Austin, TX (November 14, 2013)—Thunder Audio, a Livonia, MI-based sound company that specializes in music festivals, recently provided a Harman JBL VTX line array system with Crown I-Tech HD amplifiers for the Austin City Limits Music Festival for two weekends in October. The festival hosted over 130 artists for the two weekends (October 4 to 6 and 11 to 13), and included performances by Depeche Mode, Muse, The Cure and Kings of Leon.
The system consisted of 36 VTX V25 full size line array elements flown 18 per side flanking the main stage, with an additional eight V25 cabinets per side for the outside hang. A total of 48 VTX S28 subwoofers were configured as two hangs of 12 each on either side of the stage, with 24 ground-stacked S28 subs across the front of the stage. Four JBL VerTec VT4888 midsize line array elements were used for front fill along with a pair of V25 loudspeakers as left-right outside fills. The JBL loudspeakers were controlled using a pair of dbx 4800 system controllers. The entire system was powered by 86 Crown I-Tech HD amplifiers networked and controlled with JBL HiQnet Performance Manager system setup software.
“We know what sound needs to be like for large outdoor music festivals,” assures Thunder Audio vice president Paul Owen, who spent 23 years mixing monitors for Metallica. “We’ve done numerous major ones, including the Orion Music + More Festival, the Detroit Electronic Music Festival and Faster Horses, and you need a powerful system with excellent low-frequency response and clarity that’s also incredibly reliable for long periods of time under sometimes pretty challenging conditions.”
Owen said that in addition to challenging work, large music festivals are also excellent opportunities to viscerally compare the performance and sound of different PA systems in the field. “You can see how different systems handle throw distances, tightness and accuracy of pattern coverage, vertical and horizontal dispersion, and sonic accuracy,” he explained.
Austin City Limits