Miami, FL – April 2010… On Thursday, March 25th, tens of thousands of Cubans—wearing white and carry Cuban flags—paraded down Little Havana's Calle Ocho with Cuban-American star Gloria Estefan to show their support for Cuba's Ladies in White, the peaceful dissidents who were recently attacked by government forces in Havana. The outpouring of people, which included multiple generations of exiles, was an unprecedented show of unity expressing their concerns for their troubled homeland. While many of those in attendance couldn't see the activities on stage, they could certainly hear what was going on—thanks to a potent sound reinforcement system drawn from the Aero Series 2 catalog of D.A.S. Audio.
Miami-based Roxy Productions, a sound services company with a focus on the special events market, was contracted to provide sound reinforcement for the event. The company deployed a combination of D.A.S. Audio Aero 12A self-powered, two-way, mid-high line array modules along with a delay tower consisting of Aero CA-28A powered, compact line array modules. Ulises Otero, Roxy Productions' Technical Director, discussed the event's challenges.
“Because we had to wait for the stage to arrive and then be assembled,” Otero explained, “time was of this essence. We had only two hours to move the equipment into place, run power, and have everything operational. We couldn't start until 3 PM and had to be ready to go by 5 PM. Given the time constraint, the Aero 12A's rigging hardware, which is integrated into the cabinet's design, was a huge help because it enabled us to pin the loudspeaker clusters together quickly. We flew eight Aero 12A's per side for the left-right mains and suspended them from trussing that was bridged across Genie towers—one on each side of the stage area.”
In addition to the two main loudspeaker clusters, Otero reports that four D.A.S. Audio SML-12A 2-way powered stage monitors were also resident on the stage. Rather than using the SML enclosures as conventional stage monitors, however, these loudspeakers were used for a combination of front fill and side fill duties. Further, a delay system—also flown using a Genie lift—was positioned approximately 200 feet down the street from the stage. This setup consisted of six D.A.S. Audio Aero CA-28A enclosures.
Initially, the event's organizers were expecting 5,000 – 6,000 participants. “We planned for a crowd size that ended up being way larger than anyone envisioned,” said Otero. “Since it was too late to change everything, we had to go with the system we originally planned. Much to our surprise—and to D.A.S. Audio's credit—our system was quite capable of handling the oversized crowd.”
“While the sound system was used for limited music reproduction—recordings of the United States and Cuban national anthems were played—it was primarily used for speech reproduction,” Otero continued. “Gloria, who was joined by her husband Emilio and several community leaders, ended the hour long march with a message of peace.”
Otero discussed the D.A.S. Audio Aero systems' performance, “The Aero 12A is a great sounding loudspeaker. I was particularly impressed with the HF (high frequency) EQ ON/OFF switch at the rear of the enclosure. For setups using more than six boxes, you can engage the EQ to boost the highs. This has the effect of â€˜tuning' the system for longer throw and the function was extremely useful for this size crowd. The fact that the entire sound reinforcement setup—mains, delay system, and the stage monitors—is self-powered was another huge factor on this project. Since we didn't have to be burdened with racks of amps and the weight they involve, setup was fast and cabling was more streamlined. For this project, we appreciated these features even more than usual.”
The Ladies in White March was extremely successful and drew the support of TV personalities and celebrities from throughout the United States and Latin America. “I'm really proud to have been a part of this,” Otero said. “From 22nd Avenue all the way to 26th Avenue, it was shoulder to shoulder people and the D.A.S. equipment did a great job covering the crowd. We encountered people who were as far away as 24th Avenue who told us that while they couldn't see the stage, they could hear everything loud and clear. Given the fact that we planned this system for a considerably smaller number of people, we couldn't be happier with its performance.”
To learn more about Roxy Productions, visit the company online at www.roxy-productions.com.
About D.A.S. Audio
Headquartered in Valencia, Spain, D.A.S. Audio is one of the world's leading manufacturers of loudspeaker systems, power amplification, signal processing, and related components. For better than thirty years, D.A.S. Audio products have been found on tour with the world's greatest performing artists and installed in many of the most prestigious facilities. For additional information about the company, visit them online at www.dasaudio.com.