Universal Sound Productions equipped the recent series of BNS drive-in concerts in Sri Lanka, Colombo with a HARMAN Professional system that included a variety of JBL Professional VerTec Series loudspeakers driven by Crown power amplifiers joined by a Soundcraft mixing console and more.
The first-ever drive-in concerts in Sri Lanka and the first in South Asia since the lockdown, the large-scale events were put together by Sri Lankan television station TV Derana and featured pop duo Bathiya and Santhush performing at the Colombo International Airport. The concerts enforced strict health and security guidelines, with the proceeds from ticket sales were donated to the Itukama Healthcare and Social Security Fund.
“Since these were held at an airport, the venue had many challenges to overcome,” says Malinda Lowe of Universal Sound Productions. “The stage was directly facing massive aircraft hangers and many of them were made of metal structures, so we had to work with JBL Line Array Calculator (LAC) to get rid of all the slap back with accurate measurement. We were also not in a position to deploy towers, as they would obstruct the view, so we managed to deliver the required vertical coverage despite the heavy surrounding wind. One thing I love about the JBL loudspeakers is their HF/MF waveguides and power handling.”
With a talent lineup that also included popular artists such as Umaria, Wasthi, Yohani De Silva as well as Infinity, the concerts drew more than 6,000 fans in more than 1,200 vehicles each night. To ensure safety for everybody in attendance, guests were not allowed to leave their cars, so the audio was broadcased on a special FM high-definition radio station in addition to the venue’s loudspeakers. Instead of clapping or cheering, fans honked and flashed their headlights to show their appreciation during the performances.
“The other challenge was to match the PA feed with the broadcast feed, as BNS wanted the audio to be synchronized perfectly,” Lowe notes. “The JBL Performance Manger software and Soundcraft ViSi Remote app played major roles in accomplishing this task. By measuring a few vehicles running pinknosie through the radio feed at different locations, we managed to match the radio broadcast with the PA and outer fills.”
Specifically, Universal Sound Productions deployed 40 JBL VT4888 3-way loudspeakers in left and right arrays comprised of 12 modules, while the remaining 16 were equally divded and positioned in four ground stacks. Two dozen VTX G28 dual 18-inch subwoofers were positioned across the front stage and eight VT4882 midsize subs on the sides. On stage were eight SRX712M monitors and PRX618S self-powered sub.
The loudspeakers were driven by nine Crown VRack 4X3500 HD amplifer racks as well as 20 Macro-Tech i Series and six XTi 6002 power amplifiers. JBL LAC was useful in designing and configuring the system to achieve optimum coverage and SPL, while Performance Manger helped Universal Sound Productions tune the system. The show was mixed through a Soundcraft Vi3000 digital console, joined by a Soundcraft Realtime Rack and two dbx DriveRack 4800 loudspeaker managerment systems.
“As usual, the sound system delivered pristine audio with the clarity and punch we desired,” concludes Bathiya Jayakody of BNS. “We’ve been using HARMAN products via our audio and venue sound partner Universal Sounds Productions for over 10 years now. We’ve had 100-percent satisfaction from our clients, who rave about the sound quality at our events.”