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New NEXO STM Line Array Turns Up The Heat On Chesney’s ‘No Shoes Nation’ Tour

BUENA PARK, Calif.—Kenny Chesney has always brought country’s brightest lights to America, and this heated summer is no different as he taps newcomer and quadruple 2013 Academy of Country Music nominee, Kacey Musgraves, and 2012 ACM Single of the Year winner and multiple 2013 ACM nominee, The Eli Young Band, to open on many of his ‘No Shoes Nation’ tour stops. Country Music Association 2012 Album of the Year Winner and ACM nominee leader, Eric Church, has also taken the stage on 16 of the 19 stadium dates, while triple Grammy-winner and multiple ACM nominee, Zac Brown Band, joined for three stadium shows including a co-headline show in their hometown of Atlanta. The tour is in support of Chesney’s latest CD “Life on a Rock.”

The 46-date tour, which began March 16 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, has made a major change to its stadium line array. Morris Light & Sound (Nashville) has provided a new NEXO STM line array for the 2013-2014 tour. The system layout is configured with 74 M46 for mains, 74 b112 bass extensions, 48 s118 flown subs, 16 RS18 ground ray subs, 12 PS10s for front fills, 14 GEO S 1210s and two GEO S1230s, 22 NUAR amp racks, and two Yamaha DME 64 digital mix engines with LAKE Mesa EQ cards for system tuning and console switching.

At an early stop at Cowboy Stadium, the 45,000+ concertgoers were treated to improved sound at the venue when the STM rig arrived for the Chesney show. The in-house audio crew was extremely impressed by the NEXO system.

Morris Light & Sound was involved early in the development process of the new NEXO System. “We were involved with the STM system for about a year before the system launched,” states John Mills, Morris VP and systems engineer for the Chesney tour. “Since we were the first company with a system of this size, Chris Rabold (Chesney FOH engineer) and I provided NEXO with tons of input on how it was performing and what we were doing with it from a tuning perspective.”

Mills said NEXO support was unparalleled. “We had at least one programmer and one system specialist with us for the first few weeks of rehearsals and shows. Beyond that, we sent them our tuning files and SMAART measurements and they incorporated our preferences into a new preset. Since then we honestly do very little to the PA each day. From stadium to shed, 70,000 seats to 10,000 seats, our tuning is almost always the same. The consistency and accuracy of the PA is like none I have ever tech’ed. From what my NS1 model predicts to what we measure is really the best software/hardware/measurement relationship I have ever experienced. It really makes my job as a system engineer easier because it is so accurate.”

One of the first things that attracted Morris Light & Sound to the NEXO STM, Mills continued, was the modularity. “It really works; we have done large and small venues and even some small ground stacked systems. It is great to have a system that sounds the same no matter how you deploy it. The modularity and scale-ability coupled with the accuracy are second to none. Sonically, the throw of the system out performs anything on the market. Vocals, guitars, and even high-hat and cymbals are still clear and musical at 400 feet away. It is very accurate and revealing. Very small moves in the system EQ are very noticeable. STM was everything I hoped it would be, and more.”

“From the first meeting we had with NEXO discussing the concept of the STM, I was very intrigued,” states Morris L&S President, David Haskell. “Then, after subsequent meetings, trips to the factory, and getting to better understand both the product and the people behind it, I am proud to say that this relationship with NEXO has been amazing. From concept drawings to manufacturing and implementation to ongoing support, the STM and the fine folks behind it can only be summed up in one word…flawless!”

The NEXO STM Series (Scale Through Modularity) loudspeaker cabinets are the first of its kind on the market. Ideal for touring, festivals, and sound company rental, the new system combines the best of Alpha functionality with the technical innovation of NEXO’s patented Hyperbolic Reflector and venting design in which all radiating surfaces are in phase, delivering a powerful, flexible, and easy to use system. STM enables line array systems to scale up or down depending on event audience size, from 1,000 to 100,000 people.

