Commerce City, CO (September 16, 2016)—EDM hero Bassnectar has been holding his trademark annual Bass Center events since 2010, each one bigger than the last, but this year’s edition saw the show turn into a two-day festival in late July that found the producer/DJ topping a bill that included Wu-Tang Clan, Lupe Fiasco, Flying Lotus and more. Held at DSG Park in Commerce City—home of the Colorado Rapids major league soccer team—the event drew a crowd of 25,000 each night. Covering them all was a d&b audiotechnik PA provided by Denver-based audio vendor Brown Note Productions.
Ryan Knutson, president at Brown Note and audio project manager for the event, noted that the site was “fairly intimate as stadiums go…from where the stage was positioned, it’s approximately 360 feet to the stands.” All of that was covered by a slew of J-Series in the main hangs, bolstered by V-Series boxes, all aimed using d&b’s ArrayCalc software.
However, as one might guess from the name, Bassnectar is fond of lots of bass at his shows, and that meant extra measures were taken to ensure a front-row experience at every seat. “We had over eighty subs—a mix of J-SUBs and J-INFRAs in cardioid mode in front of the main stage,” said Knutson. “The array was 120 feet across, enabling us to easily control horizontal dispersion down into the 20 Hz range. That was part of our approach to ensuring we minimized the noise escape to the surrounding residential districts. Nick Malgeieri from d&b’s EAS department worked with me on the NoizCalc model, allowing us to predict where sound energy could become problematic outside the venue. When we came to measure levels at the property line beyond the stadium, it was exactly as predicted.
“More importantly it met all the permit requirements for events at this venue. Using so many subs allowed us to create a more even coverage and use lower SPLs within the listening area. Because of that, the main sub array and a further sub delay array of B22-SUBs halfway down the field, barely ever went into gain reduction. That fundamental low end, usually around 27/28 Hz that Lorin (Ashton, Bassnectar’s real name) likes in his mix, was what the audience heard and it was really clean because we weren’t having to drive too hard.”
As it turns out, the artist specifically wanted the d&b system, and more over, D80 amps in particular. Knutson explained, “In our experience, and we have done a number of shows for him over the years, Bassnectar always strives for his audience. They are critical listeners and he is very particular to ensure they get to hear great sound, not just loud.”