Sonic Youth & The Breeders), reveals, “It’s really important to have a PA that’s powerful, meaty, yet clear everywhere, without mud. My first impression of the VUE al-Series was the clarity. Sometimes that clarity can be almost unforgiving. I’ve only mixed on this system once but I felt that it was more forgiving, that it had more ‘meat’ to it. The midrange sounds really sweet. I enjoyed mixing on it and I would mix on it again.”
Sebastian Poux, a freelance engineer supplied by Delicate Productions, was systems and front of house engineer for the Miner Stage. “The angles are easily moved once the cabinets are rigged together, the system actually rigged pretty fast.” he observes. “I am very sensitive to high frequencies. I like a well-tuned PA right out of the box, a PA that is very round at the edges - and I can hear that out of the VUE al-Class.”
The combination of twenty al-8s and eight al-4s elements in the main hangs, another eight al-4s on the stage lip for front fills, twelve powered hs-28 Dual 18-inch ACM subwoofers arrayed on the ground in front of the stage, and VUE V6 and V4 System Engines boasting a 96 kHz sample rate, 64-bit digital processing and ultra-premium converters provided the PA system with plenty of headroom. “The first thing I noticed,” explains Aaron Gittleman front of house engineer, AER, “was the full dynamic range and power. I had my master fader at half and actually even my sub-masters too. Usually when I walk into a festival situation I have to push, push and push those faders but with the VUE system here, I had all I needed. I actually ended up backing faders down. It was awesome.”
VUE Audiotechnik gear was also used for the stage monitor system, which included four h-12N high definition systems as side-fills stacked atop of a single hs-28 subwoofer and a dozen hm-212 high output stage monitors. The drum riser had two hs-25 subwoofers with a single hm-212 on top for additional drum fill. Adam Deitch, drummer for Lettuce and Break Science, found the hm-212 to be “crispy clear with just the right amount of thump. It felt like a record on stage. I had a great night.” Chris Bargie, monitor engineer for Lettuce adds, “The monitors sounded really great, and the guys were very happy and if the guys are happy, I am happy.”
Following a successful sold-out weekend, BottleRock Festival announced that a limited quantity of tickets is already on sale for next year.
Line Array Checkout
Your multi-box line array looks great. You’ve seen them on TV, but now you’re standing in front of a real one, expecting the best sonic experience of your life.
You play a favorite music track, but something doesn’t sound right. You check the DSP settings, and then the aiming. All looks good, but it still doesn’t sound right. Now what?
The multi-box line array is a system of full-range loudspeakers, arranged to allow variable vertical coverage control via the shape of the array. The boxes are usually identical and fed the same signal, often by paralleling several boxes onto a single amplifier channel. The horizontal coverage of the array is that of a single box, since there is no multi-box interference in the horizontal plane.
These popular line arrays tend to be expensive since each box is a full-range loudspeaker. Some models use loudspeakers that are internally powered and processed.
Alternately, the power amps and processing may be external to the loudspeaker itself, housed in an equipment rack. Yet others use boxes with internal passive crossovers, so that the amplifier channels operate full range.
Figure 1: EASE Focus II direct field modeling program.
Modeling The Coverage
The multi-box array is acoustically complex and requires software for modeling the coverage. Some manufacturers provided proprietary software. Others use third-party, specialized programs, such as EASE Focus. These programs model only the direct field, and are designed to quickly provide the answers to:
How many boxes?
What array curvature?
What trim height?
On a tour, the answers to these questions may change from night to night.
Figure 2: An overlay of 16 line array boxes. Note that the measurement name (shown at bottom) is the box’s serial number (www.wavecapture.com
Full acoustic modeling must be done in room modeling programs, such as CATT-Acoustic, EASE, Bose Modeler, Odeon, and others. These require more knowledge on the part of the person doing modeling, and can allow deeper investigations into the array’s performance.
All of these programs require at least one box of the array to be measured. The boxes are stacked up in the model and the complex interference between the boxes is calculated.
Figure 3: At left, the GP workstation for a recent project. A piece of masonite was taped to the carpet to provide a reflective surface for the microphone. At right, the line-up of array boxes waiting to be tested.
