New York (October 18, 2006)–The U.S. armed forces are always busy these days, and that was certainly the case for the crew of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis recently, which had worked for almost two months straight without a day off this past spring. Appreciating that level of dedication, the ship’s commanders decided to give the crew a full-scale party on July 4th. As a result, Steve McNeil, president of Mac West Group in Long Beach, CA was asked provide a sound system for the event, which included Sabine 2.4 GHz Smart Spectrum Wireless Systems and Graphi-Q2 Multi-function Processors as key elements in the sound reinforcement package.
The crew of the USS John C. Stennis enjoy the show. Note the Sabine Wireless rig in the foreground.Key to the ship’s shindig was JR Richards (of Dishwalla) with the Chuck Alvarez Band, along with comedians Dave Mishevitz, Gary Brightwell, John Bizzare, and Blake Clark, all part of the Comics On Duty tour. Mac West Group, then, had to provide a sound system for the acts, and also ensure that it was under 2,000 pounds, because it would share plane space with watermelons and supplies for the big party.
Once the gear was packed the band and crew settled in for the short ride to the ship. “Coming in for that landing was amazing. All the gear was packed into a turbo prop COD (Carrier Onboard Delivery) plane and we came in at 170 miles per hour,” said McNeil. Luckily all the gear made it just fine, with the exception of one speaker cabinet that “did not stop.”
Sabine’s 2.4 GHz Wireless Systems were used for lead vocals, the comedians, and the announcers. “The Sabine Wireless performed flawlessly–no need to adjust a thing,” said McNeil. “The stage was right below their main radar array, and we had trouble with all our wired connections due to leakage from that high-powered radar signal. But the Sabine Wireless was never affected; it worked great.”
“We used several Graphi-Q2 units with built-in FBX Feedback Exterminator for system processing. It only took me five minutes to ring out three mixes. I also used the Graphi-Q2 on the house because the Commanding Officer did not want to address the troops from the stage but from in front of the speakers! Not a problem, in fact the Graphi-Q2 fixed some of the issues with the bounce coming from the steel backdrop of the ’74,'” said McNeil, referring to the official number of the Stennis – CVN-74.
“The day after the show we packed the COD for the trip back, and the takeoff was quite an experience. There was even a moment of weightlessness as we rocketed off the deck,” recalls McNeil. Comedian Dave Mishevitz describes the takeoff experience on his blog: “Yes it has been two weeks since the shows on the USS John C. Stennis, but it’s taken that long for my brain to reconnect to my skull after the 0-160 in 2 seconds catapult off that bad dog.”