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HARMAN’s dbx DriveRack PA2 Loudspeaker Management System Makes A Night and Day Difference for Live Sound Engineer Whitney Day

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Audio engineer Whitney Day is an independent audio professional who has worked with many of the larger companies in Las Vegas, in venues such as the Smith Center for the Performing Arts and for productions including The Phantom of the Opera, Hairspray, The Lion King, Cirque du Soleil, Mannheim Steamroller and many others. Production managers know they can rely on Day to deliver superb live sound with exceptionally clear, detailed and well-balanced mixes and Day is always on the lookout for tools to deliver better sound – like HARMAN’s dbx DriveRack PA2 Loudspeaker Management System.
The DriveRack PA2 enables a loudspeaker system to be quickly and accurately optimized for the best-possible sound quality. The PA2 is ideal for bands, musicians and artists who carry their own PA and for a wide range of installed sound applications. The DriveRack PA2 makes it easier than ever to set up a system and control it on the fly via a mobile device or laptop.

“As a live audio mixing engineer, DSP and loudspeaker EQ are fundamentally important tools for me and I’ve always been impressed with the digital signal processing in HARMAN products,” Day stated. “I’m constantly looking for new ways to achieve better sound and when the PA2 was introduced I felt it was something that would help me do my job in smaller to medium-size shows.”

The dbx PA2 offers a host of loudspeaker tuning and system optimization features, including a new Wizard setup utility, AutoEQ™ room EQ, Advanced Feedback Suppresion (AFS™) and more. The PA2 provides dbx compression, graphic and parametric EQ, speaker delay, dbx’s exclusive Subharmonic Synthesis for enhanced low-frequency response, a built in loudspeaker crossover (for full-range, 2-way and 3-way systems) and additional features to get the most from any speaker system it’s used with, in any room.
“The PA2 is exactly what I was looking for,” Day said. He found it simple to set up and use without reading the manual. The PA2’s wireless control gives him the freedom to make adjustments while walking around a venue and listening to the loudspeakers from various locations, which Day finds a major advantage in making sure every listener in every seat enjoys the best-possible sound.

Day is particularly impressed with the PA2’s natural, transparent EQ. “Sometimes even on the best consoles when you engage the EQ you might notice a change in the character of the sound but can’t really put your finger on what it is. On the worst consoles it puts a mask over the sound. It’s like covering the speakers with a bed sheet. When I take the EQ in and out on the PA2 it’s flawless – I don’t hear any change in sonic character.”

The PA2 does its sonic job with precision. On a lot of even highly touted digital consoles, if Day thinks he needs a 2dB cut he’ll make a 5dB cut and slide the fader back and forth until he hears what he wants. “With the PA2, 99 percent of the time the EQ adjustment is exactly what I think it should be. If I want to make a 1dB cut, I hear a 1dB cut. For the PA2’s price point I was amazed – that’s a very good EQ.”

He also feels that when it comes to EQ, the edict “first, do no harm” applies. “People think about EQ in terms of improving the sound, but in order to do that your EQ needs to sound fundamentally good to begin with. I find that with some gear, applying EQ can be extremely destructive to the signal and really mess up the phase relationships between frequencies. That’s simply not an issue with the PA2. I’m really stunned at how good the unit is, and the fact that it’s this good at its price point.”

“We designed the unit with the goal of bringing the highest levels of audio quality and control to smaller venues and live events and having an audio engineer of Whitney’s caliber talk about the precision of the PA2 is the best compliment we can receive,” stated Jason Kunz, Market Manager, Portable PA and Recording & Broadcast for HARMAN Signal Processing.

HARMAN designs, manufactures, and markets a wide range of infotainment and audio solutions for the automotive, consumer, and professional markets. It is a recognized world leader across its customer segments with premium brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, and Mark Levinson® and leading-edge connectivity, safety and audio technologies. The Company is admired by audiophiles across multiple generations and supports leading professional entertainers and the venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of 14,800 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $4.7 billion for the last twelve months ended December 31, 2013.

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