When asked how the STM sounds to him, front of house engineer, Rabold, said the system sounded hi-fi and clean. “Even when I drive it hard, it won’t distort. My ears have yet to feel fatigued after a show; that’s indicative of a clean system. On a mixing level, I’m getting some great sounds. There was a bit of a learning curve in the beginning as was to be expected. I have a specific sound that I want to achieve everyday. Once I learned what the NEXO STM wanted to do naturally, I married that with my own goals and we’ve been in great shape ever since. John Mills and NEXO obviously had a good line of communication by the time I arrived on the tour, and they were extremely proactive with any of our suggestions early on.”

“The Seahawks Stadium show was spectacular, and the audio was superb,” states Fred Micera, Audio Engineer, CenturyLink Field in Seattle. “I heard things/parts I had never heard before in past Chesney shows. Kenny’s voice was captured perfectly and has never sounded more natural. The mix was very well balanced and exciting. Tonally, it was bright and crisp without being harsh or overly sibilant. Clearly understanding everything Kenney had to say between songs was another new revelation. The definition between instruments, especially the multiple guitars were remarkable. Subtle use of panning and EQ made the 4-part guitar exchanges, in particular, stand out while staying musical and not overbearing in any way. The drum sound was quite impressive, and the bass guitar/bottom end was tight and well defined. The lack of overtones and clarity in the low end stopped me dead in my tracks as I crossed in front of the FOH mix position. The STM brings out a whole new dimension to the music.”

Micera said the volume level was steady throughout the night. “The PA system’s coverage was very consistent as we walked the house. Even in areas that are usually disappointing, the sound was solid and uncompromised by the surroundings. We were literally stunned. Seriously, stunned! The success of the system deployment and tuning was not lost on us either. John Mills really addressed the venue and clearly knows how to use the tools at his disposal. The fact that the opening acts sounded so good and all the mixes came together so quickly is another testament to John and the tour’s well-oiled machine.”

For more information on the “No Shoes Nation Tour”, visit www.kennychesney.com.

For more information on Morris Light & Sound visit, www.morrislightandsound.com.

For more information on the NEXO STM system, visit www.yamahaca.com.

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PHOTO CREDITS: Keith Clark and John Mills

About Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc.:
Celebrating 125 years of Passion and Performance, and 25 years in the manufacturer of high quality digital audio consoles, Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc. (YCAS) provides a full line of integrated professional audio products offering complete systems solutions for the broadcast, sound reinforcement/installed sound, touring, commercial recording, and post production markets. With the addition of NEXO to the product line, the company remains the official U.S. and Canadian distributor for all NEXO speaker models. YCAS offers comprehensive in-house and field product training for its customers, a dedicated dealer network, and 24/7 technical support.

IC Live Rings In North Carolina’s New Governor

Raleigh, NC – August 2013… For more than 170 years, North Carolina’s State Capitol building has served proudly as a centerpiece of the city of Raleigh, and a focal point of state government. This classic architectural masterpiece, its majestic columns evoking ancient Greek temples like the Parthenon, has been a gathering place for generations of events, both large and small. 

With this grand building as a backdrop, Pat McCrory was recently sworn in as the 74th Governor of North Carolina. Despite the familiar setting, McCrory’s inauguration was the first to take place on the Capitol’s South Lawn, with the stage looking out down Fayetteville Street, a vibrant thoroughfare that serves as Raleigh’s ceremonial center. 

With highly reflective marble buildings lining both sides of the street, the setting presented some daunting obstacles to speech intelligibility. “We were really concerned about the location,” says Allin Foulkrod, President of Creative Visions. “It was a big challenge to reduce slap off the marble buildings, while ensuring great quality sound for all the areas we needed to provide it for.” 

To ensure that the attention remained squarely on Gov. McCrory, and not the sound system, Creative Visions selected the Renkus-Heinz Iconyx IC Live steerable array. Two pairs of IC Live speakers were deployed on each side of the stage, creating an extremely low-profile system that delivered every word of the inauguration with complete clarity. 

