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The scene at the Long Beach Jazz Festival, with coverage delivered by JBL Professional VTX and VRX Series components.

Long Beach Jazz Festival Hosts A Music-Filled Weekend With Support From JBL Professional

Sound provider Flag Systems equips the festival, featuring headliners Robert Glasper, Ledisi and Sergio Mendes, with a main system headed by VTX and VRX Series arrays and subwoofers.

The main stage at the recent Long Beach (California) Jazz Festival, held at Rainbow Lagoon Park for a weekend of jazz, soul and R&B performances headlined by Robert Glasper, Ledisi and Sergio Mendes, was outfitted with a sound reinforcement system incorporating JBL Professional VTX and VRX Series arrays and subwoofers in a project headed by AV integrator Flag Systems.

“If you’ve ever seen the site, you know one of the main challenges is that there’s a lake right behind the front-of-house,” says Kevin Kelly, engineer with Flag Systems. “You don’t have to cover the lake itself, but the audience goes around each side of the lake, and so we had to penetrate fairly far. The other main challenge with this particular event is that the stage is not high enough to do a bigger array. I’ve always felt it’s needed to be a 10-to-12 deep hang to cover it correctly, but the bottom side of the top truss is only 28 feet, and so hanging that many boxes would put the bottom of the arrays below the height of the stage.”

The rig consisted of left and right hangs of eight VTX V25-II-CS line array modules each. In addition, the stage left was served by VTX A12 line arrays alongside the main left hangs for reinforced coverage for the lagoon’s more pronounced curvature on one side.

“The A12s throw exceptionally,” Kelly states. “And the separate EQ controls and delay timing stack really helped. They were physically maybe a foot and a half in front of the main hang, so there was very little delay required to just line it up and sound coherent. The single biggest challenge I had with mixing was the acoustic grand piano, and the A12s made it easy to EQ the piano to be level with everything else.”

Four VRX932LA-1 line array modules provided low-profile front fill from the edge of the stage, with the low-end reinforced by 18 VTX S28 subwoofers. “I have to let the FOH engineers know that the subs can be a bit heavy for those $175 seats down front,” explains Kelly. “They have to come down a couple of dB as a result, and I understand what they’re trying to accomplish, but you have to do what’s overall best for the entire venue and event. That’s typical with all subs, but the S28 handles that balance pretty well.

“All of the guest engineers loved the rig,” he concludes. “We love JBL’s speakers, too. We’re an all JBL house; we probably have well over a thousand JBL speakers in our inventory, and we’ve very rarely had to replace a component over the years. The speakers, the drivers, they all hold up. We appreciate HARMAN’s ongoing support.”

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