Chris Stapleton, Meghan Trainor and KISS were just a few of the highlights on the outdoor Grandstand stage at this year’s Great Allentown Fair, a week-long annual event owned and operated by the non-profit Lehigh County Agricultural Society for over 150 years.
At this year’s fair, Duttera Sound Services, which has been supplying production sound and lighting on the Grandstand for more than a quarter-century, once again provided a QSC WideLine Series line array, comprised of a mix of WideLine10 and WideLine 8 arrays, powered by PowerLight 3 Series amplifiers.
“We had 20 WideLine 10 Series boxes hung per side,” says Jon Roth, whose Duttera Sound Service, based in Oxford, PA, has been offering clients WideLine systems since 2006. “We had four WideLine 8s per side for out fill and four WideLine 8s as front fill. We’ve been using the WideLine 8s quite a bit lately as front fills. The WideLines, with such wide dispersion, are great for that, and were perfect for the Allentown Fair.”
Over the years, the Grandstand has hosted some of the biggest names in music and entertainment. During the time in which Duttera Sound Services has been supplying the venue with QSC WideLine systems, the lineup has included Carrie Underwood, John Mayer, Jason Aldean, Bruno Mars, Keith Urban, Earth Wind & Fire and numerous others.
“We’ve been hanging QSC WideLine 10s as the in-house audio system for the last eight years,” he reports. “Our guys are good at tuning the rig and it always sounds great. We get nothing but compliments.”
And guest engineers there have had lots of compliments for the WideLine system, Roth reports.
“Meghan Trainor’s engineer came out and he saw some EQ dips that we had in the PA to accommodate for the room and said, ‘I’d like you to flatten that out.’ I said, are you sure? I flattened it out and he came back and said, ‘Never mind, put it back in.’ He said, ‘I’m amazed at the bottom end that these little boxes can put out.’”
The wide dispersion pattern of the WideLine boxes also allows Duttera Sound to fly fewer hangs. “I find myself putting out more boxes than I would if it was, say, a large format concert system. But we use a lot less hangs at an event like that than we would with a 90-degree box,” comments Roth.
Although KISS, on the band’s 35-show “Freedom to Rock” tour, generated a lot of excitement at Allentown Fair for its first appearance in the region since 1992, Roth says, “I’ll be honest with you, Chris Stapleton was the one I enjoyed watching. This is probably the fourth show we’ve done with him on the WideLine 10 rig. He’s a very dynamic performer — we’re talking about a level swing of 15 to 20 dB. The QSC speakers handled it great, from the low volumes all the way up to the higher end, with no change in the characteristics of the PA or the overall sound.”
Duttera Sound is constantly busy, according to Roth. “And we almost exclusively use QSC products. Last night we had the president of the United States, with 12 WideLine 8s per side. We’re getting ready to load a truck for four shows this weekend, all with QSC. Last year went out on one of the first tours by EDM artist The Chainsmokers and carried WideLines for the whole tour.”
The company also does a good deal of installation work using QSC Installed products. “We just got done with a Q-Sys system down in Florida with four Q-Sys Cores, a total of 110 inputs. Last week I did two Core 500s, eight wall controllers and CXD-Q digital amplifiers amps. For much of what we do, we rely on QSC products.”