June 01

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June 01, 2015

MGG Productions Powers Afrikaans is Groot Music Show with HARMAN’s JBL VTX Line Arrays, Crown I-Tech HD Amplifiers and Soundcraft Vi Consoles

PRETORIA, South Africa – Providing sound reinforcement for some of the most popular artists in today’s South African music industry, MGG Productions recently deployed HARMAN’s JBL VTX line arrays, Crown I-Tech HD amplifiers and Soundcraft Vi Series consoles at the Afrikaans is Groot Music Show in Pretoria. Organized by Coleske Artists, the Johannesburg leg of the annual music concert saw nine sold-out shows at the Moreletapark Auditorium in Pretoria, which seats more than 7,000 people. 

MGG Productions was the sole technical supplier for audio and lighting, with Project Manager Denzil Smith and his expert team putting in many hours of hard work toward this popular event. Regional HARMAN distributor Wild & Marr was on-hand to provide additional technical support and EASE plots to ensure an even distribution of sound for the audience. 

The audio system featured a total of 32 JBL VTX V20 line array elements (featuring 12 per side for the main PA plus a center hang of eight), 10 VERTEC® VT4886 subcompact line array elements for front fill and a combination of VTX G28 and VTX S25 subwoofers in cardioid formation. JBL VTX F15, F12 and SRX712 loudspeakers were used for stage monitoring. Artists were simply blown away at the audio quality and SPL available for coverage on stage. 

All loudspeakers were powered by Crown VRacks, which included I-Tech 12000HD and I-Tech 4x3500HD amplifiers, while system management and control were handled with JBL HiQnet Performance Manager™ software. 

The FOH control was equally impressive with Soundcraft Vi6 and Vi3000 consoles connected with RealTime Rack. The Vi6 controlled all band inputs and additional multitracks for playout from Pro Tools. This was connected via an additional MADI card. The Vi6 was also used to trigger scenes to the Vi3000 via MIDI (and Ethernet which triggered the RealTime Rack). The Vi3000 was used to handle vocals and sub scenes.

May 31

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May 31, 2015

A System Fit for A King: HARMAN’s JBL VTX and Crown I-Tech HD Deliver 360-Degree Sound for Romeo Santos at Arena Monterrey

MONTERREY, Mexico — Romeo Santos is known as the King of Bachata for good reason – as a member of Aventura and as a solo artist, he’s done more than anyone to popularize the Latino music genre, garnering seven number one hits on the Hot Latin Songs chart in the last three years alone and selling out stadiums in the US and Latin America. A recent tour stop at Mexico’s Arena Monterrey was one of the tour’s most challenging for sound contractor Pro Audio, as the concert was centered around a rotating stage with 360-degree sound, provided by a HARMAN Professional audio system featuring JBL VTX Series line array loudspeakers and Crown I-Tech HD Series amplifiers. Pro Audio brought in a system fit for a king. A total of 48 JBL VTX V25 line array elements were arranged in four clusters of 12 V25 loudspeakers each, with two left and right hangs on the north side of the arena and two left and right hangs on the south side. Thirty-two JBL VERTEC® VT4889 line array elements were deployed on the east and west sides of the arena in a similar manner in four clusters of eight each. In addition, 24 VTX G28 ground-stackable subwoofers were arranged around the stage and 12 VTX V20 loudspeakers were used for front fill. The loudspeakers were driven by an equally massive amplifier complement including 16 Crown VRack amplifier systems. VRack is a complete, transportable amplifier management solution that includes Crown I-Tech HD Series power amps, analog and digital connections and a universal power distribution system, all housed in a wheeled rack with a captive suspension system that enables VRack to be flown in the same manner as a line array loudspeaker system. For the Santos concert Pro Audio furnished 16 VRacks with Crown I-Tech 12000HD power amps to drive the V25 loudspeakers and V28 subs, and 16 I-Tech 6000 and I-Tech 4000 amps to power the VT4889 arrays. A dbx DriveRack 4800 handled loudspeaker management and the entire system was set up, calibrated and controlled using JBL HiQnet Performance Manager™ software. “A big event like this always presents great challenges,” noted Victor Gutierrez Zubieta, Director of Pro Audio, “and the 360-degree arrangement also meant that setting up the sound system was far from what we usually have to deal with.” Pro Audio had to determine the correct positions for all the loudspeakers that would provide even coverage throughout the venue in a complete circular pattern, but would not block the four central video screens and would not visually intrude upon the elaborate and extensive lighting and video design. In addition, because of the full 360-degree arrangement Zubieta and his crew had to run cables over much longer distances than usual. On top of it all, the assembly of the rotating stage took a very long time, which took away from the time the crew had to set up the sound system. Here, Zubieta found distinct advantages in the VTX’s lighter weight and ease of assembly and transportation and the VRack’s modular, pre-assembled design. “The networked integration of the VTX speakers, Crown VRacks and JBL Performance Manager is simply spectacular. It has been extremely helpful to have total control of the entire system from front of house.” Pro Audio was the first sound contractor in Mexico to add VTX to its inventory about a year ago, and since then the company has been using the line arrays in all their events. “We’ve used VTX in over 30 shows with excellent results. They deliver focused coverage yet over a wide area considering their size, attributes we knew would work to our advantage in delivering sound to all areas of Arena Monterrey even though it was an unusual 360-degree rather than the standard front-to-back hall arrangement.” He pointed out that Arena Monterrey has a capacity of 17,000 people and high SPL is required for Romeo Santos and his band. “With VTX that has never been a problem – we always have plenty of headroom to spare and zero distortion. The combination of the VTX and Crown VRack modules gives us great power and clarity – which do not always go hand in hand. With Romeo it’s all about his voice – and this system conveys his range and dynamics with remarkable naturalness and presence.” “The VTX system is one of the best in the market,” Zubieta states. “Some people may have a different opinion and I respect that but in all our shows, everyone who has heard them has loved the VTX and I-Tech HD amps, whether they’ve had much experience with them or are hearing the combination for the first time.”