“We looked at a number of different speakers, and IC Live were absolutely the best solution,” says Foulkrod. “The magic of the IC Live is that they have an incredibly low profile, and they are ground-supported. It was crucial for the TV shots that the ceremony not look technology-heavy – if you fly major speaker arrays it takes away from this, for obvious reasons.”

The low-profile, tightly controlled sound, and high output of the IC Live allowed Creative Visions to fire them directly down a crowded street lined with reflective buildings, delivering sound cleanly to the audience while being almost invisible. “With IC Live, the speakers literally disappeared,” says Foulkrod. “I produced the show, but when I went back and looked at pictures I had a difficult time finding where the speakers were in the press shots. That is an amazing thing, having been in the business for 24 years, to see something vanish like that into a crowd of thousands.” 

Foulkrod points out that no additional near fields or other fill speakers were required to deliver full sound coverage to the audience of thousands. “We were just shocked by the results, we were so pleased,” he says. “The sound was fantastic – crystal clear, and with beautiful articulation. The comment made by the #1 TV station in town was, ‘This was a production designed for television.’ It’s the best one they have seen in years.” 

 

 

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Headquartered in Foothill Ranch, California, Renkus-Heinz, Inc. is the worldwide leader in the design and manufacture of audio operations networks, digitally steerable arrays, powered and non-powered loudspeakers, system specific electronics and fully integrated Reference Point Array systems.

Living Word Gets Renkus-Heinz

 

Aldergrove, BC …. An hour southeast of Vancouver and mere minutes from Canada’s southern border, the town of Aldergrove is home to Living Word Fellowship. The church purchased a “fixer-upper” and began major upgrades to prepare the building for services.

The 550-seat sanctuary recently underwent a long-needed expansion and renovation that included new acoustical treatment, audio, and video systems designed and installed by Langley, BC-based Pro Sound and Stage Lighting Ltd. As Pro Sound’s John Drake explains,”the sanctuary was built in 1982, but the equipment that was in there dated back to the 1970s, so the update was long overdue.”

The room’s physical dimensions presented some challenges, says Drake. “It’s a relatively wide room, and not very deep. For the congregation, it’s great, because no matter where you sit, you feel close to the platform. But it definitely presented some issues in terms of coverage.”

Adding to the challenge was the sanctuary’s low ceiling, which limited the possibilies. “The system design would have been a whole lot easier if the ceiling had been about 15 feet higher,” saysDrake. “As it is, the sound tends to get a bit dense in the center, so we needed speakers that gave us an exceptional degree of pattern control.”
Using Acoustical Simulation software - EASE, Pro Sound modeled the sanctuary, from the acoustical treatment on the walls and balcony to a new audio system based around a main Left-Right-Center cluster of three Renkus-HeinzPN121/6 12-inch two-way loudspeakers. A pair of PN61R 6-inch boxesprovides additional over-balcony fill.

Mounted in the steps of the stage platform, five CFX42 dual 4-inch two-way stair-step loudspeakers provide additional front fill coverage for the lower seating nearest the stage. “Rather than use side fills, we opted to aim the center cluster a bit higher to cover the balcony, which it does verywell, and we added the speakers in the stairs for front fill,” says Drake. “Each of the stair step speaker is separately delayed. The imaging is exceptionally good no matter where you’re sitting.”

A pair of PN212SR subwoofers mounted above the platform add deep low frequency support. A Midas Pro2 digital console covers Front of House duties, while a Biamp Audia handles system drive and processing. On the platform, four PN121M floor monitors provide sound for the ministers and musicians. “The Renkus-Heinz speakers were really the best choice in terms of coverage and performance,” says Drake. “They were a great fit for the room, and for the Church’s program needs.”

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Headquartered in Foothill Ranch, California, Renkus-Heinz, Inc. is the worldwide leader in the design and manufacture of audio operations networks, digitally steerable arrays, powered and non-powered loudspeakers, system specific electronics and fully integrated Reference Point Array systems.

