Dale Stewart of Seether rocks out aside a slew of QSC WideLine 10 loudpseakers.Ladson, SC (June 25, 2008)–Alt rock is alive and well, as evidenced by the sizable crowd that came out recently to see Seether and Flyleaf at the Exchange Park Ladson Fairgrounds in South Carolina. Ensuring that everyone in attendance heard every gut-crushing note, Live Event Solutions, a Conyers, GA sound company just over five months old, fielded a QSC-based audio system.
Knowing full well what he was in for, Live Event Solutions owner and founder Gary Teal admitted behind-the-scenes that he was a bit nervous. “We have the skills, and we have the gear, but basically we’re a start-up company, and this is our first test in a situation like this,” he said after the load-in was complete. “Regardless of how well-prepared and ready I think I am, I can’t help but feel a little bit of paranoia creeping in.”
For the Seether and Flyleaf shows, Teal and the Live Event Solutions crew brought a total of 28 WideLine-10 cabinets to Exchange Park Ladson Fairgrounds. Flown 14 per side and supported by a block of 12 QSC WL218-sw WideLine subwoofers, power for the system came from a pair of racks each containing QSC components including four PL380 amplifiers used for mids, lows, and the subs, and a single PL340 for high frequencies. Processing fell under the guidance of a single BASIS 914lz unit in each rack also from QSC.
Playing in front of a crowd of about 5,000, Seether and Flyleaf looked out into the area of coverage faced by the WideLine-10s, which extended some 250 feet from the stage to a landscaped area featuring a pond where waterfowl paddled about.
“It was an odd layout,” Teal recalls. “With the pond defining the edge of where anyone could watch and listen to the show as well as our furthest throws, the body of water’s shape and position on the fairgrounds naturally pushed people to stage left as the crowd kept coming in. As a result, there were far more people stage left than right. Without the 140 degrees of horizontal coverage the WideLines afforded, we would have never been able to cover the whole area.”
Deployed in a spiral array configuration with two degrees of separation between each cabinet, the WideLine-10 enclosures went up with a truss system supplied by another vendor. As a precaution against inclement weather, the WideLine subs were elevated four inches off the ground on some low staging material.
Stepping up to the 48-channel Midas Verona console to mix Flyleaf at the FOH position, Rich Caldwell noted that the WideLines “Had some real ‘go’ for a small box”, and that the tonal response was laudable. Caught a few days after the show at LAX, Seether’s FOH engineer Howard Worthen concurred, adding “I had headroom for days. Seether is loud: They run 102-103 dBSPL right off the deck, and these cabinets had no problem posting those levels whatsoever. This crowd demands high SPL, and they got it, with real fidelity too. The sound was clean, with no pain–no one got hurt.”
Monitors for the show came from Live Event Solutions’ collection of HPR Series components from QSC. A dozen HPR122i cabinets were used as floor wedges, while HPR153i loudspeakers were employed as stereo sidefills left-and-right perched atop HPR181i subwoofers. At the drum riser, a classic pair of “Texas headphones” was created with the aid of HPR152i enclosures stacked atop another set of HPR181i subs.
“After the dust settled on that day, it proved to me that we can get through any situation like this and do just fine,” Teal happily reported once everything was loaded on the truck and en route back to Georgia. “Major acts gave us high praise, and you really can’t ask for anything more than that.”
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