The Ottawa Bluesfest is one of the ten largest festivals in North America with around 300,000 fans experiencing over 250 acts on various stages, including Lynyrd Skynyrd, Kanye West, Keith Urban and Deep Purple.
Ottawa-based rental company Wall Sound was responsible for sound reinforcement for the entire event, including the Claridge Homes stage (the second-largest at the festival) – for which they relied on the new X-Line Advance line-array system from Electro-Voice.
An Electro-Voice N8000 system controller distributed the audio signal to TG7 power amplifiers, which in turn supplied the new X-Line Advance X2 loudspeakers. The entire system was monitored and controlled using IRIS-Net software.
As in previous years, a team led by front-of-house and systems technician David Cull and stage manager Bill Sibbit relied on Electro-Voice equipment – and this year, for the first time, on the new X-Line Advance line-array system, specifically the X2 models with X12-128 subwoofers.
The rig drew enthusiastic reactions from performers and Wall Sound technicians alike.
“It was unbelievably quick to install,” says Bill Sibbit. “We had all 36 line-array elements in the air in less than two hours, and the performance was outstanding. The system delivered high sound pressure levels, extended high-frequency response, and linear low-frequency output.”
The sound quality of the X2 also impressed the musicians. “We had bands from all over the world and all musical genres – from jazz to country and metal – here this year. They were all really impressed with the system.”
30 Electro-Voice TG7 amplifiers equipped with RCM-28 OMNEO DSP modules powered the 36 X2-212/90 line-array elements, four XLD-281 loudspeakers used as front fills, and 24 X12-128 subwoofers. A customized IRIS-Net graphical user interface offered Cull a bird’s-eye view of the entire installation, as well as full remote supervision and control, from a single PC.
The brilliance and projection of the compact line-array convinced Cull from the start.
“The sound is very natural. We hardly needed any EQ,” he reports. Cull studied the Canadian premiere of the new EV flagship very carefully, noting that even at a distance of 300 metres the sound was “crystal clear.” It also provided very even coverage of the entire area. “I consider the X-Line Advance a match for any system in the world for audiences up to 15,000,” he says, adding that “when it comes to value for money, the X-Line Advance is second to none.”