L-ACOUSTICS is Big News at Free Press Summer Festival

LD Systems deploys K1 for top artists on FPSF’s two largest stages

HOUSTON, Texas – August 2013 — Over the past five years, the Free Press Summer Festival (FPSF), staged at Eleanor Tinsley Park just west of downtown Houston, has quickly grown into one of Texas’ most eagerly anticipated music festivals. This year notably marked the first time that the event completely sold out in advance, ultimately drawing nearly 100,000 concertgoers to enjoy 90 national and local artists performing on six stages over two days.

Houston’s LD Systems once again served as the primary audio, video and lighting provider for FPSF 2013 and supplied production gear and services for the festival’s four primary stages. This year, however, the company chose to deploy L-ACOUSTICS K1 systems on the two largest stages, Mars and Saturn. more

WOODLAWN BAPTIST CHURCH SINGS THE PRAISES OF NEW SR SYSTEM FROM WORXAUDIO TECHNOLOGIES

**** Photo: Woodlawn Baptist Church’s sanctuary ****

Baton Rouge, LA – July 2013… With music becoming an increasingly important aspect of worship services as a means of staying relevant to their congregation, more churches are discovering the importance of quality sound reinforcement. Such was the case at Woodlawn Baptist Church, where an outdated, poorly implemented sound system was hindering the effectiveness of their worship services. As of February, the situation was rectified by the installation of a new system drawn from the TrueLine catalog of Greensboro, NC-based WorxAudio Technologies. more

L-ACOUSTICS Parties with DJs Day and Night at WET REPUBLIC and Hakkasan

Vegas’ two hippest new hotspots adopt KARA/SB18 monitor packages for all-star residencies by Tiësto, Deadmau5, Calvin Harris and more

LAS VEGAS — L-ACOUSTICS’ KARA/SB18 combination is quickly emerging as the monitoring system of choice among the world’s top EDM superstars, further evidenced by the fact that Audiotek recently specified the package for MGM Grand Hotel & Casino’s two newest venues: WET REPUBLIC Ultra Pool and Hakkasan Las Vegas.

In early April Audiotek purchased and installed six KARA loudspeaker enclosures and four SB18 subs in the DJ mix area of Hakkasan for its client, Angel Management Group (AMG), which operates the venue. Later that same month, an identical monitoring setup was installed at the AMG-owned 53,000-square-foot, adults-only pool club, WET REPUBLIC. Solotech’s Las Vegas office facilitated the sale of both systems. more

Martin Audio W8LC ‘By Appointment’ At Coronation Festival Gala

RG Jones’ busy summer season with leading Martin Audio PA systems continued in July with the Coronation Festival at Buckingham Palace. This followed the Glastonbury Festival and Henley Festival, which both placed further demands on Jones’ Martin Audio inventory.

So many events at the same time with very different environments was always going to be a challenge, but with careful planning and deployment, the Coronation Festival proved once again that RG Jones and Martin Audio were capable of uniting the audience experience.

The audio specialists had been sub-contracted by main technical production company, Hawthorns, who were in turn introduced to the project by event organizer, Media 10. The Royal Warrant Holders Association hosted both the Coronation Festival and exhibition in the Gardens of Buckingham Palace.

RG Jones, themselves Royal Warrant Holders, participated in the exhibition (along with more than 200 others) while simultaneously providing sound reinforcement for the Gala concerts. In fact the RG Jones stand exhibited an original Morris J-type––the same as the one used by the original founder Ronald Geoffrey Jones back in the 1920’s.

As with Glastonbury, RG Jones’ project manager Ben Milton relished the challenge of project managing a large-scale event, but unlike Glastonbury where Martin Audio’s W8L Longbow system was deployed, Milton said the system of choice this time would be the company’s W8LC and W8LM systems.

“We have used the W8LC system for so many classical concerts of this size in the past that we were confident it would sound fantastic and give us no sleepless nights. It just works so well.”

But the implementation of the system for the Raymond Gubbay promoted Gala concerts was far from straightforward, as Milton emphasized. “Aside from the stringent guidelines and provisos we had to follow, the PA wings were extremely wide—around 310 feet between left and right––which required an additional L/C/R center system flown over the stage.”

