Denver, CO (August 12, 2015)—If you’re talking Americana, the Avett Brothers are always one of the first acts to get mentioned. Touring the country this summer, barnstorming through shows in places as varied as Brooklyn Bowl in New York and the Garden in Boston, the band has carried an audio rig from Winston Salem, NC-based Special Event Services that scales to meet the needs of each venue—and that ability was recently highlighted by three sold-out nights at Colorado’s famed Red Rocks Amphitheatre.
Key to the audio system are a pair of Midas Pro6 consoles with DL371 DSP racks and a DL431 24-channel 5-way mic splitter, and a massive Martin Audio MLA system that was able to handle the steep inclines of Red Rocks. Known for the short distance from FOH to the PA and a limited trim height to the top of the system, Red Rocks also has an audience area extends out roughly 300 feet from the front of the stage with a 105 foot vertical climb to the top seats about 60 feet above the roof of the venue.
SES System Engineer Andrew Steelman explained, “You’re so close to the PA at Red Rocks that sometimes when you make changes to correct the sound at FOH, where there is usually a lot of high end and low mids coming off the system, it can have an adverse effect at the top of the hill. Also, you’re at much higher altitudes where there’s less dense air for sound to travel through and you’re very susceptible to winds blowing through the audio at the top of the venue.
For the three sold-out shows at Red Rocks, SES deployed 16 MLA and two MLD (Downfill) enclosures with 6 ground-stacked MLX subs per side. “With MLA, we were able to walk the show at the highest seats and see that the people were enjoying the show and they were as engaged as those down in front, even in the quieter moments, which really made me satisfied with the system’s performance. MLA covered every seat in the venue and helped us accomplish what we needed to in that environment, which is to have an Avett Brothers show translate to every seat in the house. I’d have to say it was one of the best sounding shows I’ve heard at Red Rocks.”
“The control we have with MLA is especially helpful in situations where we’ve been in civic centers with lots of concrete and metal surfaces,” Steelman concluded. “When a band’s dynamics rises and falls as much as The Avett’s, having MLA be able to project at long distance and eliminate some of those surfaces is as simple as going into the software and getting rid of it with a few keystrokes. It’s quite a nice tool to have in the arsenal without having to sacrifice something somewhere else.”