ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA, January 18, 2007 — The world premiere of Primal Twang, a theatrical music production that highlights the legacy of the guitar, debuted at San Diego’s North Park Theatre September 7-10. Leading rental sound company Meeting Services provided a HiQnet™ sound reinforcement system for the performance, which included the first U.S. theatrical-industry deployment of JBL Professional’s new VP (Venue Performance) Series loudspeakers, as well as the first American use of the Soundcraft Vi6™ digital console.
“Theatrical productions each have their own unique requirements,” said David Scheirman, Vice President, Tour Sound for JBL Professional. “When a project combines world-class musicianship with multimedia playback, narration and various surround-sound effects as this one does, the team’s task is highly complex. JBL’s VP Series product range was designed to deliver premium fidelity, predictable coverage and low distortion in an easily-deployed package. As well, they are an excellent complement to Soundcraft’s Vi6 mixing console with its multiple signal paths. These new products, first used together at Primal Twang, should prove to be ideal audio tools for use by a growing group of sound system professionals in the theatrical environment.”
Home to San Diego’s Lyric Opera, the North Park Theatre is a 730-seat proscenium stage venue. For this production it needed to accommodate multimedia playback as well as live musical performances in styles ranging from rock to reggae, and jazz to folk, as well as flamenco, bluegrass and blues.
Multi-talented musician Dan Crary served as narrator and led an all-star “Primal Twang” house band that supported the master artists, including Doc Watson, Eric Johnson, Andrew York, Mason Williams, Peter Sprague, Albert Lee and other legendary pickers.
Meeting Services provided JBL Venue Performance VP7212 DPAN and VP7315 DPAN model loudspeakers as well as the VP7118 DPAN subwoofers to augment the venue’s existing, installed JBL AM Series loudspeakers. To accommodate the unusual nature of the multifaceted, multimedia production, Meeting Services’ Technical Sales Manager Ken Freeman specified a Lexicon 960 digital multichannel processor with 7.1 surround capability. The surround speakers were the VP Series featuring DPAN input modules, which include analog inputs and sophisticated onboard digital signal processing technology. Precision band-pass limiting, pre-equalization filters and automatic self-test functions ensure optimized performance. The DPAN input module features 100 Mb Ethernet networking functionality and HiQnet compatibility.
In addition to the Lexicon 960, Soundcraft Vi6, and JBL VP Series, Meeting Services used other Harman Pro Group audio technologies including HiQnet-compatible dbx DriveRack® 4800 digital system controllers for optimizing the various zones of the sound reinforcement system, and Crown MA Series power amplifiers for the JBL-loaded stage monitors.
All six models of the VP Series are optimized for applications where multiple individual loudspeakers will be configured into arrays for point-source clusters. Each system features a JBL DrivePack® electronics module, designed in coordination with Crown International. The JBL DrivePack features passive cooling for fan-free, low-noise operation, important in the theatrical and performing-arts environment.
“The new VP Series systems have smooth response and well-defined coverage for a self-powered enclosure,” noted Gary Hartung, front-of-house soundmixer for Primal Twang. “They seem to be a great choice for theatrical productions where music is prominently featured prominently. They are extremely versatile as a main PA, surround or fill speakers."
Extremely sleek and inviting in appearance and stunning in terms of sonic performance, the HiQnet-compatible Soundcraft Vi6 console has been designed using the proven reliability of sister company’s Studer’s Vista Series and OnAir 3000 consoles. Additionally, it uses a derivation of the Vistonics™ user interface (Vistonics II™) to allow the engineer to very intuitively operate the desk. Like its predecessor, Vistonics II utilizes the same type of touch-screen color TFT monitor with integral rotary controls and switches mounted on the glass to provide a “where you look is where you control” working philosophy.
“This event was an excellent example of the strengths of the Harman Pro Group, with the Soundcraft Vi6 at the heart of the system,” said Keith Watson, VP Marketing & Communications, Soundcraft & Studer. “The console has quickly gained a reputation for stunning audio and the most intuitive user interface on the market. This enabled us to provide a world-class lineup of artists with the absolute quality they deserved to deliver a great show.”
Harman HiQnet™ is the world’s first connectivity and control protocol that integrates all product categories in the signal chain for professional audio systems of all types, size, and applications. Harman HiQnet no longer requires the user to manage multiple disparate operating systems or be responsible for programming individual signal processors, speaker controllers, wireless microphone systems, and mixing consoles. HiQnet was developed by the Harman Pro Group Systems Development Group (SDIG), a team of dedicated systems specialists based in Salt Lake City, Utah.