News & References
In early 2018, the fine folks who run the Whisky decided it was time to overhaul its sound system. And so, in September, RCF Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Tarik Solangi, visited the club at the behest of the Whisky’s Ultimate Jam Night host Paulie Z (Zablidowsky, formerly of Z02 and currently fronting a reformed Sweet), who identified the need for the system to be upgraded, not only because of the sonic properties (there were issues with the previous system being old and outdated), but also because there were some serious sightline issues. “The old system hung very low, and if you were upstairs, you literally lost two sides of the stage,” explains Solangi. “So, it really killed the sightlines.” Solangi, a sound engineer himself, was already familiar with the club, so he knew right away what he wanted to install—RCF’s HDL 30-A Active Two-Way Line Array Modules, a compact bi-amped system designed for medium to large venues. “The 30-A is such a great, musical, rock and roll box,” he continues. “It really has a great sound for live rock music, and I knew that, with just a minimal number of boxes per side, we’d really be able to increase the sightlines.” Whisky’s senior engineer Eddie Oertell, who has been working at the club on-and-off for more than 30-years, also admits that the low profile of the HDL 30-A was a big selling point. “Anywhere in the club, you can see the stage now,” he concurs. “The PA is not covering the band anymore, so the sightlines are improved immensely, and everyone is really excited about that.”
Ryan Ainsworth, who has been engineering at the Whisky for the last six and a half years, was also incredibly impressed by the HDL 30-As, not only because of improved sightlines, but also because of their sonic properties, particularly when compared to the previous system. “We went from having this very large, point-of-source system that was so monstrous, it took up a ton of space and ruined the intimate experience of the club because of how low it hung,” he explains. “Then we went with the little, tiny HDL 30-A boxes and they directly compete with the previous system, which was much, much larger in size and that’s the thing that most surprised me—it’s cool to hear those HDL 30-As put out massive sound.”
Oertell and Ainsworth, along with Leonard Contreras, shuffle mixing responsibilities at the Whisky with their bread-and-butter road gigs. Oertell is with GWAR, mostly, but has also served as front-of-house (FOH) for Slipknot, Mudvayne, Anthrax, Ronnie Spector (of the Ronettes) and POD. Ainsworth acts as FOH for Butcher Babies and is an occasional fill-in for Oertell with GWAR. Contreras has served as FOH/monitors engineer with System of a Down, Slayer, Los Lobos and Stone Sour to name a few. Based on that track record, it’s safe to assume that these guys know a thing or two about sound, particularly rock and roll, and yet, even they seemed amazed at Solangi’s ability to quickly assess the room and make discerning recommendations. “Tarik came down to the room and looked at everything,” recalls Oertell. “Then we talked, and he gave me his opinion on what he thought would be right for the room. It only took him like ten minutes. His vision for it was unbelievable.”
Part of that vision included cleaning up the low-end, so, in order to do that, Solangi decided that the subwoofers had to go underneath the stage in a cardioid configuration. They installed RCF’s SUB 9006-AS Active High-Power Subwoofers in a cardioid configuration under the stage, which really cleaned up the low frequency by projecting the low end into the center of the room. “The cardioid sub configuration under the stage helps take that energy and direct out into the crowd instead of letting it swell up under the musicians on stage,” explains Ainsworth. Oertell further affirms this sentiment, saying that clarity and low-end are two improved factors resulting from that install decision. “The low-end is rounder and fatter,” he says. “I was blown away by the clarity and tightness of the low-end—it is pretty impressive.”
Solangi and his RCF team worked with the Whisky’s in-house team, as well as RCF’s pro partner, Above The Ground Productions, on the installation, which took a mere one day, believe it or not. RCF product specialist Steven Cochran tuned and aligned the system using network controlled RDNET software. Additionally, knowing the volume that most bands who play the Whisky perform at, they added RCF’s TT45-CXA Active High-Output Stage Monitors to even out the stage volume. “The monitors are very in your face and punchy and they really allow the musicians to hear themselves better on stage, without having to crank the volume,” explains Ainsworth, who is usually FOH for Ultimate Jam Night. “The thing about those shows [Ultimate Jam Night] is that you never know what you’re going to get. Things can change completely from song to song, from a rotating cast of musicians to multiple genres to different types of instrumentation and the RCF system allows me to have continuity—I know what the system is going to put out, even if I don’t necessarily know what’s going to come off the stage.”
According to Oertell, one of the things they discovered, once the system was installed, was that the room now sounds like the room. “I think that’s one of the things that made the Whisky famous over the years,” he explains. “It’s a good sounding room, especially for rock bands. The room has a natural ambience to it and a great PA, like the RCF solution, just enhances that—it’s a no-brainer.”