May 29

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May 29, 2015

Crown Amplifiers and JBL Professional Loudspeakers Power Main Stage Performances at South Bend, Indiana 150th Birthday Celebration

SOUTH BEND, Indiana — Highlighting the kickoff to a yearlong celebration for the city of South Bend, Indiana’s 150th birthday (SB150), HARMAN Professional and Michigan-based sound contractor Stewart Independent provided live sound reinforcement for a Memorial Day Weekend concert featuring Ben Folds and the South Bend Symphony. SB150 is a community-wide celebration of the city’s rich history and will highlight the area’s best in arts, culture and heritage in a variety of events and programs. 

The concert, which took place on Saturday, May 23rd, was held in the parking lot of the South Bend Century Convention and Events Center with over 5,000 in attendance for the sold-out show. In addition to the one-time collaboration between Ben Folds and the South Bend Symphony, other regional music acts also performed at the event. 

The main stage system featured 10 JBL VTX V20 full-range line array elements and six VTX S25 subwoofer elements suspended per side for the PA. An additional 12 G28 subwoofers were ground-stacked in front of the stage in four groups of three. VTX F12 and F15 loudspeakers were used as front fills and out fills, respectively. 

Four Crown VRACK 4x3500HDs powered the V20 line arrays and S25 subwoofers, while all the G28 and F Series loudspeakers were driven by two Crown VRack 12000HDs. JBL HiQnet Performance Manager™ software handled system setup, calibration and control. 

A Soundcraft Vi3000 digital live sound console handled the front of house mix and Soundcraft Vi1 was deployed for monitors. Additional HARMAN gear included two dbx DriveRack 4800s and AKG D5 vocal microphones. 

“I was fortunate enough to have the complete support of HARMAN for the weekend. Raul Gonzalez from HARMAN was a real pro and we were pleased with how well the Crown VRacks and JBL VTX boxes went together, flew and ultimately handled the show. Clarity was good and the symphony sound stage was excellent. I think we all agreed that the new gear is among the best HARMAN had put forth to date and being big fans of compact, high-output line arrays this rig fits the bill. My engineers are also big fans of the Soundcraft Consoles so having a Vi3000 at FOH was a nice treat as well," stated Shannon Stewart, owner Stewart Independent. 

“HARMAN audio and lighting equipment can be found on the biggest stages in stadiums and arenas around the world and SB150 was a great opportunity to put our gear on display in the backyard of our Elkhart facility. We are extremely proud of South Bend and are honored to be a part of celebrating its history and looking forward to the future,” stated Scott Robbins, Executive Vice President of Sales, HARMAN Professional. 