The results are projected onto one or more audience planes. The programs assume that the line array elements are identical. In other words, Array XYZ is made up of multiples of Loudspeaker ABC, but only one Loudspeaker ABC is actually measured.
This gives a good approximation of the coverage, but it is an approximation. There are several variables that the modeling cannot account for, and these nibble at the accuracy of the predicted response.
Check The Boxes
No matter which line array type, it’s important to test each box before arraying it, and then periodically afterwards. The large number of transducers and connections increase the likelihood of errors.
Figure 4: The overlaid responses of one of the remaining three arrays, this one with three mid-range driver failures.
Consider a 16-box array of 3-way, triamped full-range loudspeakers. That’s 48 transducers, and 48 potential failure points. Since a line array is a system, a single component failure or mis-wiring changes the response of the entire array, and often dramatically so.
Passive line array elements should be checked for proper polarity, impedance, and axial transfer function. Active, multi-amped line array elements need the same checks, but for each component in the box. A powered, internally-processed line array element requires an axial transfer function at a minimum. All measurements should ideally be performed in the far-field of the device, and the data should be anechoic.
Figure 5: The overlaid responses of a six-box array that I recently tested as a demonstration at AES Brazil. One of the six boxes had a HF transducer issue.
Speeding The Process
While this sounds time consuming, it needn’t be. Since site time is a precious commodity, there are ways to speed the testing process.
My preferred method is to check one box of the array in detail, and then use it as a reference to check the other boxes against. This requires only an axial frequency response magnitude of the remaining boxes, since any polarity (relative), wiring, or component issues will be evident in the response. If the comparison shows an irregularity, the complete check can be performed to troubleshoot it.
Figure 6: The empty stage provided a good ground plane environment for the AES Brazil demo.
Figure 2 shows the overlaid frequency response magnitudes of a 16-box line array (one array of four total). The first box was tested in detail. The others were overlaid for comparison. These were the final results, after several polarity corrections and driver replacements.
Establishing A Workstation
Because a lot of heavy lifting and a large time window are required, a ground plane measurement is the most practical approach. Set up a workstation on a large, flat floor plane.
Mark the microphone and loudspeaker positions with gaff tape, and set the box angle with an appropriate prop, securing it so that it doesn’t change positions as the boxes are handled. The amplifier and DSP need to be appropriate for the box, with the same units used to test each box. Only the loudspeaker is changed.
Figure 7: Once the array was flown, axial measurements were made at several listener distances. An iPad cover provides a smooth surface for the microphone.
Once the workstation is set up, it should take no more than a minute or so to check each box. Once each box is tested, it can be added to the array (Figure 8). Once the array is assembled it becomes very difficult to test the boxes individually, since there are often several paralleled on a single amplifier. The only chance that you will ever get for an anechoic axial transfer function is prior to the assembly of the array.
It’s important to note that the axial frequency response magnitude will only show polarity issues between components within the box (relative polarity). It’s blind to the absolute polarity of the box as a system. The impulse response (time domain) or phase response (frequency domain) can be used to reveal absolute polarity issues.
Figure 8: The install crew builds the array from the boxes.
Array Build & Final EQ
Once a box is tested, it can be added to the array. The box angles and trim height values are taken from the modeling software. Since the entire audience may be in the nearfield of the array, multiple measurement positions must be averaged when performing the final equalization.
Also, since nearly all line array boxes have components that are offset in the horizontal plane, interference lobing will be present. This should not be allowed to influence the equalization. I suggest three to four on-axis measurements at several distances as a good place to start.
What is the likelihood of finding problems? I have never tested a multi-box line array where everything checked out perfectly. If errors are ignored, the array will never function at its potential. The system installer or operator may try to paint over the issues with equalization, making matters even worse.
Verification of each box provides the assurance that the array is operating at its full potential. If something doesn’t sound right, only after testing the individual boxes can you can be confident that it is not a system issue.
Pat & Brenda Brown lead SynAudCon, conducting audio seminars and workshops online and around the world. For more information go to www.prosoundtraining.com.
