Austin, TX (May 13, 2015)––SXSW brings together all sorts of media, from music to TV to films—and drawing all those together this year was the IFC Fairgrounds stage, which saw OSA International and a Martin Audio MLA loudspeaker system bring music and sound to everyone who passed through the Fairgrounds’ gates.
For the second year in a row, the IFC Fairgrounds, created by integrated, experiential marketing agency, LeadDog Marketing Group, hosted bands at SXSW performing alongside rides, games, a giant slide, mechanical bull, prize giveaways and Austin food trucks.
OSA’s crew included Peter Wiejaczka (A1 and Sound Designer), Alex McIntire (Monitor Assistant and Stage), Peter Brennan (Monitor Engineer) and Paul Deuschle (Production Manager), variously overseeing a Yamaha QL1 console at FOH for incidental music, an Avid Venue Profile desk for the band nexus, a Soundcraft VI6 for monitors and Martin Audio LE1500 wedges onstage. Helping ensure their work reached the masses was a Martin Audio MLA system consisting of seven MLA and one MLD downfill enclosure per side with eight MLX subs ground-stacked in a broadside array at the front of the stage optimized to cover the width of the audience area.
Wiejaczka explained, “The MLA system is essential to maintaining noise control and ensuring the sound where it’s meant to be, on the audience. Last year, we were able to change the MLA on the fly to re-optimize the PA to increase the volume for a larger portion of the park, which is what the client wanted.”
“MLA is one of the only systems that can be used by multiple engineers with no live sound checks between sets, and that’s a significant advantage in a festival environment. Any engineer can mix on it and be happy without going into the system EQ. They can simply focus on the mixing. With the precision of the MLA technology, we knew it sounded good, but we wanted to make sure the first downbeat came out strong.
For three days, 15 bands played the IFC Fairgrounds stage including Dry the River, Colony House, Jukebox the Ghost, Rubblebucket, Gorgon City Live, K.Flay, Twin Peaks, Priory, Robert DeLong, Odesza, Coin, HolyChild, Sun Club, X Ambassadors and Smallpools.
Production Manager for OSA Paul Deuschle offered, “My job was to interface with the bands as soon as they arrived to talk about what they needed. We had a wide range of artists including newer bands with boxes and suitcases hauling their gear to guys who had 30 road cases with roadies. Some even had their own FOH and Monitor engineers.
“The biggest challenge was only having 20 minutes to get the band onstage off and the next band on. MLA was consistent and we could easily deliver excellent sound right out of the box. Some of the groups might have played six venues that week, so once they walked in and saw the setup, they were more relaxed.
“Even though there were all kinds of bands, including heavy punk, hip hop, electronic music and pop, the coverage and sound quality was great. It sounded great up front, midway back through the audience, and all the way in the back of the park.”
OSA International, Inc.
LeadDog Marketing Group