San Bernardino, CA – September 2009… Since 2003, Guerilla Union's Rock the Bells tour has established itself as a world-class hip-hop platform by hosting legendary performances from leading artists of the genre. This year's tour was no different and included appearances by NAS and Damian Marley, Cypress Hill and Ice Cube, Busta Rhymes plus numerous equally compelling acts. With an ambitious tour schedule that included stops in Chicago, IL, Detroit, MI, Washington, DC, Boston, MA, New York, NY, and San Francisco, CA, the musical extravaganza made its Southern California appearance at the San Manuel Amphitheater —formerly known as Glen Helen Pavilion. There, an appreciative crowd of approximately 14,000 reveled to the music delivered by a pulse pounding sound system consisting of components from D.A.S. Audio's Aero 2 catalog.
Irwindale, CA-based DBS Sound & Lighting, a provider of audio, staging, and lighting services for concerts, tours, and the special events market, was contracted to provide sound reinforcement for the event. Ruben Silva, owner/operator of DBS Sound & Lighting, knows that the San Manuel Amphitheater can be a challenging environment for delivering high SPL sound. He discussed the issues that confronted him and his decision to deploy a D.A.S. Audio Aero 2 system.
“Providing coverage to the main seating areas in front of the stage is one thing,” explained Silva, “but the grass lawn area further out is an entirely different matter, as the high winds can wreak havoc with the sound. In order to provide the long throw and broad horizontal coverage we needed, the system required serious power. Because of this, I was very concerned about rear rejection (sound emanating from the back side of the array clusters), as it complicates on stage monitoring and the ability of the performers to hear clearly. This was a huge consideration and one of the key reasons we decided on D.A.S. Audio's Aero 50 line arrays.”
The primary sound system that DBS Sound & Lighting deployed consisted of twenty-four D.A.S. Audio Aero 50 line array enclosures—flown 12 per side at a height of approximately 40 feet for the top enclosure. The Aero 50 is a 3-way, large-format line array module incorporating two 15-inch loudspeakers with neodymium magnet assemblies coupled with four 8-inch transducers (also with neodymium magnetic assemblies), and two neodymium compression drivers with 1.5-inch exits. The Aero 50 line array clusters were driven by Crown Audio's I-Tech Series I-T8000 power amplifiers.
Low frequency support was partially provided by eight D.A.S. LX-218 high performance subwoofers—distributed evenly across the lower front of the stage. The D.A.S. Audio LX-218 subwoofer features dual D.A.S. 18LX long excursion transducers in a front loaded, bass-reflex configuration. Power for the subwoofers was provided by Crown Audio I-Tech Series I-T8000 power amplifiers. DBS Sound & Lighting's own house brand subwoofers, stage monitors, and side fill enclosures completed the system.
In terms of system performance, Silva reports that the D.A.S. Audio Aero 2 Series sound system delivered in a big way. “The system did a terrific job,” said Silva. “The Aero 50's have tremendous throw and provide very even coverage with a full, fat sound. The Aero 50's rigging hardware is very well designed and makes the process of assembling and flying the boxes remarkably easy for a system this large. Perhaps most significant is the fact that the Aero 50's are really well designed in terms of their ability to minimize rear rejection. There was very little noise on stage—almost none to speak of.”
Silva was equally complimentary of the D.A.S. LX218 subwoofers, “The LX-218's worked very well for us on this job. In addition to their low end punch, they exhibit good detail, which frequently escapes competing sub bass enclosures. I only wish I had more.”
With the Rock the Bells tour in the rear view mirror, Silva reflected on the D.A.S. Audio system's performance. “This Aero system delivered very impressive results,” notes Silva. “Going into this project, we had some questions and, I have to say, the D.A.S. folks were extremely supportive and responsive. I received numerous compliments about the sound systems' performance—particularly from some of the key engineers that were mixing, including the FOH engineers for The Roots, House of Pain, and Damian Marley. It was very cool to see all the people enjoying the music and my client, Guerilla Union, was very pleased with the sound. When the artists and the client are happy, I'm happy.”
For additional information about Guerilla Union, visit them online at http://guerillaunion.com/. For more information about DBS Sound & Lighting, contact the company via email at [email protected] or by phone at 323-816-3288.
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.