New York, NY (December 11, 2017)—At each stop on Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ 40 Anniversary tour this past summer, the setlist always sported a mix of the new and the comfortably familiar—and the same could be said of the audio system herded by longtime FOH engineer Robert Scovill. While the new was represented by the Sound Image-supplied Avid S6L console and EAW Anya PA, the familiar could be found via a product that was coincidently marking its own 40 anniversary—Galaxy Hot Spot speakers—as pairs of PA6BTs could be found at both the FOH position and monitorworld.
“They were absolutely the perfect choice for our shout system,” Scovill said. “I had our stage technician, Fumi Okazaki, on a wireless headset coming out of one speaker and monitor engineer Greg Looper coming from the other. The second set of inputs on the Hot Spots allowed me to route one of my stereo solo buses to them as well.”
Additionally, a third Hot Spot was used to communicate with video production trucks when necessary. “We could give the video people that third Hot Spot,” he said. “That solved what always seems to be a big challenge with a production truck—how do we all talk and hear each other?”
Other uses were found for the Hot Spots—during rehearsals, Scovill offered Benmont Tench, Petty’s pianist and keyboard player, a pair of PA6S Hot Spots as an alternative to his large format monitors.
At other points, Scovill used a PA6S Hot Spot built into the shell of a snare drum in order to check arrival times of the snare to four overhead drum mics on Steve Ferrone’s kit. Temporarily replacing the actual drum with the “speaker drum,” he physically adjusted the microphone positions while viewing the phase trace in an FFT analyzer, with the Hot Spot delivering pink noise as the source.