West London based Entec Sound & Light supplied the main stage sound design and a d&b audio system for the 3 day 2011 Guilfest music festival, staged at Stoke Park in central Guildford, Surrey, UK. It was the event's 20th anniversary, renowned for its diverse line ups and laid-back, friendly, family atmosphere.
It was the seventh consecutive year that Entec has supplied the event, for which Liam Halpin was crew chief, systems designer and radio supervisor. His highly successful sound design model has been used for the last 5 years, during which time it has been tweaked and honed to give a fabulous optimum sound on site - for a wide variety of artists and styles - producing the absolute minimum noise pollution in the surrounding areas.
The system consisted of 9 deep left and right hangs of d&b's J8 large format line array speakers and a distributed bass array across the front of the stage, comprising 6 stacks of subs - two 3-way stacks of B2 and four 2-way stacks of J-SUBS.
For infills they used a pair of J12s on top of the outer sub stacks, and that was all apart from a single Q-SUB focused into the rear of the VIP area.
This design has proved to be the best and most efficient for low end distribution throughout the sound field, which has to cater for up to 12,000 people (out of a total site capacity of 25,000). It is designed to cover a 90 degree angle emanating from the stage and allows very good distribution and accurate noise control at the 5 off-site reference points.
Due to the flexibility of the sound design for noise containment, they ran for the entire duration of the festival without having to adhere to a maximum level limit, apart from the self imposed one of 105dB at the stage - which was inaudible at all of the reference points during the propagation tests.
They ran analogue at both ends of the multicore - it has always been this way at Guilfest - with a Midas XL4 chosen as the FOH console and an H3000 for monitors. Each of the headlining acts Roger Daltrey (Friday), Razorlight (Saturday) and James Blunt on Sunday - brought in their own desks, and all the other visiting engineers used the house console. Any bands without sound engineers were mixed by Kevin Smith, Entec's FOH ‘babysitter'.
A Dolby Lake processor configured as a matrix unit was utilised for EQ, and the time alignment was all set up in the d&b D12 amplifiers using the proprietary R1 remote software. The time alignment and phase tests were calculated using Array Calc, d&b's system design tools programme.
Entec supplied an impressive array of outboards. One act required 10 channels of compression alone, which resulted in Entec offering up a large array of dbx 160s and Summit DCL200s. They used Drawmer DS201 gates and all the other accoutrements of a standard well specified analogue rig were there, including a selection of TC, Yamaha and Eventide effects units.
All the monitor EQ was run via a Klark Teknik Helix system, which hooked into the H3000 desk and enabled solo tracking of all the sources. Monitors consisted of 18 x d&b M2 wedges with one stack of C7 side fills per side and Q-SUBs for drum fills.
Entec also supplied 6 channels of Sennheiser G2 & a DigiDesign Profile for Erasure and a festival package consisting of 6 channels of Shure UHF-R radio mics and a wide range of other mics & DI s. They also supplied a Telix BTR 700 for tech comms linking stage and the FOH tower which is a great asset during changeovers.
Guildford is a busy radio environment already, as well as the crossover point for three different television broadcast transmission networks, all of which are using Channel 38 compliant kit, so there was some jostling for frequency bandwidth and little availability of licensing between channels 24 and 56. This proved the biggest technical challenge for the audio team in the run up to the event.
Halpin and his crew of 5 got in on the Thursday morning, and were rigged, run-up, tuned and ready for the event to start on Friday afternoon. The FOH area was looked after by Kevin Smith, with Mark "Magic" Ellis-Cope running monitors, and the patch overseen by Lee Furnell assisted by Lloyd James.
Entec's Head of Sound Dick Hayes commented, ‘It was great to be a part of Tony Scott's 20th year celebrations on what has become Entec's ‘local festival'. Liam's system design works really well, especially the containment within the main stage site allowing the FOH engineers greater freedom of expression. Of course, we also take our hats off to d&b for designing their wonderful products in the first place ... and are all looking forward to the 21st Guilfest".
For more press info on Entec, please call Louise Stickland on +44 (0)1865 202679/+44 (0)7831 329888 or Email [email protected]'. To contact Entec direct, call +44 (0)20 8842 4004 or check www.entec-soundandlight.com.