“The Main-Stage Concert was a tremendous success, despite the struggles that come with producing a first time volunteer-based show for an entire city. My staff including Dan DeVisser, Mati Johnson and Austin Lanning and I couldn't be more pleased with the outcome however. This was in no small part due to the dedication of the Executive Director of Downtown South Bend, Inc., Aaron Perri, a very supportive Mayor and Chamber of Commerce and the countless volunteers and local businesses that worked to make this event possible. Also the local production companies did great work throughout the grounds, stretching down both sides of the river in South Bend,” added Stewart. 

SB 150 will continue throughout the year with additional events and programs to celebrate the city and provide a positive legacy for South Bend residents to build on the city’s proud history. Residents and organizations are encouraged to help celebrate the city’s milestone by hosting their own events throughout the year. 

For more information on the South Bend 150 Celebration please visit: www.sb150.com.

May 20

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May 20, 2015

Gabisom and Rock in Rio USA Start Off on the Right Note with HARMAN’s JBL VTX Line Arrays and Crown I-Tech HD Amplifiers

LAS VEGAS, Nevada — Rock in Rio USA made its debut in mid-May, drawing 172,000 fans from around the world over two weekends and featuring performances by artists including Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars, No Doubt, Metallica, Jessie J, Linkin Park and more. While the Las Vegas Strip location was a first for Rock in Rio, the elaborate stage productions and memorable performances were not, as Rock in Rio USA delivered on expectations set by previous Rock in Rio festivals held in Rio de Janeiro, Lisbon and Madrid. As for all Rock in Rio festivals, Gabisom Audio Equipment of Brazil provided the sound reinforcement system for Rock in Rio USA, once again deploying HARMAN’s JBL VTX line arrays powered with Crown I-Tech HD amplifiers on the festival’s main stage. 

Gabisom provided a massive main PA system for the main stage, arranged in the typical Rock in Rio format, which Gabisom refers to as a “side-by-side” configuration—four hangs, each containing three columns of loudspeakers. The columns closest to the stage (which Gabisom calls the “Band” columns) received a full band mix, minus vocals or any other element of the mixing engineer’s choice. The middle columns were comprised of flown subwoofers, whose feed was derived from the Band mix, creating a 4-way flown system. The outermost columns, known as the “Vocal” columns, received a vocal mix, along with any other elements that the mixing engineer chose. 

“In this way, we guaranteed that each independent system [Band or Vocal] would not be fighting one another for headroom, allowing full, clean power with no limiting, clipping or acoustical distortion,” said Peter Racy, Chief Engineer or Gabisom Audio Equipment. “This newly found headroom was present right at the mixing console’s summing amps and output busses, in the system processors and power amps, as well as the speaker components. The result was clean, powerful sound.” 

The PA system featured a total of 128 VTX V25 line array elements, 46 VTX S28 flown subwoofers and 24 VTX G28 ground-stacked subwoofers. A total of 124 Crown I-Tech 12000HD amplifiers powered the system, which was networked via JBL HiQnet Performance Manager™. 

As is typical for outdoor concerts in Las Vegas, the climate posed a challenge from a technical perspective. “With relative humidity as low as 8 percent and gusty winds lifting dust into the air, we tuned various parameters within Performance Manager, including band-pass gain, subtractive EQ on the low-mids and additive EQ on the highs,” Racy said. “This is quite unusual for the VTX system, on which we normally make a few changes, if any.” 

However, once Gabisom dialed in the atmospheric compensation, Racy said the system performed exceptionally. “Guest mixing engineers were all very happy with their results, and all had favorable comments on the system,” he added. “The Performance Manager software was a huge asset for both tuning and monitoring the entire system, giving us the confidence that the system was healthy at all times.” 

“The VTX V25 system has been Gabisom’s system of choice for large outdoor festivals and high-power rock and electronic dance music concerts, due to its high power capability and superb audio quality,” Racy concluded. “It does the job exceedingly well in an effortless manner.”