And with a wide range of artists celebrating 60 years of the performing arts—including Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Katie Melua, Russell Watson, Katherine Jenkins, Laura Wright, Only Boys Allowed, The Feeling—as well as the National Youth Orchestra and Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures––there was quite a line-up of talent for Milton and Simon Honywill at the FOH mixing desk.

“I love the challenge of having 250-plus inputs on the desk with multiple acts,” said the former, explaining that this included active splits from the stage, sent to the BBC broadcast OB trucks.

Out on each wing, in front of the Palace terrace, two hangs of 14 x Martin Audio W8LC elements were mounted on smart PA masts.

A further three center in-hangs formed the thrust canopy PA. This comprised six W8LM Mini line arrays (with two W8LMD Downfills at the base), flanked by two hangs of eight W8LC to produce an L/C/R image.

Under the thrust stage, there were four gauze-covered WLX subs with a further six ground stacked WLX under the two speaker masts (three per side). Finally, eight Martin Audio DD6 Differential Dispersion horns were positioned along the front lip as close fills.

All processing was carried out in an XTA Audiocore environment, with system technician Mark Edwards EQing and time aligning the system remotely via a wireless tablet.

Said Ben Milton, “The in-hangs had to do all the work and we had to deal with timing issues between the wide hangs and the inner hangs. The LC’s worked fantastically well and provided full 330 ft. coverage without delays for 20,000 people.

“In fact when you sat in the middle of the auditorium it was just like a cinematic setting carefully time aligned to get the stereo image, and wherever you went it delivered and it was still high fidelity sound.” The audio complemented the width of the stage, he said, adding that both Tim Davies [BBC Television sound supervisor] and the orchestra had expressed their delight with the sound.

“The whole event was special because you simply forgot where you were. The Palace provided an amazing backdrop.”

Supporting system designer Ben Milton, were FOH engineer Simon Honywill and system tech, Mark Edwards, James Breward (system/comms) and on stage, Mark Isbister (patchmaster), Alison Dale (RF and orchestral miking), Damon Dyer (monitors) and Ian Threlfall (stage).

Photo credit: Theo Cohen Photography

For more about Martin Audio, please click to www.martin-audio.com

About Martin Audio®
Founded by audio engineer David Martin in 1971, Martin Audio pioneered the use of all-horn-loaded bass designs in world-class touring loudspeaker systems for groups such as Pink Floyd, ELP and Supertramp. Located outside of London, Martin Audio now embodies a sophisticated mix of acoustic design, research, mathematical modeling and software engineering for a wide range of products in the installation, cinema and touring sound markets.

Iconyx Brings Clarity to the Art of Living Foundation

Boone, NC – July 2013… Founded in 1981 by spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the Art of Living Foundation has evolved to become one of the world’s largest volunteer-based humanitarian and educational non-governmental organizations. Working with the United Nations Economic and Social Council, the Foundation offers programs dedicated to health, education, eliminating stress, and restoring human values in more than 140 countries worldwide.

One of the Foundation’s most treasured retreats is The International Center for Meditation and Well-Being, located in the lush, rolling hills of the Great Smokey Mountains. It’s an idyllic piece of Planet Earth, where visitors can immerse themselves in the grandeur of nature, while retuning their bodies and minds with yoga, meditation, and organic diet. 

The retreat’s Meditation Hall is a large, multi-purpose space that is used for everything from yoga and meditation classes to dance events and performances. As Jeff Hedgecock, Project Manager for AVI-SPL in Charlotte, NC explains, the room is visually appealing but acoustically challenging. 

“It’s a very large space, very bright and airy and open, with nice high ceilings,” says Hedgecock. “But when they have someone leading a yoga or mediation class, intelligibility is quite an issue. And that’s not a scenario where one wants to shout, so for people at the back of the room it’s very difficult to concentrate on the instruction being given.” 

A single pair of Renkus-Heinz Iconyx IC16-R-II provided an ideal solution for the room’s sonic challenges. “They hold some dance events and performances there as well, so the musical performance of the Iconyx was equally critical,” says Hedgecock.  

