The 2019 edition of the Crossroads Guitar Festival, held recently at the American Airlines Center in Dallas also featured an all-day outdoor Village Stage featuring special guests and surprise performance in a master clinic format that was outfitted with a main system headed by Electro-Voice X-Line Advance X2 line arrays powered by the latest Dynacord DSP amplifiers.
Founded and organized by Eric Clapton, the Crossroads Guitar Festival is a two-day music event and trade show that benefits the Crossroads Centre substance-abuse rehabilitation facility in Antigua. Notable performers this time out included John Mayer, Eric Johnson, Joe Robinson, Andy Timmons and Paul Reed Smith.
The system was supplied by Gulf Coast Sound (Rayne, LA), with owner Larry Habetz doing most of the mixing for crowds of up to 5,000. Electro-Voice applications engineer Mike Reynolds was on hand as system tech.
The main PA consisted of twin nine-box arrays of X2-212/120 modules supported by eight ground-stacked X12-128 dual 18-inch subwoofers. Two EVC-1082 loudspeakers were deployed as front fills. The system was driven by seven of the new TGX20 DSP amplifiers by Dynacord, which enabled 96 kHz Dante audio with full redundancy. System monitoring and control were handled via Dynacord’s new SONICUE sound system software. Two Dynacord IPX10:8 multi-channel DSP amps powered the stage wedges.
The microphone deployment was also Electro-Voice based, with ND76 and ND86 dynamic vocal mics, and the ND44 handling the critical guitar amp duties. Drum mics included the ND44 and ND46 on snare and toms, ND66 overheads, and ND68 on kick drum.
Habetz reports that the system was very well received by both artists and audiences. “The great thing about this system is that it’s accurate and transparent,” he says. “This show is all about tone, and the X2 really lets it shine. All these artists have their own distinctive sound. Our job was to deliver that sound accurately, and this EV line array makes that possible. We had nothing but compliments all weekend.”
Guitarist Paul Reed Smith, founder and managing general partner of PRS Guitars, was in the unique position of hearing the FOH mix from his display area, then experiencing the monitor system on stage. “While performing on the outside stage at the Crossroads Festival and not knowing the brand of line array and monitors, the people I performed with and other famous musicians who played on the same stage, commented very positively on the quality of the sound of the gear,” he notes. “I subsequently asked the front of the house engineer and owner of the sound company what brand of gear they were using ‘cause I liked it so much. They said it’s an EV system. Nice job!”
Habetz adds that, in his view, the accuracy and responsiveness of the Electro-Voice and Dynacord components is a great fit for an event like the Crossroads Guitar Festival. “The X2 system gives you the truth, and the new Dynacord amps really take it to the next level in terms of efficiency and system control,” he concludes. “Once we were up and running, I knew we were in a great place sonically. But when a tone legend like Paul Reed Smith compliments your sound from the stage, it says a lot. That made it a great weekend, both for me and EV.”