Ainsworth says all of the engineers coming through the Whisky now are just completely blown away. “They’re all like, ‘Wow,’” he attests. “The room sounds amazing, and that’s what we strive for—it’s to have every engineer that comes through, walk away with a good feeling, knowing that it was a good time, a great show and that the PA sounded amazing—and it’s all due to RCF.”
On that note, Solangi became one such engineer who had the opportunity to mix on the system, a short while after the install, while on tour with Zebra. “The reason why I went out with them was because I wanted to mix them on the Whisky’s system. It was one thing to spec the system and do the installation, but it was another thing to come back in, a month and half later, and mix a band in that room. The RCF system was so clear with so much headroom that it was really a pleasure to mix there. It exceeded all of my expectations.”
Inside the Whisky a Go Go
Location: 8901 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, CA
Line Array System: HDL 30-A, Active Two-Way Line Array Modules (8)
Subwoofers (under stage): SUB 9006 (6)
Floor Monitors: TT45 CXA (4)
Front Fills: HDL 6-A (3)
Side Fills (not shown): NX45 (2)
Audio Engineers: Ryan Ainsworth, Eddie Oertell, Leonard Contreras
System Designers: Tarik Solangi, Jim Reed
INFOCOMM Booth 6551 (Click here for the Map)
June 12 - 14 2019 ORLANDO, FL, USA
RCF will highlight a vast range of new products at this year’s InfoComm. The new RCF product line features innovative solutions, design upgrades and exciting new advances in audio technology.
The RCF M 20X Digital Mixer is a 20x14 channel fully recallable desktop mixing/recording console. Equipped with 11 motorized faders and 16 digitally controlled preamps, it comes in four models — the M 20X, M 20R, M 20XD, M 20 RD. Despite its dimensions, the M 20X packs a whole suite of capabilities built on the acclaimed M 18 mixing platform, such as high-profile preamplifiers and A/D converters, top of class DSP with studio-quality processing, WiFi remote control and a comprehensive set of multitrack recording and playback functions. The mixer offers a total of 20 analog inputs and 14 output mixes, between the balanced analog outputs and the AES/EBU digital output.
The new RCF Business Music Solutions series offers a complete, matched family of products, with full processing power, to enable the design of commercial audio systems for both background and foreground music. The integrated product suite has been conceived for applications requiring high-quality audio and flexible and scalable architecture, allowing distribution of different audio channels in different environments, each with their specific volume level and equalization needs. The series is made up of extremely compact DMA (Digital Mixing Amplifiers) and DPA (Digital Power Amplifiers). Fed by two channels amplifier modules, DMA and DPA drive either WMR (Wall Monitor speakers) or CMR (Ceiling Monitors), these 2-way speakers equipped with either 4”, 5” and 6” transducers, combined with 1” dome tweeter. Expanding the features further, and completing the set-up are the RC 401 Remote Control and BM 404 Paging Console. The Compact M Series speakers, with a range of passive high-quality speakers from 5” to 12” woofers, complete the family.
While RCF has continued to improve its flagship Touring & Theatre products, infusing them with RDNet and FiRPHASE as standard, it has also extended the range, notably with the three-product TTL 4-A series. The new series has been designed to deliver top-quality sound for highly demanding events, both indoors or outdoors, and for small to medium sized areas. Its design provides the audio engineer with the best tonal balance and intelligibility while offering different design options, both in horizontal and vertical arrangement. TTL 4-A (line array), TTW 4-A (wide dispersion) and TTP 4-A (point source) are equipped with 2 x 10” LF woofers and high performance 4.0" compression driver on a rotatable/swappable waveguide. The TTL 4-A waveguide is 100° x 25°, the TTW 4-A offers 100° x 50° dispersion and the TTP 4-A is 60° x 25°. All models are powered by 2 x 1600W Class D amplifiers.
RCF’s HDL Series has expanded with the launch of the HDL 28-A and the new flyable subs HDL 35-AS, HDL 36-AS, and HDL 38-AS. Adopting the same form factor as the HDL 10-A, the RCF HDL 28-A is a compact, active 2-way touring system for small and medium-sized events, offering high SPL with a built-in Class-D amplifier and RDNet management. Ultra lightweight and optimized for vocal applications, it is designed to exceed any performance in the double 10” range.
RCF will present a complete line of AYRA near-field studio monitors, which has been named the AYRA PRO Series, replacing the current AYRA Series. The new range includes four models — three 2-way speakers and one woofer, also equipped with new components. First seen at the recent NAMM Show in California, the full range PRO-5 (5”), PRO-6 (6”) and PRO-8 (8”) are joined by the PRO-10 SUB (10” subwoofer).