UK-based event production company dBS Solutions recently added a new Martin Audio WPS rig to its inventory to provide a more powerful option — combined with proprietary optimization technology — in serving larger events and spaces.
It joins a 40-box Wavefront Precision Mini (WPM) rig that was acquired several years ago specificially for the Mercury at Abbey Field pop-up theatre space in Colchester, where it ran for an entire season as a direct replacement for an aging Martin Audio W8LM system. Then in February 2020, immediately before lockdown, two hangs of 16 WPM supported by flown SXF115 subwoofers and DD6 front fills went out on the Queen Symphonic tour. And going back even further, in 2014 the company purchased an XD/DD combination rig for deployment on a successful theatre tour.
“We’ve dipped our toe in the water with a package that will enable us to provide coverage for 2,000-plus capacity concert halls,” says dBS Solutions Managing Director Chris Bogg. “However, we will definitely be increasing that inventory.” The earlier entry into the world of Wavefront Precision had been driven by the fact that the Abbey Field site is surrounded by local residencies, he adds: “This called for a system that could minimize offsite noise while maximising coverage in the tent.”
dBS Solutions was able to use the proprietary Hard Avoid feature in DISPLAY control software as a benefit with the Queen Symphonic UK tour. “The balance of rock music in a classical environment is always a very difficult one, not least in some of the most reverberant performing spaces in the UK,” Bogg notes. “We chose the WPM as the even coverage and on-stage noise levels were critical to the tour’s success.
“In addition to the 35-piece symphony orchestra, there was a rock band and four West End musical vocalists,” he continues. “Traditional classical musicians don’t like a loud stage, and in terms of levels we were able to use Hard Avoid to remove much of that.”
He believes the timing of his latest investment is right as the country slowly emerges from lockdown. “It will certainly help raise the profile of dBS,” he states. “It gives us a larger system that really works in terms of our brand profile and ticks the rider boxes.
“We had already been aware of how fantastic WPM was at the point of purchase, as two of our techs had already done the training. It was the flexibility of being able to drive the system off the iKON amplifiers and the scalable resolution options that swung it for us. If something less sophisticated is required we can drive the system in 2- or 3-box resolution, and carry less inventory, whereas we can use 1-box where a cleverer approach is required.”