Atlanta (October 7, 2004)–Atlanta Fulton County Stadium stood in this spot for 30 years, but now it’s just “Green Lot”–a huge parking lot next to the new Turner field stadium across the street. Over Labor Day weekend, however, that lot became a huge concert venue for big name soul, hip-hop and R&B artists, as it hosted SoulFest Atlanta 2004. Audio for the event was provided by one of the oldest sound companies in the Southeast, Atlanta Sound and Lighting, which helped acts like Ludacris, Chaka Khan, Angie Stone, Big Boi, and Anthony Hamilton crank up the hits.
“It’ll be fine if we can just keep energy off that wall,” commented Scott Waterbury, president of ASL. He was referring to the 30-foot tall, semi-circular concrete wall that surrounds the parking lot some 650 feet away from the front of the stage. Making sure that happened, Electro-Voice Line Array Prediction Software (LAPS) was used to aim a full two-dozen XLc127+ cabinets hung from a trim height of 47 feet; as a result, sound dropped off after about 350 feet.
Or at least that was the idea. When the system was fired up, the engineers walked toward the fence, but to their surprise, the sound didn’t fade away. Instead, it continued to be even and strong beyond 500 feet. After that, they began to hear point reflections from the wall as strong as the original signal. The engineers realized the sound was bouncing off the pavement, hitting the wall and then back. While they briefly considered lowering the array, it was determined that the sound would not be a problem–the crowd would not be expected to fill in that far back. Still, they were quite amazed at the clarity and punch of the system at 300 yards.
For the FOH position, Atlanta Sound and Lighting was able to satisfy all of the artists by providing three 56-channel Midas consoles: a Heritage 3000, Heritage 2000 and the brand-new Verona. These were all patched together to form a virtual 168-channel console. With the help of veteran system engineer “Dublin” Stapleton, visiting engineers from the various bands were able to setup the desks in advance while another show was in progress. “I kept a lid on the system riding the masters on the H3,” he said. “We chose the 3000 to be the master because it has the best headroom of the three.”
Due to the 80-foot width of the stage, ASL was concerned about having enough monitor side fill. Due to his monitor experience with large festival stages “Tim Here?” Henry suggested a high-power rig of a double EV Xcn over MT dual 18 boxes–a system he had used many times before. Exclaimed Big Boi’s monitor engineer as he linechecked before his show, “I’ve never heard a louder system, and it’s flat!” Henry also had a large compliment of monitor equipment onhand, including Midas, Crest and Yamaha consoles, patched separately, as needed, to EV Xw15 monitors.
The audience front fills also consisted of EV Xcns, which covered the immediate seating area. To assist with the extra low-end possibly needed by the Hip-hop bands, eight ASL proprietary dual 18-inch Deltamax-style subs were placed on the stage fed by an aux send. These allowed an extra 16,000 watts of 40Hz punch to be blended into the mix as needed.
Atlanta Sound & Lighting