Brian Wilson (far left), Don Was (far right) and Was (Not Was) put EAW’s new MicroWedge monitors to the test at a Valentine’s Day concert.Los Angeles (March 4, 2008)–Valentine’s Day usually means people get flowers or candy as a present. At a February 14 concert by Don Was and his band Was (Not Was), however, the audience got the added treat of legendary performers Brian Wilson and Kris Kristofferson. Held at the Orpheum Theater, the show also doubled as the public debut of EAW’s brand-new MicroWedge Series stage monitors.
The show offered a little something for everyone, led by the eccentric funk, rock, jazz and electronic dance music that defines Was (Not Was)–remember “Walk The Dinosaur?”–then shifting to a more traditional/countrified mode when Kristofferson came aboard to lead classics like “Help Me Make It Through the Night” and “Sunday Morning Coming Down.” It then turned in yet another direction with Wilson delivering numbers like “California Girls” and “God Only Knows,” later leading the crowd in a sing-along of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”.
Oxnard, CA-based Rat Sound Systems Inc. supplied the sound reinforcement systems and support under the direction of crew chief Tom Caraisco. The first-time live concert deployment of the EAW MicroWedge MW12 stage wedges found them used for all performers and fueled by monitor engineer Andy Turner’s mixes on a Yamaha PM5D console. The wedges were driven by a combination of Chevin and Lab.gruppen power amplifiers.
“We really, really like the performance of these new wedges,” notes Caraisco. “Once Andy got things going on stage, and we went through all of the mixes, he was genuinely pleased.”
The new product series is the first to be released since an agreement was reached between LOUD Technologies Inc. and MicroWedge developer Rat Sound Systems in late 2007, stipulating that EAW would serve as the exclusive manufacturer and distributor of MicroWedge products. Since then, Rat Sound founder Dave “Rat” Levine, creator of MicroWedge and other audio product designs, has been working closely with the EAW Engineering Department on the development of the new MicroWedge models.
“The old Microwedge was solid and performed well enough when compared to other wedges, but these new ones are night-and-day superior,” states Dave Rat. “This is a whole new deal. I knew the wedges were a big step forward, but what I did not expect was such an overwhelming embrace so quickly from our own engineers as well as the artists and band engineers.”
Rat Sound took delivery of 32 MW12s just prior to the Valentines Day concert and dispatched them immediately. “We already have a major tour going out with MicroWedges, and the first 32 were directly turned around and sent out on gigs, including the Ragga Muffins Festival in Long Beach,” adds Rat. “The reports from all gigs, including the Valentines Day concert, were stellar. We immediately put in an order for an additional 24 MicroWedges to further increase our touring inventory.”