Denver-area-based Equalized Productions, which designs and installs custom AV solutions for a range of applications, recently deployed PreSonus ULT loudspeakers for the main stage at Burlington Fest (Burlington, CO).
A few years ago, the Equalized Productions was exploring new digital consoles, with Signal Marketing’s Don Heisler introducing the company to PreSonus. “We immediately liked StudioLive Series III consoles, and we took a closer look at PreSonus loudspeakers as well,” says Equalized Productions president Dave Kistler. “I went down to PreSonus’ facility in Baton Rouge, listened to a lot of speakers, and had a good time. We went with ULT loudspeakers for our onstage monitors.”
A subsequent comparison with a coaxial monitor system confirmed Kistler’s assessment. “Admittedly the design is a different type, so it’s not apples-to-apples, but the difference in sound was incredible,” he explains. “The ULTs did laps around the coaxial system. The frequency spectrum was better overall, there was a lot more low end response, and the high end seemed crisper. Plus the ULTs could get a lot louder.
“Most monitor speakers are just wedge monitors; that’s all you can use them for,” he continues, “but with ULTs, we can rotate the horn to set them up as monitors and then rotate the horn back to use them as standup point-source PAs for smaller events. That’s especially good for us because we’re trying to maximize the use of our gear. We got some ULT12s, then ULT15s and three ULT18 subs. We can use them as wedges, as side fills for the stage, and as mains, and we can peel off units into multiple small PA rentals.”
Kistler’s decision to go with ULT loudspeakers was unexpectedly reinforced at the recent small festival. “Burlington Fest has a standard 16- by 24-foot small-festival stage, and the original PA system had a competing brand’s 15-inch powered loudspeakers,” he says. “But after sound check, those speakers blew. Fortunately, we had ULT15s with us, so a partner we work with at the festival asked us to bring them onstage. The sound engineer sound-checked again with the ULT15s and mixed the show. Afterward, he came back to us and told us there was a remarkable difference between the ULT15s and the competing system; he liked the ULT15s much better. It was great to hear that.”
Equalized Productions next chose to add PreSonus CDL loudspeakers to its inventory. “With the CDL line array system, it was incredible to see how wide the dispersion could be,” Kistler notes. “That’s what really caught our attention. We are actively looking for places we can install the CDL line array system because of how wide that dispersion goes.”
Typically, the company’s engineers utilize StudioLive 32 Series III digital consoles for small festival mixing. “We frequently have an all-PreSonus system with CDLs for mains, ULTs for monitors, and the StudioLive 32 console,” Kistler concludes. “We chose the StudioLive 32 primarily because of its flexibility with the AVB-networked stage boxes. It’s also one of the few small digital consoles where we can have all of the input faders parked along one bank, so we don’t have to jump between layers, which is annoying.
“We mostly rely on the mixing surface but we also use UC Surface on Windows 7 and Windows 10 laptops and on an iPad so we can walk around, check our mixes, and fix them on the spot. Sometimes we multitrack record gigs to the StudioLive 32’s SD card and to USB, and we should do that more often. You can install additional Fat Channel plugins with the StudioLive 32 but the standard effects and Fat Channel EQ, compression, and gating have worked out perfectly for us.”