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AV System Launches BurnLounge

A digital audio download service uses AV to stage a corporate event featuring live performances and a talk show-style venue on a single stage.

Nickens selected the W8LM and W8LC line arrays to address the challenge the venue's low ceiling height posed to vertical coverage. “The Martin Audio arrays have a 7.5-degree angle, which gives them more coverage from front to back than other speakers,” he says.

The separate line array configurations for the different event programs, which were powered by Crown Audio MA-5000 and MA-3600 amplifiers, were switched via presets on an XTA 226 loudspeaker processor.

While both parts of the event share the XTA processor, Martin Audio line arrays, and Crown amplifiers, each program also had its own set of separate components. While the corporate part of the program is controlled with a Yamaha PM 3500 52c digital console, Nickens decided that an analog console would work better for the concert portion. “We opted to go for an analog console for the bands because the band side was done festival style, one group after another,” he says. “We didn't have the luxury of doing full-on sound checks, and cable line checks were sometimes done through the headphones while the corporate event was going on.”

Nickens also thought the analog console would make the event's traditional concert audio engineers more comfortable. “We wanted to put a console in front of engineers where they could reach out and grab a knob instead of having to say, ‘I can't drive this desk.' We wanted to keep it simple.”

For the corporate side of the event, Nickens also specified a BSS Varicurve EQ system, a Dugan D2 auto mixer, a Shure U4D RF dual-channel wireless UHF receiver used with Shure U2 and U1 microphones, and Countryman E6 Ear set microphones.

Once the Countryman E6 Ear set microphones were put in place, the team tested their sound levels and discovered that the signal levels were too low. To solve this problem, they used BSS DPR-901II dynamic equalizers to insert sub groups, and altered the factory setup of the microphones.

Nickens says the factory setup can be changed using different filters in the Countryman E6 microphones. “Those filters can be quite useful in an environment when you have a large audience and you're trying to maximize the amount of gain you get before feedback,” he says.

For the musicians in the concert portion of the event, the team used a Shure U4D RF dual-channel wireless UHF receiver with Shure U1 and U2 microphones, as well as Stanco Productions' own SCA custom floor wedges, BSS FCS 960 graphic equalizers for FOH and monitors, and a Crest Audio LM monitor console. Nickens selected a Yamaha SPX 990 signal processor to handle the reverb and delay for the supplemental line arrays.

Although the AV team was able to address the ceiling height issues, the event space also posed some acoustical problems. In a permanent installation, acoustic treatment material could have been mounted to the walls, but for a three-day event, Nickens had to improvise. “We draped all four walls with a 25-foot-high, 22-ounce velour drape,” he says. “Line arrays are great and very predictable until sound starts bouncing off of interior surfaces. In this space, we were concerned with slap-back off the back wall and reflections coming off the left and right walls because they were all hard-surfaces.”

The velour draping solved most of the problems, but the team also made adjustments to the sound system using EAW's SmaartLive acoustical analysis software. The SmaartLive program was sent via RS485 to the XTA processors where it was superimposed and modified. It was also sent via RS232 to laptops for further evaluation.

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