11 November 2008, Omaha, Nebraska, United States
Reinforcing the ease of use, power and fidelity of JBL VERTEC® line arrays, regional audio system provider Audio Visions deployed a VERTEC system for Ak-Sar-Ben's River City Roundup at the Qwest Center in Omaha, Nebraska. A 27 year-old family festival that celebrates the western and agricultural heritage of the region, the major Midwestern rodeo event took place September 27-29. Post-competition live entertainment was provided by Jessica Simpson, Larry the Cable Guy and Rodney Atkins.
Audio Visions supplied a robust, carefully designed audio system including a total of 72 JBL VERTEC enclosures of various types. Twelve VT4889 large-format line array elements per side were supplemented by 12 VT4880A Ultra Long Excursion arrayable subwoofers per side. Additionally, 12 VT4888 midsize line array elements per side were deployed for out-fill arrays. Crown MacroTech amplifiers powered the VT4889 and VT4888 loudspeakers.
According to Elliot Nielsen of Audio Visions, the nature of the event created some challenging conditions. "The stage was 14 feet high because it needed to allow riders on horseback to pass underneath," Nielsen said. "So the loudspeaker arrays were positioned unusually high, even for a large indoor venue like the Qwest Center. The top box was 54 feet in the air."
Leveraging the predictable controllability of the VERTEC loudspeakers, Audio Visions configured the system with dbx DriveRack 4800 Loudspeaker Management Systems loaded with JBL's new V4 DSP presets. Harman's HiQnet™ System Architect software interface was used for remote control and monitoring. "I'm really liking System Architect," Nielsen said. "It would be hard for me to go back to anything that I couldn't use to remotely configure a system."
Nielsen pointed out the challenge of compromising the summation of the waveguide patterns between the bottoms of the main and out-fill arrays, as is often the case with systems that utilize side hangs of line arrays. "The side hang at River City Roundup has to cover a significant amount of vertical real estate," Nielsen said. "Starting with the top seat on the side at a height of 85 feet covering nearly to the floor with a bottom sight angle of over 40 degrees, the array becomes highly arced. So, with the main hang being a typical 'J' shape, there was an excess of overlap at the bottom, and as fate would have it, a portion of that overlap squarely hit the off-center mix position. I aimed the side hangs to get the smoothest blend between main and out-fill arrays for the majority of the seats. Gain shading and separate signal processing helped optimize the hot spots for the remaining two percent of the affected seats."
As an audio rental firm that relies heavily on VERTEC line arrays for its live staging events, Audio Visions has built a strong and successful professional relationship with JBL. "Our company is predominately a VERTEC house because of its popularity in our region. A lot of other companies in the area own VERTEC which makes it a great choice whenever we need to find more boxes," Nielsen added. "For me as a system technician, it's very easy to configure and the rig goes up really quickly."
For more information on Audio Visions, please visit www.audio-visions.com