Monday, August 03, 2015
SES Deploys Martin Audio At Red Rocks For Avett Brothers
Special Event Services manages three sold out nights in challenging Colorado amphitheater with MLA.
Currently touring the US with Martin Audio MLA loudspeakers provided by SES (Special Event Services) of Winston Salem, NC and Nashville, TN, the Avett Brothers recently sold out three nights at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colorado.
“This time of year, it’s everything from large format sheds like Red Rocks to smaller theaters and, as we move into the fall and winter, arenas,” notes Jeff Cranfill, vice president of SES. “When it comes to the Avett Brothers, you name it and they play it.”
Formed in Concord, North Carolina in the late 90s by brothers Scott (banjo) and Seth Avett (guitars), the band also includes Bob Crawford (double bass) and Joe Kwon (cello), with Mike Marsh (drums), Tania Elizabeth (violin) and Paul Defiglia (keyboards) as touring members of the band.
An eclectic mix of bluegrass, country, punk, pop melodies, folk, rock, honky-tonk and ragtime, the Avett Brothers are hard to categorize, but are generally defined as “Americana.” A popular mainstay on the touring and festival circuit, they’ve produced chart albums that include I and Love and You (2009), The Carpenter (2012) and Magpie and the Dandelion (2013).
The Avett Brothers encompass an unusually wide dynamic range during a typical performance, which adds to the challenge of adapting to different venues throughout the tour.
SES system engineer Andrew Steelman points out, “They’re not a highly compressed band that lives in a pocket during the show. They go from very loud, aggressive, in your face rock, to acoustic guitars, banjos, a cello, violin and small high fidelity stringed ensembles. In terms of dynamics, it’s a constant rise and a fall, and then another rise and a fall, and you’re on the edge of your seat the entire show.”
Because MLA has smaller format compression drivers, the system offers the engineer a more neutral canvas that’s very responsive to the smallest EQ changes, making it a perfect partner for the dynamics of the band.
The Martin Audio MLA system has proved pivotal in coping with the specific challenges that Red Rocks presents. Known for the short distance from FOH to the PA and a limited trim height to the top of the system, Red Rocks also has an audience area extends out roughly 300 feet from the front of the stage with a 105 feet vertical climb to the top seats about 60 feet above the roof of the venue.
Members of the SES team on hand at Red Rocks, left to right: Jeff Cranfill, Andrew Tucci, Jim Brammer, Jason Farah, Michael Brammer, Andrew Steelman. (Credit: Linda Evans)
Detailing the challenges, Steelman notes, “You’re so close to the PA at Red Rocks that sometimes when you make changes to correct the sound at FOH, where there is usually a lot of high end and low mids coming off the system, it can have an adverse effect at the top of the hill. Also, you’re at much higher altitudes where there’s less dense air for sound to travel through and you’re very susceptible to winds blowing through the audio at the top of the venue.
“With MLA, we were able to walk the show at the highest seats and see that the people were enjoying the show and they were as engaged as those down in front, even in the quieter moments, which really made me satisfied with the system’s performance. MLA covered every seat in the venue and helped us accomplish what we needed to in that environment, which is to have an Avett Brothers show translate to every seat in the house. I’d have to say it was one of the best sounding shows I’ve heard at Red Rocks.”
For the three sold-out shows at Red Rocks, SES deployed 16 MLA and two MLD (Downfill) enclosures with 6 ground-stacked MLX subs per side.
Expanding from Red Rocks to MLA’s overall benefits during the tour, Cranfill adds, “It goes without saying that Martin Audio speakers sound good. What’s especially useful for us is that the system can scale from a large amphitheater like Red Rocks down to a small theater and still maintain that performance level with high quality audio and the ability to put the sound where it needs to be. Regardless of where the band is performing, MLA keeps the coverage so consistent and non-intrusive on the stage that they don’t even notice the difference.
“Ultimately, the sound quality at Red Rocks was great for the band at all three sold out nights. The same goes for Sturgill Simpson who opened on Saturday night. As far as country music goes, he’s definitely one of the new country pioneers out there whose music and style of playing is a perfect fit for the Avetts with a wide range of dynamics that translated extremely well throughout the venue and fully engaged the audience from the front seats to the back seats.”
