Bill Cosby (white shirt) jumped behind the drums for a jam session during the Playboy Jazz Festival, hearing himself and other musicians via McCauley FM850 monitors.Los Angeles (August 18, 2008)–San Francisco-based McCune Audio recently purchased 26 new McCauley FM850 two-way monitor systems, and immediately put them to work on the annual Playboy Jazz Festival held June 14-15 at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles.
Providing sound for the annual endeavor for the past 30 years, McCune has worked with the likes of Etta James, Ray Charles, Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, B.B. King, Boz Skaggs and Jamie Cullum. This year’s lineup was equally impressive: Herbie Hancock, Al Jarreau, Guitars & Saxes, Keb’Mo, Poncho Sanchez, Tower of Power and James Moody, just to name a few.
“McCune Audio has always used monitors we built ourselves; I’m not sure when they were developed, but I think we’ve been using them since the 1970s, so while our in-house monitors worked beautifully and were quite serviceable, we felt it was time to replace them,” said Mike Neal, vice president of McCune Audio. “We purchased so many because we wanted to be prepared for two stages. For instance, the Hollywood Bowl uses a revolving stage, so the audience doesn’t have to wait as long for acts throughout the day. We plan to use all of the McCauley monitors for the upcoming Monterey Jazz Festival in September.”
Bill Knight and Matt Chavez from McCune ran the monitor boards for each of the stages at the Hollywood Bowl. When asked about the performance of the monitoring systems, Chavez observed, “We received no complaints–and if there are no complaints, then everything is good. Although nothing specific was mentioned, we did receive a few complements that everything sounded great; that’s about the best to be expected from a large festival.”
Knight initially found that the monitors were the aural equivalent of overachievers at first: “The FM850 is a fantastic monitor, and in comparison to what we’re used to using, it has different throw dimensions. It was a bit challenging because the stage for the Hollywood Bowl isn’t as big because it’s cut in half essentially. Since most of the jazz musicians get really close to the wedges, we set the monitor’s to their high angle…and then it was smooth sailing!”