Friday, January 16, 2009

JBL VERTEC® Line Arrays Specified For High-Profile Tours And Special

Highlighting the global acceptance and demand for loudspeakers from JBL Professional, rental companies servicing numerous major tours and events around the world relied upon VERTEC® line array systems in 2008. Whether it was AVPG in Texas meeting the demanding special-benefit concert sound needs of award-winning country songstress LeAnn Rimes with their new compact powered VT4887ADP/VT4881ADP rig, Sound Media Fusion deploying mid-size VT4888DP-AN powered line arrays for the 2008 Summer Olympics in China in the Beijing National (“Bird’s Nest”) Stadium, of India adding new VT4888 line array elements to its VERTEC inventory to service a “Bollywood” extravaganza at the world’s largest film studio complex in Hyderabad, AdLib Audio fielding VT4880A Ultra Long Excursion arrayable subwoofers for the U.K. tour by German rock legends The Scorpions, or Maryland Sound handling New York’s Times Square New Year’s Eve for a broadcast audience of one billion persons with VT4889 full-size line array elements, rental sound service providers around the globe offered their clients the precision coverage, premium fidelity, and robust output power capabilities of JBL’s industry-leading line array systems.

A unique case in point was the recent “Heaven's Rehearsal,” a large-scale multi-denominational musical event on November 1, 2008 intended to reflect the gathering of all nations, tribes, peoples and languages in Toronto, considered by many to be the most ethnically-diverse urban center in the world. The event was staged in Canada’s massive indoor/outdoor Rogers Centre, formerly known as the Skydome, and equipped with the world’s first fully retractable roof. The 55,000-seat venue is home to Major League Baseball’s Toronto Blue Jays and the Canadian Football League’s Toronto Argonauts, and frequently hosts concerts from some of the world’s top performers, soccer matches, motor sports, family shows, conventions, trade shows and private events like this one.

“Heaven’s Rehearsal” featured a contemporary band on stage to support solo artists like Dominiq, Maggie Blanchard, and Raymond Anthony Fuentes plus a full orchestra and 500-member choir. The major special event was supported by Toronto’s PA Plus Productions, Inc.

“From an audio perspective, this event posed three major challenges for us, first of which was the acoustical nature of the venue space,” explained Mark Radu, Chief System Engineer for PA Plus. “A huge concrete and glass stadium with a retractable steel dome roof extends 325 feet above the field. Secondly, due to a football game the evening before our load-in, we could not get any points pre-rigged above the football field layout. This limited us to designing a point-source system emanating from the stage without using any signal-delayed array locations. Finally, as a large portion of final ticket sale would be walk-up, there could be no way of accurately predicting which areas of the stadium would require coverage.”

The PA Plus event team onsite, led by Senior Engineer John Lacina, deployed a total of 60 VT4889 full-size line array elements, 32 VT4880 full-size arrayable subwoofers integrated into the full-range speaker arrays, and four VT4887 compact line array elements under-hung for center down-fill. Four main arrays were flown 22.5 degrees apart on a 160-foot (49-meter) radius. In total, 636 driver elements were energized with total available power of 320,000 watts provided by 80 Crown I-Tech power amplifiers. Using Harman’s HiQnet™ System Architect™ software for remote control and monitoring allowed sections of the arrays to be turned off as required, to limit the coverage down to 30,000 people, the minimum attendance expected. The general seating was assigned in a pre-determined order, enabling the audio team to turn on sections of coverage as more distant seating zones were filled.

“JBL’s VERTEC line array systems gave us the predictability and sound-pressure level required to focus acoustic energy only where it would be needed,” summarized Radu. “The system design worked as planned and we were able to minimize spill outside the desired coverage zones. Overall, considering all of the challenges involved, everyone was pleasantly surprised with the final result."

With professional rental inventories on all continents now equipped to offer VERTEC-quality sound reinforcement to sound designers, meeting planners, and concert-industry production managers, a growing number of challenging entertainment and multimedia events like “Heaven’s Rehearsal” are being specified as JBL-equipped projects. “JBL is committed to providing leading-edge business tools that will assist qualified practitioners like Mark Radu and his team at PA Plus to achieve the results their clients expect and require for such difficult events,” explained David Scheirman, Vice President, Tour Sound for JBL Professional. “The VERTEC system’s key design attributes of lighter weight, easier suspension, greater output and better fidelity continue to meet the sound-reinforcement challenges that our customers encounter around the world.”

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