Kevin Mobberley with IC LiveUnited Kingdom (August 27, 2010)—Midlands-based Stage Audio Services has become the UK's first rental house to offer Renkus-Heinz’s IC Live array system.
Polar Audio, UK distributor for Renkus-Heinz, signed the deal after a week of trial runs by Stage Audio Services that included the Courtney Pine-headlined Mostly Jazz Festival in Birmingham and four large corporate events. Its first commercial outing was the quarter final of the Twenty20 cricket tournament at Edgbaston on 16 July.
Company founder Kevin Mobberley says the system has been in virtually continuous use, including HMV's stand at the Global Gathering electronic music festival. "It's the ideal system for a lot of the corporate, comedy and outdoor work that we do; it ticks all the boxes. We are amazed by what it can do, and long may it continue to make us money."
Stage Audio Services, formed by Mobberley in 1982, provides audio production for a broad mix of touring, live TV and corporate events. "We do a lot of festival and other varied work," says Mobberley, "but it's predominantly touring, and work for promoters who come to us for a complete package. We ship gear and crew all over the world." The 'corporate rock & roll' side of the business, he says, is what attracted his attention to the IC Live system.
The deployment at Edgbaston, home of Warwickshire County Cricket Club, was designed to meet a singular challenge - providing sound to spectators seated around three quarters of the 21,000-capacity cricket ground. In keeping with the carnival atmosphere of Twenty20, the content comprised musical stings and a live compère, provided by a BRMB production office.
The spectators were covered by four IC Live stacks spaced around the ground, with the upper and lower seating tiers covered by separate beams from the mid/high units, each locked onto the matching subwoofer using the integrated hardware. Mobberley commented: "We brought in the IC Live to do quite a challenging job and it did it fantastically."
He adds: "When we first heard it demonstrated, I knew we were onto something special. Over the next week, we put it through its paces in our typical show environments - Forces Day for Wolverhampton City Council, a festival in central Birmingham for 5,000 people, a similar event in the grounds of a stately home, and the two-day Mostly Jazz Festival in Birmingham. The latter site was surrounded by houses, so containing the sound was vital, which the beam steering did fantastically.
"The last trial was at Wolverhampton Civic Hall, a venue every rock & roll sound engineer knows. An amazing result came from flying a single sub and two of the mid/high units upside down, which covered the whole of the 3,100 capacity room at around 101dB in every seat including the balcony; it was phenomenal.