Any Winehouse sings at the Pyramid Stage at the Glastonbury festival through a sizable Martin Audio loudspeaker system provided by RG Jones.Glastonbury, UK (July 7, 2008)–The annual Glastonbury festival found audio vendor RG Jones providing Synco monitors and Martin Audio line arrays at the Pyramid Stage for a slew of high-profile acts, including Amy Winehouse and the Brian Jonestown Massacre.
Engaged last year to provide full control systems and stage monitoring, this year the team was brought in by Chris Beale of CBA and Dick Tee, respectively Pyramid Stage Sound Co-ordinator and Production Manager, to supply a sound solution and experienced crew for both stage and FOH.
In charge of the South London based company’s team was FOH engineer Simon Honywill with Diarmuid McLennan at his side, and system engineer Mark Edwards. As well as heading up the on-stage operation, Mark Isbister was overall responsible for pre-production. Monitor world was looked after by Steve Watson and Mark Isbister, alongside “the patch master” Ali Viles; whilst Steve Carr, Ben Milton and Laura Yensen took care of the stage.
Out front, the team rigged dual 15-deep left and right hangs of Martin Audio’s W8L Longbow high power line array, each with downfills and complemented by W8LC stereo infills. The arrays–dry hired from Capital Sound with on site support from Ian Colville–were individually EQ’d and aligned using XTA Audiocore software controlling an array of DP226 processors under wireless tablet control to ensure the requirement for consistent levels across the arena, and rapid attenuation beyond it, were fully met.
The PA configuration was designed with the assistance of Martin Audio’s Jim Cousins and Jason Baird using the company’s latest software. Talented acoustician Andy Pardoe devised a special bass array configuration which consisted of a row 54 WS218X subwoofers, arranged in blocks of three (two front-facing, one rear-facing) to provide enhanced directivity control.
RG Jones’s long-time membership of the Synco Europe Network was underlined by a new stage monitor system comprising exclusively Synco proprietary low profile stage monitors. The monitor system consisted of 20 Synco CW15A low-profile dual concentric 15″ monitor wedges, complimented with 2 x 2 x15′ STS Synco subs for the drumfill. System equalization was achieved using XTA digital EQ controlled by a wireless tablet and Klark Teknik DN360 for grab EQ. There were also three delay hangs of Synco by Martin Audio W8LC-based line array hangs, with eight-cabinet cardioid subbass arrays, from R G Jones’s rental stock.
Control systems reflected RG Jones’s successful deployment of an all-digital signal control solution in 2007. A flexible line system provided both digital and analogue feeds to monitors, FOH and the BBC’s outside broadcast team, configured as classic festival A/B systems, allowing one band to perform while the next was being line checked and a third set of equipment was being prepared backstage. A mixture of 12 pair and 48 pair multicore systems was interfaced with 96 ways of Klark Teknik active splits to generate the FOH, monitor and media outputs. The system was also designed for fast interfacing with visiting bands’ line systems.
A sophisticated shout system between stage and FOH was used, with all stage crew wearing a radio IEM and a push-to-talk radio headset, while FOH and Monitors had switched microphones and wedges, all controlled by a dedicated Yamaha LS9 mixer.
Also present was an all-digital FOH setup, offering engineers a pair of Digidesign Venue consoles at FOH in an A/B flip-flop configuration, with a D-Show Profile serving as FOH matrix, linked to stage via an Optocore DD32E digital fibre-based network system–and thence via AES to the XTA loudspeaker processors. The solution maintained a digital signal path all the way to the DP226 outputs, while the consoles’ integral processing and plug-ins eliminated the need for effects racks.
Simon Honywill comments: “R G Jones were invited to submit a design for the complete system after delivering a successful job with the stage and control systems last year. Many of the suppliers involved with the festival, including the BBC had stated that they were very impressed with the way the stage was handled, and with the team in general. Chris Beale was confident that we could deliver, and we have found that people appreciate our approach, which we could sum up as being “not very rock’n’roll in a traditional sense”, but completely dedicated to what we do.”
R G Jones
Synco Europe Network
Martin Audio Limited