The recent Formula 1 British Grand Prix weekend at Silverstone in Northamptonshire provided the setting for the latest and largest phase of the UK Government’s Event Research Programme for the return of audiences to large-scale live events, where in addition to racing as host of musical performances from a festival stage with sound reinforcement utilizing Electro-Voice and Dynacord components.
Safe Hands Audio (Nottingham, UK) delivered the sound design and components in support of artists that included Rudimental DJ, Anne Marie and Becky Hill, deploying its Electro-Voice X-Line Advance X2 line arrays to deliver coverage the large crowd. “The X2 is our best option for this kind of production,” says Neal Allen, owner of Safe Hands Audio. “The X2’s rigging weight and compact size were both important considerations, but it was the system’s vocal throw, combined with its punch-to-size ratio, that really made it a perfect fit.”
The main system based at the stage utilized 24 X2-212 compact two-way modules joined by a dozen X12-128 dual 18″ subwoofers. “Due to the capacity crowd, people were spread across the full width of the stage; there was a need to fill a pocket, so we turned to an old friend – 4 X-Line XVLS – to spot-fill a specific area, and it worked perfectly,” Allen explains. Delays and out fills were handled with 12more X2-212 cabinets working with four X12-128 subs.
All loudspeakers in the main system were driven by 10 Dynacord TGX20 4-channel DSP amplifiers, each capable of delivering a maximum power density of 20,000 watts. Control and monitoring of the system throughout the weekend came from the manufacturer’s new MXE5 matrix mix engine, combined with SONICUE sound system software over a Dante network.
“The combination of SONICUE and MXE5 has been excellent because we have full visibility of the system for control,” Allen notes. “We are very familiar with SONICUE and the advantages it can bring us now and this has given us the confidence to go fully Dante with our transport.”
He concludes, “To be honest, it was just a wonderful feeling to be back out and working on a gig after such a long time. Seeing happy faces in the audience was a reminder of why we all do this for a living and it was great to play my part in putting on an excellent show for them. The sound system performed flawlessly as we expected it to. Everything sounded great and I think we helped to make the UK’s largest trial event so far a memorable experience for everyone who attended.”