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Quebec City Festival revs up with QSC; new WL218-sw subwoofers debut with WideLine arrays…

QUEBEC CITY, CANADA–Bristling with historic ramparts, churches, narrow lanes, and former battlefields, Old Town Quebec City plays host each year to an 11-day celebration of music that typically draws crowds of over 800,000. Called–appropriately enough–the Quebec City Summer Festival, last season‘s 39th incarnation of the event spanned 10 separate venues presenting a wide body of musical talent offering blues, classical jazz, rock, pop, and world music. Built expressly to accommodate the latter, the La Place Metro stage attracted musicians from around the globe, and relied upon a sound system utilizing QSC WideLine arrays buttressed at the low-end by the debut of the Costa Mesa, California-based manufacturer’s new WL218-sw subwoofers.

Regularly fulfilling the sonic needs of audiences numbering in excess of 20,000, the La Place Metro system took shape with 12 full-range WideLine line array cabinets flown at each side of the stage. A contingent of WL218-sw subwoofers configured in an arc delay pattern standing two enclosures high and five wide extended low frequency performance from beneath the stage. System power was provided almost entirely by PowerLight2 PL230 amplifiers wired in bridged mode for all of the system’s conical transducers, and in stereo for its horn-loaded compression drivers. Processing was managed by a QSC BASIS unit, while all monitoring and control fell under the able and unifying guidance of QSC’s QSControl.net platform.

“The festival was an excellent place for us to debut our new WL218-sw subs,” QSC’s Brian English said. “I had 10 of them sent to Quebec City, but after we got the system dialed-in, we were able to turn two of them off.”

Serving as a rock-solid foundation for the system, the WL218-sw subs are operable down to 31 Hz and capable of delivering high acoustic output (139 dB SPL@1m). Described once by an industry source as a “working coalition of sonic punch, extended response, and low frequency accuracy”, the enclosures are ideally suited for use with QSC’s WideLine loudspeakers, or can be used with other professional, full-range loudspeakers as well.

Used at La Place Metro in groundstacks linked sturdily together with interlocking feet and recess features machined into each enclosure’s end-caps, the subs also stand ready to easily go airborne using an elegantly simple, three-point rigging scheme that is essentially a larger-scale version of that used with QSC’s WideLine system. Utilizing a proprietary, heavy-duty frame (model AF218-w) made from welded, aviation-grade aluminum, each hanging WL218-sw array facilitates the suspension of up to eight individual subwoofers with a 10:1 design factor.

QSC sent both Brian English and Jon Graves to assist in building the system at the festival. The pair arrived on-site one day, put the system in the next, and tuned it on the third. They stayed for the shows on the first two days, and things went so well that they left for home the next, figuring that the engineers didn’t need them looking over their shoulders anymore.

Throughout the event, the stage was hugely popular to the point of being swamped with crowds at all hours. “I was impressed by the performance of the system,” Patrick Martin, the festival‘s technical director said. “Everything was perfect: The quality, coverage, projection, and the power. I’ve rarely heard this site sound that good. I am very satisfied.”

Based upon the evidence, others had similar feelings. In fact, reports came back from the promoters on the second day that the stage was by far the best sounding in the city.

“That was quite a compliment,” Brian English adds. “Especially since La Place Metro was the smallest of the larger venues, and was up against some very heavy competition from other stages served by major manufacturers.”

QSC Audio Products, Inc. is a leading manufacturer of power amplifiers, loudspeakers, signal processing, digital signal transport, and computer control systems for professional audio markets worldwide. For more information, contact QSC Audio Products, Inc., 1675 MacArthur Blvd., Costa Mesa, CA 92626 USA. Phone: 800-854-4079 (USA only) or 714-754-6175. Fax: 714-754-6174. E-mail: info@qscaudio.com, or visit www.qscaudio.com.

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