On New Year’s Eve, approximately 17,000 “Bassheads” converged at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena to usher in 2014 with Bassnectar, the electronic music DJ whose immersive live shows have earned him legions of devoted fans. To ensure an equal experience for all attendees, the 360-degree event featured a rotating stage, as well as the largest Meyer Sound LEO™ large-scale sound reinforcement system to date.
“The sound was spectacular, and incredibly even for an in-the-round setup,” says Brendan Hoffman, FOH engineer and production manager. “From FOH at one end of the arena up to the stage and the higher seating sections, differences were negligible. It was a gut punch on the floor and a gut punch at the top level.”
Supplied by VER Tour Sound, the LEO system comprised 96 LEO-M line array loudspeakers deployed in four arrays of 14-each for long-end throws, and four of 10-each for the short sides. Four MICA® line array loudspeakers completed each array as down fill, while eight additional MICA loudspeakers were spaced around the stage as front fill. For powerful low-end reinforcement, four arrays of 12-each 1100-LFC low-frequency control elements were flown, augmented on the floor by 12 1100-LFC loudspeakers and 20 700-HP subwoofers arranged in cardioid pairs around the circular stage.
The system was aligned and optimized by a Galileo® Callisto™ loudspeaker management system with two Galileo 616 AES and 12 Galileo Callisto 616 array processors. The low-end arrays were configured and timed to steer energy in a clean donut pattern out to the audience and away from the stage. VER Tour Sound’s Doug McKinley and Chad Fuller handled system design.
“Obviously the bottom end with all the 1100-LFCs was incredibly loud, but it was still clean with tight transients—the crux of this style of music,” points out Hoffman. “It was solid down to 28 Hz.”
Hoffman mixed on an Avid SC48 console equipped with Waves plug-ins and augmented with outboard Avalon compressor-equalizers. Monitor engineer Jayson Pietri also mixed on an SC48, while Bassnectar used a Shure wireless microphone system with an SM58 capsule. Opening the evening for Bassnectar were Zion I and ill-esha.
Social media response has been enthusiastic:
“The amount of bass that this man brings to every show he performs is unreal. The bass will have your sinuses vibrating and your ears itching… which is why people travel hundreds of miles, and wait in extremely long lines in the freezing cold, just to get a wristband to be on the floor,” writes Michael Patrick.
“I find it hard to describe the experience in words. This was my first Bassnectar experience and I am hooked. Thank you for providing me one of my most memorable life experiences—truly,” writes Jenny Hamblen Shreeve.