The recent Pohoda Music Festival, one of the biggest events in Slovakia, attracted a crowd of more than 30,000, with Slovakian sound contractor Audio Line supplying a main system headed by Harman’s JBL Professional VTX Series line arrays driven by Crown Audio I-Tech HD power amplifiers for headliner Kraftwerk as well as Tricky, Mogwai, Tame Impala, Suede, Goldfrapp and many others.
Audio Line founding member Ladislav Demcak had been a long-time JBL user and before the start of last year’s summer touring season made the decision to make the move to JBL VTX Series arrays after spending time in Belgium evaluating a VTX system with JBL’s Paul Bauman and “Big” Mick Hughes, front of house engineer for Metallica.
“We could hear straight away that this was a very good system,” says Demcak. “I knew I had to have it – once I’d heard it I could never go back.” Demcak and his crew gave the VTX line arrays an “intense induction” with their existing Crown I-Tech HD inventory in 2013 over the course of some of Slovakia’s leading festivals including the Dobry Festival, Topfest, Terchovsky Budzogan, Lodenica and last year’s Pohoda Music Festival.
For this year’s event Audio Line equipped the Pohoda Music Festival’s main stage with two hangs of 14 VTX V25 full-size line array elements and 10 S28 dual-18-inch suspendable subwoofers on either side of the stage with 12 additional G28 subs stacked on the ground in a cardioid array in front of the stage. Eight V25s provided out fill on each side of the stage and a pair of V25s were employed as near-fill loudspeakers.
The loudspeakers were all driven by eight Crown VRack amplifier systems that each housed three of Crown’s I-Tech 12000HD amplifiers. In addition to the main stage, Audio Line furnished the sound reinforcement systems for four of the other seven stages at the festival.
“Pohoda is the one festival where the sound quality had to be second to none,” Demcak notes. “Especially considering that Kraftwerk was headlining! We wanted the sound to be perfect.”
Demcak applie the experience and knowledge gained in more than a year of using VTX outdoors to tweak the system to maximum performance. One major advantage that he and his team had over last year was that they used the latest version of JBL HiQnet Performance Manager software and VTX preset tunings, which enabled them to really dial in the interface between the VTX arrays and Crown amps and fine-tune a greater number of system parameters.
Demcak states that the Pohoda Music Festival’s production team were happy to have JBL VTX and Crown there once again. “I also received extremely positive feedback from each band. The rig sounded more like the world’s biggest and clearest high-end audio system than a typical live sound system – everybody remarked that the sound was state of the art and the best they’d ever heard.”