Wolf Trap, VA (August 31, 2004)–A 128-acre national park dedicated to the performing arts, Wolf Trap houses The 400-seat Barns of Wolf Trap; the Educational Center, which provides space for the renowned Wolf Trap Opera Company; and the 7,028-seat indoor-outdoor Filene Center. This summer, the Center, which has seen performances by Gypsy Kings, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Tony Bennett, B.B. King, the Bob Marley Roots Rock Reggae Festival, and more, underwent significant technical upgrades, adding a Yamana DM2000 digital mixing console among other equipment.
Audio systems at the recently upgraded Filene Center include a main PA, comprising of an L-Acoustics V-Dosc system with 12 elements and four double 18-inch sublow cabinets per side, and a center cluster containing three arcs, driven by QSC 6.0 amplifiers. A 69-channel active splitter divides signal between the house, lawn and monitor areas, while also allowing for a recording truck.
The lawn system includes six bays of JBL proprietary cabinets divided into three L-R zones, each containing eight 15-inch drivers (for a total of 48), two 2-inch horns and three bullet tweeters, driven by Crown and JBL/Urei amplifiers. The new Yamaha DM2000 and outboard effects are positioned at the top of the lawn seating area for performances. The console is left outdoors in a shelter for the entire season, and according to lawn system engineer Gavin Pearce, who works with a staff of four full-time audio employees, the DM2000 was chosen primarily due to its size number of inputs, recall ability and onboard effects.
“The DM2000 replaced a much larger PM3000,” said Pearce. “We liked the smaller footprint, since it has to be moved. I had used the Yamaha 02R while traveling with the touring companies of Broadway shows and became familiar with the paged architecture of digital boards. Since we’ve started using the DM2000, we’ve found it especially handy when doing festivals, where you’ve got acts all day long and must change settings quickly.
“All the inputs from the splitter are normalled straight into six AD824 mic pres,” added Pearce. “By doing that, we were able to almost completely do away with the analog patch bay, although I still need some for tie lines and the like. As far as lawn systems, this is pretty serious; that’s one reason people are so happy sitting on the lawn here. Most outdoor venues treat the lawn patrons like second- or third-class citizens, but at Wolf Trap, they care enough to have a second FOH position and a designated engineer. That blew my mind when I first came through here on tour, and fortunately for me, that very position became available two years later.”