We next stopped by front of house at the Bud Light Stage, chatting with Nicholas Radina, who was providing mixes on a Yamaha QL5, feeding a PA with 10 NEXO GEO S12 modules per side, flown, with eight NEXO RS18 “Ray Gun” subwoofers placed equidistantly on the deck in front of the stage.
All loudspeakers were driven by NXAMP (4 x 4) DSP/amplifiers. Another QL5 was posted stage right for monitors, with both consoles networked with Rio stage boxes.
“The new Yamaha QL5 is a joy to use,” Radina tells me. “A marked improvement in overall sound quality, and I also enjoy the premium effects and additional rack spaces and wonderful routing over the Dante network. Custom fader layers make visiting band engineers feel right at home. Well done, Yamaha.”
In February of this year, Cambridge began talking with John Mills, VP of Morris Light and Sound in Nashville, about the NEXO STM system in general, and more specifically, about the possibility of supplying an STM rig to serve the Main Stage at both Buckle Up and Bunbury. Morris had added a large-scale STM system last year and deployed it for Kenny Chesney’s North American tour.
“I wanted to do some ‘detective work’ on the system in a real working environment, see it up close—how it packs and comes off of a truck, how it goes together—all of the things you don’t get to see if you just go to a show,” Cambridge explains. “Morris is a known entity and I was quite confident the system would sound great, so I was also looking to network, define a partner to work with from a gear standpoint as well as learn from their considerable expertise.”
Those conversations came to fruition, with the Nashville company delivering an STM rig, S118 subs, and NXAMPs for both festivals. Specifically, main left and right arrays were made up of a dozen M46 main modules mated with B112 bass modules.
The system concept enables building line arrays that scale up or down depending on the application, and in addition to the main and bass modules, the S118 subbass module, sharing the same footprint as the other two, can also be utilized in arrays.
Mills was also on hand to serve as system engineer, demonstrating assembly, answering questions, and performing final tuning. “I saw how easily John and the crew were able to get it dialed in,” Cambridge says. “That was impressive, as well as how far it could throw and how it sounds.”
Yamaha CL5 consoles were posted at front of house and monitors, networked with Rio stage boxes. Other consoles could be easily swapped in when requested by certain artists and engineers, and there was also an analog snake as a back-up.
“Several guest engineers have tracked me down just to tell me how great it all sounds,” he says. “With the STM rig, I really like the modularity, the way the individual modules can be scaled for any situation—big, small, unusual—whatever the gig calls for.
“There are a lot of efficiencies there. It’s very organized and packaged well. For a company like mine, this could be quite valuable, where every day presents a different type of gig. The flexibility is very attractive to a business of our type.”
I received the final word from John Mills: “The team at Event Enterprises are an amazing group. Grant’s a pleasure to work with, and as ever-changing as the details of a festival go, he’s always on top of finding an answer for us. He and his team are all very professional and work extremely hard.”
Keith Clark is editor in chief of ProSoundWeb and Live Sound International.