The Bridge School Benefit is an annual event organized by Neil Young in support of his Bridge School non-profit organization. The Bridge School supports the development of assistive technology for individuals suffering from severe speech and physical impairments to enable full participation in their communities. As is the case each year, the event featured performances by a wide variety of high-profile artists. Norah Jones, Dave Matthews, Pearl Jam and Emmylou Harris were just a few who joined the lineup.
According to Rob Mailman, General Manager, Touring Division of Sound Image, the VERTEC line arrays provided reliable sound in a somewhat challenging acoustic environment. “The roof at the Shoreline Amphitheatre is really live, but we know the space really well and we know what to expect from the VERTEC’s,” he said. “One feature of the VT4880 subwoofers is that we were able to hang them in arrays, which helped keep the low end off the stage.”
The main left and right arrays each contained 15 VT4889 line array elements, with out fill arrays of 12 VT4889 line array elements deep per side. Subwoofers were positioned to complement the flying main arrays with eight 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 concert industry clients and had just come off a successful North American tour for Tool, one of Sound Image’s touring accounts.
“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.”
In addition to the JBL VERTEC line arrays, other Harman Pro products used in Sound Image’s concert system package included 60 Crown I-Tech 8000 amplifiers, four dbx DriveRack® 4800 system controllers, and Harman HiQnet System Architect software, used with Sound Image’s custom-configured screens for remote control and monitoring of the system via the HiQnet network.
“Some of the innovations seen in the VERTEC line array product family include higher output power, precision rigging and lightweight enclosures,” noted David Scheirman, vice president, tour sound, JBL Professional. “The combination of innovative product solutions and Sound Image’s technical expertise was a recipe for success at this event.”