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Outline Newton Does “Desert Double” With Rat Sound

Coachella and Stagecoach Festivals on consecutive weekends in April in Indio saw the digital processors serve as multi-format digital hubs for numerous systems and stages at both events.

The annual Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival and the Stagecoach Festival, staged over consecutive weekends in April at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, CA, once again showcased a huge array of established and emerging artists supported by numerous systems deployed long-time provider Rat Sound (Camarillo, CA) utilizing Outline Newton processors serving as multi-format digital hubs through which front of house mixes were directed to the multiple main and delay loudspeakers.

Rat Sound’s Newton processors made their debut at the dual event in 2019, and in 2022, the Newton stock was deployed in the same way but with the additional operational advantages delivered by recent software and firmware releases. These include enhancements to the functionality of the WFIR filters (facilitated by the new EQ-CSA algorithm), extended compatibility for the latest Apple Mac computers and, of particular relevance to Coachella, the addition of GPIO port control. 

Jon Monson, head of touring for Rat Sound, stated prior to the event, “Now the Outline team has implemented a GPIO function to the software and with this we have been able to implement a complete emergency override for every festival stage from a remote, central location. Over the last few years it has become increasingly important to offer these kinds of safety enhancements to our festival customers, and the Newton has allowed us to make this happen.

“The Newtons have become integral to our Coachella (and other festival) systems and workflow. We make use of Newton’s many formats, including Dante for PA and delay feeds, AES for console I/O, analog for emergency broadcast inputs and analog PA backup feeds and MADI for additional local I/O.”

For both Coachella and Stagecoach, Rat Sound connected all of the Newton processors to a central location via fiber in a setup that allowed them to mute any stage via the GPIO remotely and still allow for an emergency announcement to be made. Monson notes that, “It works so well we were able to test the system each day when noise curfews were lifted and be done and ready for the morning’s sound checks within three minutes. It is also easy and reliable enough that we are able to hand off complete control to the festival security team, who did their own testing each day.”

Go here for more specifics on Newton.


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