DiA Events, located in Billings, Montana has been providing sound reinforcement for the Billings Symphony Orchestra’s “Symphony in the Park” for the last eight years. The event is free to the public and marks the end of the symphony’s season.
This year DiA provided a dBTechnologies DVA active line array system for the performance.
“Symphony In The Park draws close to 10,000 people,” explains Brook Hovland, FOH engineer and owner of DiA Events. “Because of the nature of symphony music, it is imperative to use a system that provides almost hi-fi quality sound while still covering the expansive seating area. The DVA line arrays were the perfect solution. “
The concert takes place in a temporary band shell located in Pioneer Park in downtown Billings. The bandshell is erected in a hollow surrounded by hills ideal for the casual lawn seating the location offers.
Hovland and his team hung eight T12 active line array modules on telehandlers to the left and right of the band shell located 21-feet from the edge of the stage.
The T12 modules are fully powered, three-way units with onboard DSP. Each module is loaded with high quality neodymium drivers—three 1-inch HF, two 6.5-inch MF and one 12-inch LF – providing a maximum SPL of 136 dB per unit.
Three DVA S30N dual 18-inch active subwoofers were ground-stacked directly under the arrays for additional bass support.
“We used the DVA composer software to model the system,” adds Hovland. “We programmed the software with the T12s we were using and system requirements then it provided the angles and system presets to do the job. It was terrific.”
In the past, DiA has utilized a large format line array system for this performance. However, when DiA purchase the new T12 array, Hovland knew “Symphony in the Park” would be one of the events that would benefit from the smaller, compact line array.
“Overall the output of the two systems is the same,” he explains. “But the dBTechnologies array is smaller, weighs less, is easier to hang and self-powered. That makes a huge difference with set-up. We got there in the morning and had the entire system in the air and stage ready for sound check by noon.”
DiA mic’d the symphony with 46 wired microphones and 3 wireless systems. In general each pair of instruments was equipped with one microphone with the bass being the only instruments close mic’d.
FOH featured an Avid VENUE SC48 which handled all processing for the system. A main feed was supplied to the T12 arrays with the subwoofers receiving an aux feed from the board.
“The clarity of the system was very impressive,” concludes Hovland. “Having done this for the last eight years you know what it normally sounds like – and this was definitely a step up for the symphony.”