Ft. Wayne Indiana––The annual July 4th concert performance at the Ft. Wayne campus of Indiana/Purdue University was scheduled to feature four local acts capped off by nationally known country singer Jo Dee Messina and a spectacular finale featuring the Ft. Wayne Symphony Orchestra performing in tandem with choreographed fireworks.
To accommodate all of the performers, Sticha Bros, who'd been contracted for the event by Northern Productions of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, set up a larger 60' x 60” stage next to a smaller 60' x 40' stage in a large field on campus. The audio setup for the crowd out in front of the stages consisted of three hangs of eight Martin Audio W8LC compact line array enclosures, on the outside and between the two stages, with 24 ground-stacked WSX subs and Martin WT3s for sidefill and frontfill, all powered by Martin Audio 2.8 and 4.2 amps.
A supplemental PA system consisting of and additional 16 Martin Audio W8LM Mini line array enclosures on Sumner Eventner lifts was provided to cover the VIP section behind the stage and beyond the concert area. Martin Audio LE12J monitors were also used on stage.
Asked about the choice of Martin Audio, Sticha Bros. FOH Engineer/System Tech Philip Fendley remarked, “Besides the ease of rigging, I like using Martin loudspeakers because of their transparency, and overall clarity. From the loudest rock acts to the most dynamic orchestras, the W8LCs respond very positively to what I send out of the desk, without coloration or distortion, but with excellent clarity and all the subtleties of the performance on stage.”
In addition to the Sticha Bros. crew of Fendley, Adam Hart (Monitor Engineer) and Caleb Reinert (Stage Tech), Tim Shapiro served as wireless/delay towers tech, responsible for bringing the audio to the fireworks crew and surrounding campus areas.
Because it rained off and on during the concert, Sticha Bros. were ultimately responsible for making sure that the sound reached all areas of the campus. Fortunately, the Martin Audio W8LM speakers were up to the task at hand.
As Shapiro explains, “We ended up having to cover the entire college campus, including parking lots and garages. We covered these areas, sometimes located a mile away from the main stage, through use of various wireless systems, relaying the signal to delay towers strategically placed around the campus, to provide even audio coverage, no matter where your vantage point was.
“The coverage of this system in both distance and width was truly astounding. Using W8LMs on crank towers made for a small footprint, but large sound, capable of reproducing clarity second to none. With a Symphony, competing with the levels of fireworks overhead, these boxes proved great things come in small sizes.”