LOS ANGELES, CA—Burbank, CA-based CenterStaging recently acquired a ShowMatch DeltaQ line array system from Bose Professional, and immediately found itself deploying the PA on a summer season of outdoor concerts in downtown Los Angeles. The Pershing Square Downtown Stage, produced by the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, this year featured performances by The Wallflowers, Boogie Knights, Los Lonely Boys, Toad the Wet Sprocket, 10,000 Maniacs, The B-52’s, X and Meat Puppets.
Although CenterStaging is well known as a rehearsal and backline facility specializing in production and technical support for television and live performances, there are plenty of occasions when the company needs a PA system, says general manager James “Jimbo” Neal. Last year, Neal, who owned a backline and audio company for 18 years, used his personal Dynacord rig for the Pershing Square summer season.
CenterStaging’s clients for its rehearsal and support services include the GRAMMY Awards, Academy Awards, MDA Telethon, Billboard Music Awards, American Music Awards, several presidential inaugurations, the Olympics, American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, The Voice and numerous other productions. Its client list of artists is, to say the least, star-studded.
But for some of its corporate and industry events, CenterStaging needed a PA system that met certain criteria, explains Neal while setting up for the B-52’s Pershing Square show. He has been filling in this summer for the regular monitor engineer with the B-52’s, Matt Fitzpatrick, who is currently on tour with Peter Frampton.
For instance, says Neal, “Because we are a trusted company, we have opportunities to provide a small PA for events like Stevie Wonder’s wedding, or a $1,000-a-seat backyard party in Beverly Hills with John Legend and his piano.” Consequently, he says, “We’ve got to have a quality rig to do that stuff. We need to come in on the morning of the event, slam it up there and get it ready to go. We need something small and compact, and it’s got to sound and look the part.”
Neal recalls that it was Dusty Wakeman, president of Mojave Audio, who first recommended a Bose system, encouraging him to audition the RoomMatch rig installed at the Aratani Theatre in L.A. a couple of years ago. “It was a nice rig, and I considered approaching Bose back then about RoomMatch,” he says. “I know it’s an install rig, but if you’re going to hang it for six weeks, that’s an install to me.” When Bose introduced ShowMatch, which integrates some of the technologies introduced by RoomMatch into a smaller, lighter, more roadworthy package, Neal knew he had his solution.
For the Pershing Square shows, CenterStaging flew 12 ShowMatch modules per side. Each hang was configured, from the top, with two SM70x05 (70-degree horizontal by five-degree vertical dispersion) modules, eight SM100x05, a single SM100x10 and an SM120x20. Two SM100x20 boxes provided lip fill. Bose, which supplies PowerMatch PM8500 amps for installed Show-Match systems, ships touring rigs with Powersoft Audio’s X Series eight-channel amplifiers.
The arrays were supplemented by 16 Bose SMS118 single-18-inch subs below the deck. “Typically, you would get a power alley when all the subs are below the stage and in a line,” says Rick Boring, western regional sales engineer for Bose Professional, who provided on-site support at Pershing Square for CenterStaging’s new system. “We deployed them using a digital delay spread across the 16 subs. This allows for very consistent and wider coverage for the very low frequencies while keeping the transient material tight-sounding.”
ShowMatch is not the first Bose system that CenterStaging has owned, Neal reveals. “We do a lot of TV, and we’ve been using Bose F1 [Flexible Array] speakers for the vocal coaching rooms” for various talent competitions.
There is now also a small Show-Match rig available for use in CenterStaging’s 12 rehearsal studios. “We had it in a room for Fifth Harmony, who were rehearsing and doing some choreography,” says Neal. “I talked to their playback guy and he said, ‘That little single-18 box slams.’ We’re excited about it.”
The Pershing Square appearance by the B-52’s was Neal’s first opportunity to hear the ShowMatch system being put through its paces, he says. “I did the initial setup and came down in the evening for The Wallflowers’ show. But they didn’t have their own front of house guy. The City guy did a nice mix, but it was safe; I’m not being disrespectful—I would have done the same thing in his shoes. But I’ve known Frank Gallagher, the front-of-house guy for the B-52’s, since 1989, so I’m looking forward to hearing the system and getting his take on it.”
Commenting after the show, Gallagher, production manager and FOH engineer for the B-52’s, says, “It was a pleasure to have the opportunity to mix on the Bose system at Pershing Square. The reviews from fans, management and the agents from WME [William Morris Endeavor] were glowing praise for the audio quality.”