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Audio On The Edge: Pushing The Limits At The Reggae On The Mountain Festival

Inside the audio approach for a growing Jamaican-bred music fest at its new location in the Santa Monica Mountains.
King Gillette Ranch in the Santa Monica Mountains above Los Angeles was the setting for this year’s Reggae on the Mountain festival. Credit: Denis M. Hannigan

“When I’m using a PA I’m not familiar with the same thing applies. I’ll push it to its limits just so I can find my own. That way I can take the opportunity of a dynamic build or powerful moment onstage and really push it, and I’ll always know exactly where I am.”

On The Radar

As the show progressed and the darkness of the mountain night enveloped the stage and crowd, Cooper kept pushing, taking aim at building a full, rich low-end, clean high-end, and mid definition.

“The rig responded to what I asked of it well, and the subs were absolutely crushing,” he states. “After the show I started asking Chris questions about it and he told me it was self-powered. I didn’t believe it, but it was true. Everything about this festival was enjoyable. This PA totally blindsided me, nothing I experienced was on my radar before. Now I’d be glad to do it all again, even put these boxes on my rider in virtually any mid-to-large situation.”

Sunday’s headliner Matisyahu takes the stage, with Tony Cooper on the mix. Credit: Denis M. Hannigan

ROTM prides itself on being a community event, but given the level of the talent and the growing numbers of the fans that attend, it’s clearly more. For example, a portion of this year’s gate went to charitable organizations, including Woolsey Fire victims. Along with the move to the new location, the festival extended its hours and added activities such as silent disco, a yoga stage, and wellness lounge, plus a second stage also equipped with VIO L210 arrays and VIO S318 subwoofers.

“Each year just keeps getting better,” Smyrnos adds on a closing note. “Everything about it from the weather to the crowd, and the lush greenery of the mountains. As audio professionals, we’ll continue to hold up our end of the bargain. After all, without the sound of music floating through these hills, it would be a lot harder to bring all these people together.”

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