In addition to MLA, MLA Compact were used for outfills in several venues: “It’s really good how you can get both systems to voice well with each other,” Andrew explains. “You can go back and forth seamlessly between the two systems and sometimes it’s very difficult to discern whether you’re listening to MLA or the MLA Compact.
“Mixing consoles for the tour included a pair of Midas PRO6’s with DL371 DSP racks and a DL431 24-channel 5-way mic splitter. The two consoles have their own head amp control via a digital split and the combination of the MLA and Midas consoles is like a match made in heaven.
“The control we have with MLA is especially helpful in situations where we’ve been in civic centers with lots of concrete and metal surfaces,” Steelman concludes. “When a band’s dynamics rises and falls as much as The Avett’s, having MLA be able to project at long distance and eliminate some of those surfaces is as simple as going into the software and getting rid of it with a few keystrokes. It’s quite a nice tool to have in the arsenal without having to sacrifice something somewhere else.”
Justin Glanville, the Avett’s front of house engineer, feels “the MLA’s strengths really show up in large areas where there’s a long throw, like Red Rocks, the Brooklyn Bowl or the Garden In Boston. It’s still really clear up top and seems to be very steerable for the Systems Engineer, which is great in those spaces because you’ve got to reach every seat so that everyone can feel the show.
“The system has smooth, warm quality that works well with the band. An Avett Brothers show is acoustic instruments for the most part, there are a few songs with electric guitars but it’s mostly an upright bass, cello, fiddle, banjo and an acoustic guitar. It needs that warmth.”
Outline Covers One Million Spectators At Rome’s San Giovanni Square
Cipiesse supplies Butterfly and Eidos loudspeakers for reported crowd of one million people from all over Italy.
At the beginning of the summer, Rome’s San Giovanni (St John Lateran) Square hosted a reported crowd of a million people of all ages from all over Italy.
Cipiesse (Centro di Programmazione Spettacoli) Srl of Rezzato (Brescia) partner Marco Riva selected loudspeakers from Outline to cover the crowd.
“As well as the event’s sound reinforcement, our company also supplied the stage and backdrop, support systems and technical staff, says Riva.
“This was our first job in the enormous historical square and we had to do the utmost to meet the organizers’ requirements while keeping our work’s impact on local residents’ day to day life to a minimum.”
The design of the system, by Giancarlo “Jerry” Paladini and front of house engineer Raffaella Gatti, was based on measurements carried out three years before with Outline, on the occasion of the huge May Day concert organized by the country’s major trade unions.
Apart from the obvious fundamental necessity of ensuring intelligibility for the presenters, another key aspect of the brief received buy the organizers, was that the audio system had to have a very low profile.
For the event Paladini and Gatti opted for two main stage-side clusters, each with twelve Butterfly, plus two small arrays (each with four Eidos 265 enclosures) on either side for front fill duties. Two delay towers were also deployed, each with two hangs: two with 12 Butterfly enclosures and the other two with 12 Mantas elements, approximately seventy yards from the main rig.
Apart from guitar groups accompanying choirs and singers and video contributions, the majority of the sound reinforcement was for presenters at the event (journalists, legal experts, psychologists, as well as Catholic, Christian Orthodox, Muslim and Sikh leaders), so for low frequency coverage, four Outline Subtech 218 subs installed at the stage and two at each delay tower were more than sufficient.
This set-up enabled the company to ensure coverage throughout the large square and in the streets leading into it, with optimum power and clarity up to almost 150 metres.
Gatti explains: “We used Outline’s Open Array software simulations, which are always very realistic, so - as usual on events of this scale - we did a considerable amount of work with the software, as we knew the rig would respond accordingly.”
Following the event, Gatti stated: “The delay systems, set according to the software calculations, only needed a very slight tweak during the sound check.”
Paladini concluded: “Things definitely went very well. We saw that the simulations corresponded with reality and, as far as system calibration was concerned, it was mainly a case of ‘plug and play’, thanks to Outline’s default presets.”