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Outdoor AV: Installation at Central Park West, Part 1

Mar 7, 2011 5:53 PM, with Bennett Liles

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Well I guess that can be a good thing—having more people than you figured were going to show up for an event since you’ve got plenty of room out there. I understand you put in a Yamaha LS9 digital audio console in there. Why did you choose that for this particular place?
We have a very, very longstanding relationship with Yamaha Commercial Audio and we are proponents of digital technologies. We really felt that a digital console, and especially the LS9 because of the footprint of it, we were able to put that off to stage left. It actually acts as a bridge between larger productions and smaller productions but it’s recallable, it’s a very simple user interface, we are able to control it over a Cat-5 with our laptop so it really just was a really key element and it just seemed to fit perfectly and we’ve done many, many, many LS9 installations in churches, in schools and in our rental division we have them in our rental division. So we’re very familiar with that console and we really feel it’s a bulletproof piece and we never have an issue about thinking if it’s going to work or not. [Timestamp: 7:2]

Obviously a big plus being familiar with the capabilities of the system and when you saw the situation here I would think that flexibility would have to be a big part of this because you have a very open area where the audience can be arranged in a lot of difference ways. Where’s the FOH position? You said it was over on the side, is it fixed or can the board be moved out front?
Well the console lives in a fixed position but we can control the console via Cat-5 runs that we ran through the space. I mean the FOH position is 165ft. away and is actually a pad built with power and we ran a simple audio snake, I think it’s 12 channels of audio back and forth for communications for any kind of sundry items and then we run the console over a Cat-5 and for larger productions we bring in a Yamaha M7ES with a digital snake and we use those same Cat-5 runs in different locations and it’s completely flexible. It’s really been wonderful. It can be in a set and forget mode or it can be in full production mode so it really is a nice way of doing it. The park obviously doesn't have trained technical people and the administrator and the supervisor of the park are well aware of how to recall a scene. We burned in some simple scenes and give them a couple of wireless mics and CD playback for his one scene. And depending on the scale of the event we man it accordingly. The other good news about it is that the rental end of our company…we almost built in a rental job for ourselves because any of the larger events they call us to man the system. So it’s very rental-friendly. [Timestamp: 9:05]

OK so when you were putting this thing in obviously it’s outside so there are going to be some weather factors to deal with. What was the biggest challenge on this? Was there any kind of a hurry up on it or was it just the fact that it was outside?
Well the Proscenium Stage is a structure we have stage right is electric stage left is audio so we have a room that’s air-conditioned and heated and for us it’s a very, very fortified type of a structure. But the actual installation was on the fast track because this was up and running for the July 4th weekend. We were awarded the contract in late March so there was a lot that had to go in. We had to work with the general contractor who is a huge operation. So it’s not like we’re working with a local contractor we’re working with a huge corporation—really had to get our conduit runs under control. These guys, they’re not audio savvy guys so we had to go through that with them but they did a wonderful job and provided us everything that we needed to do. We had our crew. The good news is that our warehouse is very local to this site so it really was a five-minute ride from our warehouse. But we went and did it—we project managed everything that we could do. We pulled all the cabling that we had to do and we got it done. In this kind of environment, in this kind of economy I don’t think there’s many people to say “No”—at least not in New York. [Timestamp: 10:31]

Right and it looks like you had several advantages that you pressed to your credit. You’re close by and even though it’s outside you already had a clear picture of what they wanted and I want to thank you for being here James to tell us about it. And for Part Two we can get into the Nexo GOS 12 line arrays and where you put the amps and some of the more specific things but thanks for being here for Part One.

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