The Bridge School is a non-profit organization whose mission is to ensure that individuals with severe speech and physical impairments achieve full participation in their communities through the use of augmentative and alternative means of communication and assistive technology applications and through the development of life long educational strategies. For 20 years, the benefit concert has raised funds for the school’s numerous activities. This year, as in years past, sound reinforcement was provided by Sound Image. Rob Mailman, General Manager, Touring Division of Sound Image, was on hand to see the implementation of the audio that included a 52-box JBL VERTEC® VT4889 line array and 24 JBL VERTEC VT4880 2x18 subwoofers. The system was fully Crown powered with approximately 60 I-Tech 8000 amplifiers in use for all bandpasses and four dbx DriveRack® 4800s were deployed as system controllers. Harman Pro Group HiQnet System Architect software was used with Sound Image’s custom control screens for remote control and monitoring of the system via the HiQnet network.
“As a service provider,” said Mailman, “our top priority is to make sure the show goes smoothly, from behind-the-scenes work to meeting the special gear requests of the artists. With everyone on the show a headline act in their own right, it was important to carefully coordinate their needs and provide the audio gear they needed to be comfortable.”
The main left and right arrays each contained 15 VT4889 boxes, with outfill arrays of 12 VT4889 deep per side. Subwoofers were positioned to complement the flying main arrays with 8 boxes flown per side and four additional units stacked on the deck. Indeed, this VERTEC rig has proved so reliable it is used for many of Sound Image’s top-flight concerts and had just come off a successful North American tour for Tool, one of Sound Image’s touring accounts.
One of the biggest challenges at the Bridge School Benefit was coordinating the needs of multiple headline artists who all wanted the system to sound appropriate for them. The only to way to properly control all aspects of the system and transition smoothly between acts was to use Harman’s HiQnet protocol controlled by System Architect software. The DSP onboard the Crown I-Tech 8000 amplifiers was used for system crossovers and controlled via System Architect. The dbx DriveRacks served as the control point for the entire system EQ and were administered via HiQnet. The ease of use of the System Architect interface allowed simple and immediate control of all aspects of a complex system setup from a single position.
David Scheirman, Vice President, Tour Sound, JBL Professional, said the company is happy to support their “team members” such as Sound Image in providing the latest technology for these benefit concerts. “As one of JBL’s “racing team” companies, Sound Image enjoys a close working relationship with JBL, which is thrilled to support them for high-profile events like the Bridge School Concert,” said Scheirman. “Some of the innovations seen in the VERTEC line array product family include higher output power, precision rigging and lightweight enclosures. Through the development of innovative solutions such as HiQnet and VERTEC, Harman is able to meet the technical and business demands of touring sound companies.”
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 System Development and Integration Group (SDIG), a team of dedicated systems specialists based in Salt Lake City, Utah.