The Iconyx’s multiple steerable beams can be individually attenuated to provide uniform coverage and SPL across even the most challenging spaces. “That’s one of the things that’s great about the Iconyx – we were able to steer the beam to make the whole hall sound great,” says Hedgecock.

The design-build system is streamlined and uncomplicated. A Biamp Red One handles simple volume and source selection, with all audio routed directly to the Iconyx columns. As Hedgecock observes, aesthetics was also a consideration here. 

“The fact that we were able to paint the speakers to pretty much blend into the walls was a major advantage for them,” he explains. He points to his own previous experience with Iconyx as instrumental in trying them at the Foundation. “I’ve used Iconyx on a couple of other problematic spaces, and was pretty certain it would be a good fit here.” 

 

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Headquartered in Foothill Ranch, California, Renkus-Heinz, Inc. is the worldwide leader in the design and manufacture of audio operations networks, digitally steerable arrays, powered and non-powered loudspeakers, system specific electronics and fully integrated Reference Point Array systems.

Iconyx Makes Things Clear for MannKind Pharmaceuticals

 

Danbury, CA – July 2013… Besides their corporate headquarters in southern California, MannKind Pharmaceuticals maintains two other campuses, including their technical operations team, located in Danbury, CT. It’s a busy campus, hosting several hundred employees involved in the company’s manufacturing, engineering, and quality assurance divisions. 

The campus’  central meeting point is a large, multipurpose room used for everything from lunches to corporate meetings and all types of presentations. It’s a bright, airy, and welcoming space, but as Richard Trombitas of New York-based Cardone, Solomon and Associates explains, the room has long been an acoustical challenge. 

“It’s a really nice looking space, but not great for spoken word intelligibility,” says Trombitas. “It’s got a fairly high ceiling, a wall of windows, and lots of reflective surfaces.” Colortone AV’s Joe Lemischak adds, “they had an old distributed system that had probably been installed when the room was built.”

According to Traci Centofanti, Mannkind’s Director of Information Technology, the room has long been problematic. “The system that was in here originally never quite did what it was intended to do,” Centofonti says. “The coverage was very spotty – some places in the room sounded okay, but if you moved a few feet over, you could barely make out what the presenter was saying.”

The solution was easily realized with a single pair of Renkus-Heinz Iconyx digitally steered array loudspeakers. Dual ICX7-II stacks on either side of one wall can easily provide even coverage all the way to the back of the room. 

“We had the columns custom-painted in metallic gray to match the room,” says Lemischak. “You can barely see them.” Custom mounts were designed to integrate the columns with the room’s existing structure.

Centofanti says the improvement was immediate and dramatic. “We’ve had numerous comments from people about the difference in the way things sound in there now,” she observes. “People are more involved and more attentive in presentations – they can finally hear what’s being said.” 

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Headquartered in Foothill Ranch, California, Renkus-Heinz, Inc. is the worldwide leader in the design and manufacture of audio operations networks, digitally steerable arrays, powered and non-powered loudspeakers, system specific electronics and fully integrated Reference Point Array systems.

Clearwing Kicks out the Jams at Summerfest with L-ACOUSTICS

World’s largest music festival heard via K1, KARA, KUDO and ARCS WIFO

MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin — Recognized by Guinness World Records as the world’s largest music festival for the past 15 consecutive years, Milwaukee’s Summerfest truly knows how to throw a party. Serving up a smorgasbord of brats, brews and bands — over 700 national and regional acts performing on 11 stages — this year’s “Big Gig” at Henry W. Maier Festival Park on the city’s Lake Michigan shoreline drew more than 840,000 visitors over its 11-day run in late June and early July.

To handle audio production duties for this year’s 46th annual bash, Milwaukee World Festival, the non-profit organization that runs the event, once again turned to local provider Clearwing Productions, which specified the use of more than 340 L-ACOUSTICS loudspeaker enclosures for FOH throughout the grounds. more

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