Washington, D.C. (June 17, 2014)—Production Resource Group (PRG) recently provided audio services for the 25th annual National Memorial Day Concert, held on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. on May 26. It marked the first use of the company’s L-Acoustics K2 line source array system—one of two the company recently purchased.
This year’s event, hosted by actors Joe Mantegna and Gary Sinise, featured an all-star lineup of performers, including the National Symphony Orchestra, Jennifer Nettles, Megan Hilty, the U.S. Army Chorus and Air Force Singing Sergeants.
Having supported the annual holiday event for over two decades now, the K2 rig replaced the V-Dosc system used in years past. “PRG has been anxiously waiting for the arrival of the L-Acoustics K2 system and it went right to work at the Capitol for Memorial Day,” says Randy Hutson, GM of PRG Chicago and vice president of PRG Audio.
At the National Memorial Day Concert on the U.S. Capitol’s West Lawn, the K2 rig was configured in left and right hangs of 12 enclosures each. These were flown from towers, also used for fixed and moving lighting fixtures, positioned 105 feet downstage of the stage deck. Eight SB28 subs deployed in an end-fire array configuration provided the low-end reinforcement, while 16 coaxial 12XT wedges served as stage monitors. Thirteen LA-Rak touring racks, each loaded with three LA8 amplified controllers, furnished power and processing for the entire system.
In addition to the K2s, the project also used a total of 24 Arcs II systems – two hangs of five each for the invited-guest main stage, two more hangs of five for the reverse satellite stage, and two hangs of two each flanking the K2 arrays for wide horizontal coverage. Twenty-four dV-Dosc speakers, in four stacks of six enclosures each coupled with a single SB28 sub, provided delay while two more stacks of four dV-Dosc were used as guest area fills positioned on a tower on either side of the stage, also used for lighting fixtures and video screens.
“The stage was playing directly into the face of the Capitol building, which is flanked by stairs on either side, but centered on a large, ornate glass window – beautiful, certainly, but nothing we wanted to purposefully fire acoustic energy against,” notes Chris “Sully” Sullivan, L-Acoustics’ east coast application engineer. “To solve the problem, we viewed the obstacle in SoundVision, predicted which elements in the K2 array were going to hit it, then simply shifted the K2’s pattern asymmetrically for just those loudspeakers in the middle of the array. We reduced the reflected energy in excess of 6dB, and that was just the direct reflected energy. Combine that benefit with the reduction or elimination of the myriad of tangential off-time tertiary reflections and that becomes a massive win for the whole audience.”
This year’s Memorial Day concert also saw another first. Previously, the show’s FOH had been mixed using a total of three consoles, but this year, PRG ran the entire show on a pair of DiGiCo SD7 consoles, with six DiGiCo SD-I/O racks and an SD-Mini I/O rack, connected by two fiber-optic cables, with the FOH mix handled by Patrick Baltzell. “This really unified operations at the site and, combined with the much lighter K2 system, gave us the same amount of punch in a smaller and more efficient footprint.”
The same system will be deployed for the July 4th concert event in the same location.
For more details on the 2014 National Memorial Day Concert, which was broadcast live via the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and American Forces Network, visit www.pbs.org/national-memorial-day-concert
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