Miami, FL – November 2009… Running sound for the touring concert crowd is a tough business—set up early, mix the show, tear everything down, move to the next location, and repeat it all over again according to the tour itinerary. When you consider this routine frequently also involves lighting equipment, backline (instruments), and possibly even staging, you begin to appreciate why roadies don't know where they are half the time! One thing the road crew doesn't need is a temperamental sound reinforcement system. That's why Waverly, OH-based JSL Productions, who recently provided live sound reinforcement for the Christian rock band Fireflight, used their Aero Series 2 sound system from D.A.S. Audio.
JSL Productions, a full service audio and lighting production company that handles concerts, special events, equipment sales and rentals, as well as running an installation division, provided sound and lighting for Fireflight's recent Hope Tour, which included stops in Salt Lake City, UT, Dallas and San Antonio, TX, as well as Las Vegas, NV. With new shows almost daily, Fireflight performed at churches, conference facilities, and concert halls, along with the occasional outdoor venue or arena concert. Jason Runkle, Operations Director with JSL Productions, discussed the challenges of the project.
The Fireflight concerts averaged crowds of about 700 people,” reports Runkle. “Since these were all one-nighters, we needed a sound system that travelled well, flew easily, and had reasonable weight. Our new D.A.S. Audio Aero Series 2 system, which included a dozen of the company's Aero 12A powered line array modules plus six LX-218A powered subwoofers, was the perfect choice for this project. Each day, we were loading in between 9 and 11 AM, and we found ourselves loading out later that night. The fact that the entire sound system is self-powered was a huge benefit because we had less weight to haul since there were no amp racks to deal with. Equally important, the truck pack design of the system is first-rate and this was really important since all the D.A.S. equipment plus lighting and backline had to fit into one trailer that was pulled behind the tour bus.”
According to Runkle, the standard setup consisted of six D.A.S. Audio Aero 12A loudspeakers per side flown over three LX-218A subwoofers. A D.A.S. Audio DSP-48 4-in / 8-out audio processor handled loudspeaker management chores. With their self-powered design, the JSL crew not only managed to avoid hauling a lot of weight, they also found system cabling was considerably more streamlined. “We ran each side of the system off of L 14-20 twist-lock connectors, with two 20 amp circuits on one cable that ran up the back of each side of the array clusters, said Runkle. “Hence, we had one power and one input cable per side. There's tremendous efficiency is this system's design. The entire setup—complete with 14 intelligent lights, 6 strobes, and LED lighting wash, never pulled more than 75 amps per leg on a 240 volt system.”
Runkle was equally impressed with D.A.S. Audio's rigging hardware. The system's rigging is fast and easy,” says Runkle. “We frequently used a fair amount of volunteer assistance and, as a result, there was a daily training process to teach the volunteers how to help us pin the system. It's quite surprising how quickly people get the hang of the D.A.S. hardware. This made it fast and easy for us to get everything set to the right positions each night. This was tremendously helpful, since some of the volunteers were able to un-pin the system at the end of the night and get everything straight and ready for us to pack without us having to explain much of anything.”
In terms of sound quality, Runkle is very impressed with the Aero Series 2's performance. “At most venues, there was rarely time to tune the system as much as we would have liked to,” said Runkle. “Doing little more than setting the basic delay between the subs and the arrays each night, we still achieved amazing sound quality and even, consistent sound dispersion throughout the hall. Speech intelligibility was excellent and the system was very musical.”
Before re-directing his attention to more pressing matters of the day, Runkle offered this closing assessment of JSL's new Aero Series 2 sound system and D.A.S. Audio's support services. “We've been very pleased with our new purchase,” Runkle said. “The D.A.S. customer and technical support staff has been extremely responsive and has been a pleasure to deal with. As for the sound system, it has been everything we had hoped for and more. In a few instances, we were uncertain whether or not the system would be able to accommodate the size of the hall. Once everything was fired up, however, we were pleased each and every night.”
About the D.A.S. Audio Aero 12A and LX-218A Loudspeaker Systems
The D.A.S. Audio Aero 12A is a self-powered, two-way, mid-high line array module employing a single 12-inch transducer coupled with a Neodymium compression driver with a 1.5-inch exit for the high frequencies. The LX-218A is a self-powered, high performance subwoofer using dual, 18-inch long excursion loudspeakers in a front loaded, bass reflex configuration.
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.
Photo info: Image of Jason Runkle, Operations Director with JSL Productions, with the company's D.A.S. Audio Aero Series 2 loudspeakers.