LOS ANGELES, California – The 28th annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony was held on the west coast for the first time in 20 years at the Nokia Theatre LA LIVE in Los Angeles. This year’s inductees included Public Enemy, Heart, Albert King, Randy Newman, Rush and Donna Summer, with Lou Adler and Quincy Jones each receiving an Ahmet Ertegun non-performer award. Sound for this year’s ceremony featured more than 50 of HARMAN’s JBL VERTEC® line array loudspeakers powered by Crown I-Tech HD Series amplifiers.
Red Hook, New York-based sound contractor Firehouse Productions had the Nokia Theatre’s impressive house JBL VERTEC sound system at its disposal, which includes 14 VERTEC VT4889 fullsize line array loudspeakers per side for the main left and right clusters and six VT4889 loudspeakers per side for left and right outfill. To pump out the low end, 22 VT4880A fullsize flown subwoofers are arranged in cardioid configuration, along with eight VT4880A subs per side stacked at the left and right sides of the stage in a cardioid arrangement. The standard house system at Nokia Theater also includes six VT4887A subcompact line array loudspeakers for front fill and even JBL AC2212/00 plus six PD5212/64 loudspeakers for loge and mezzanine delays, respectively.
For the Induction Ceremony, Firehouse Productions added three more hangs of six VT4886 subcompact line array elements each for left, center and right balcony delay clusters and additional VT4886 enclosures for distributed front fill. Audio networking and signal processing was provided by BSS Audio Soundweb London components.
Firehouse has provided the sound for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony before, but this was the first time the company did the event in a proper theater. According to Mark Dittmar, Firehouse’s lead design and integration engineer, Firehouse immediately benefited from a space with good acoustics and a world-class PA system already in place. However, he noted, “With this being rock and roll’s biggest awards night, we wanted a system that would completely blow peoples’ minds for the bands, but maintain good intelligibility for the speeches.” Knowing the Nokia Theatre LA LIVE was already equipped with VERTEC gave Dittmar a feeling of confidence going in, having used VERTEC line arrays for more than a decade for their superior sound quality.
Dittmar has depended on Crown amplifiers since Firehouse Productions began and finds that the I-Tech HD Series offers power and flexibility he can’t achieve with other products. I-Tech HD amplifiers were deployed for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremonies to power the additional VERTEC arrays, along with the original Crown I-Tech amplifiers which power the house PA.
“One of our favorite aspects about Crown is the ability to build a custom library of presets that enable us to control any speaker in our inventory with the proper power and optimize their EQ, delay and other parameters,” Dittmar stated. “In particular, the inclusion of the newest VERTEC V5 preset tunings in the Crown I-Tech HD Series amps really took the performance of the loudspeakers beyond anything we were able to achieve before in terms of coverage, coherence, tonal balance and overall clarity.”