May 20

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May 20, 2015

One Direction Electrifies Manila’s SM Mall of Asia Open Grounds With HARMAN’s JBL VTX Line Arrays and Crown I-Tech HD Amps

PASAY, Philippines — They may be named One Direction but the pop boy band is heading to stadiums everywhere as they continue their unstoppable success with their “On the Road Again” tour. One Direction thrilled their fans in the Philippines during two recent sold-out appearances at the 20,000-seat SM Mall of Asia open grounds in Pasay, with audio for the concerts provided by Manila tour sound contractor SoundCheck and a HARMAN Professional system featuring JBL VTX line arrays and Crown I-Tech HD Series amplifiers. 

SoundCheck was a logical choice for the events, having provided live sound reinforcement for previous SM Mall of Asia shows and other major concerts and artists in the Philippines for more than 20 years. The One Direction system featured 16 JBL VTX V25 line array elements per side for the main PA. The main PA system was configured to deliver plenty of low-frequency SPL, thanks to eight VTX S28 subwoofers hanging. An additional six S28 subs and six JBL VERTEC® VT4880A subwoofers per side were all ground-stacked two boxes high. Another set of eight V25 loudspeakers on each side at 35 degrees off-axis was set up for the out fills. 

Eight V25 loudspeakers on each end of the stage provided out fill and eight JBL VRX932LA Constant Curvature cabinets handled front fill. Two stereo sets of delay towers with 12 V20 loudspeakers per tower completed the system. Crown I-Tech 12000HD amplifiers powered all the V25 line arrays and S28 subs, while all the V20 arrays were driven by Crown I-Tech 4x3500HD amps. JBL HiQnet Performance Manager™ software was used to set up, calibrate and control the entire system. 

Soundcheck had used the VTX and Crown combination with great success in the SM Mall of Asia before, and knew it would deliver exceptional sound – and overcome the high noise level of 25,000 screaming fans singing along to every word. Since adding VTX and I-Tech to the company’s inventory Jaime Godinez, Owner and Chief Engineer of SoundCheck, had come to more and more appreciate the system’s ability to deliver output, coverage and intelligibility far better than that of previous – and larger – line arrays, with a more even tonal response throughout the speakers’ coverage area. 

The sound system of choice was initially in question, but having pushed for the VTX system, Godinez naturally was more than a little curious to find out how the artist’s system tech and sound engineer would feel about the system. “They got in and heard the setup well before show time and they were pretty happy that we had already had the whole system aligned and ready to go,” noting that JBL Performance Manager, their previous experience with the venue and the VTX’s rigging-friendly design made the setup process relatively easy for them. 

“Fast forward to the first concert – three numbers into the show, and we know we had made the right decision,” Godinez concluded. “Even with such high stakes, with a system like VTX I knew I wasn’t taking much of a gamble.” 

For more information on SoundCheck, please visit www.soundcheck.com.ph

April 16

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April 16, 2015

Crown Ships XLi Series, Setting New Standard for Affordable Power Amplifiers

FRANKFURT, Germany — HARMAN’s Crown announced it is now shipping its XLi Series, four models that set a new standard for entry-level professional grade amplifiers. The new XLi3500, XLi2500, XLi1500 and XLi800 are powerful, rugged and reliable and are well suited for a wide variety of live and installed sound applications.

The Crown XLi3500, XLi2500, XLi1500 and XLi800 deliver 1,000, 500, 330 and 200 watts per channel respectively (into 8 ohms; 2,700, 1,500, 900 and 600 watts in bridged mode into 8 ohms). All models feature user-selectable input sensitivity to accommodate a variety of program sources that have low output signals and include balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA inputs. XLi can be operated in stereo, parallel or bridged-mono mode and provides binding post and speakON output connectors to facilitate use with virtually any type of passive PA speakers.

All four amplifiers feature front panel level controls, signal presence, and clip and fault LED indicators. Like all Crown power amps, XLi Series models provide comprehensive protection against shorts, no-load conditions, and power on/off thumps. The amplifiers are also shielded against radio frequency interference to keep the sound quality pure, even in situations with a great deal of wireless activity.

“Our XLi Series power amps bring the exceptional sound quality and bulletproof construction Crown is known for to more attractive price points,” said Craig Lambrecht, Business Segment Manager, Crown Audio. “They’re ideal for musicians, bands, DJs, dance clubs, bars, houses of worship and other situations where affordability is important, without compromising on performance or reliability.”

All Crown XLi amplifiers feature a one-year, no-fault, fully transferable warranty.

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