OSA Updates Chicago's Navy Pier With Harman

The new Polk Bros. Performance Lawns bring music to the masses at Navy Pier.
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The Polk Bros. Performance Lawns at Navy Piers in Chicago have an all-Harman audio system on-hand.

The Polk Bros. Performance Lawns at Navy Piers in Chicago have an all-Harman audio system on-hand.

Chicago, IL (April 23, 2018)—Navy Pier on the shores of Lake Michigan has been a must-see staple of Chicago since it first opened in 1916. Serving up more than fifty acres of parks, restaurants, retailers and attractions, last year, the site added the Polk Bros. Performance Lawns, a free outdoor concert space, as part of an overall redevelopment of the Pier.

Key to the Performance Lawns are the Lake Stage and City Stage, and to outfit them with an audio system that could be used as needed at either stage, the Pier hired audio consulting firm Threshold Acoustics, which in turn designed an audio solution based around JBL Professional VTX V20 line-array loudspeakers.

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The system is comprised of two main hangs of 12 V20 loudspeakers, six VT4886 line-array loudspeakers as front fills, two delay towers equipped with PD6212/95-WRX loudspeakers, and six VTX G28 subwoofers deployed on the ground. Both the FOH and monitor positions feature Soundcraft Vi3000 consoles and a BSS audio processing system that contains a BLU-806 processor and BLUDIGITAL IN and OUT cards.

Key to the design was the need to keep audio from spilling out of the Park area, as a housing development sits nearby and the need to prevent noise complaints was paramount. With that in mind, Threshold and OSA aimed the V20s into a raised berm at the far end of the audience area, reducing the amount of sound that escapes the venue. The drawback to the plan was that one area in the back at the berm required a pair of delay towers with JBL PD6212/95-WRX speakers for coverage.

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Given that the system sometimes commutes between the Lake and City Stages, a pair of Crown VRack amplification systems loaded with Crown iTech 4x3500HD amplifiers are in a central location, accessible from anywhere in the entire facility via the Pier's fiber-optic network.

Harman • www.harman.com