Event PUBLIC SPACES 15 Jun 2023

HDL 26-A Touring Remote Locations to Immerse in Aboriginal Culture of Outback Australia

Putting together captivating shows amongst the red dust of outback Australia has become plain sailing for ARDS Aboriginal Corporation. The Northern Territory based organization has enjoyed a marked improvement in the sound quality of their latest events thanks to a recent investment in RCF’s powerhouse HDL 26-A line array system.

Having worked with the Yolŋgu communities in Northeast Arnhem Land for over 50 years, ARDS is currently helmed by Yolŋgu leaders from across the region, working determinedly to amplify and empower local Aboriginal voices. Combining their efforts with music and film production company Aris & Grimes, ARDS has driven home three community festivals since acquiring the RCF system, with plenty more on the horizon.

Giving Indigenous communities a platform that unites mainstream providers and Aboriginal people, ARDS maintains a number of beneficial services, including Yolŋgu Radio, a key community broadcast. Yolŋgu Radio serves as a vital conduit for the delivery of entertainment, education, emergency information, and contemporary and traditional indigenous music, to communities and homelands throughout North-East Arnhem Land and Darwin. In addition, the team organizes a number of events centred around celebrating the significance of Aboriginal language and culture, as ARDS’s Nhulunbuy Station Manager, Will Porter explains:
“Yolŋgu Radio has a long history of facilitating community festivals in the region. These are community led events that celebrate culture through song and dance. These festivals take place in incredibly remote locations- creating a logistical nightmare until our recent purchase of the new RCF HDL26-A speakers. Due to their compact build, transporting the speakers to these remote locations has become substantially easier. And even more importantly, it was immediately obvious to us that the quality of sound was dramatically better than our previous equipment.”

Instrumental in ARDS’s implementation of the RCF system, Aris & Grimes have provided audio production services for each of the community festivals. Andrew Grimes and Matt McLean of Aris & Grimes have a history of working closely with Yolŋgu Radio, delivering various productions across the region. Touching upon their adoption of the HDL 26-A, Andrew recounts:
 “Going into 2022 we were tasked with managing the production for the inaugural East Arnhem Live Festival in Nhulunbuy, and wanted to put together a sound system that would beat every other festival in the region to date! I've had experience with RCF technology and have always been impressed. Our festival site is on an escarpment, so we were looking for something that had the throw to cover the whole area and also had the punch so that sound wouldn’t get lost in the wind. Our secondary consideration was the size and weight of the speakers and the ease of putting it together. We used 12 HDL 26- A's, hanging 6 per side, coupled with 6 subs that we already had. A lot of the other festivals we do are in extremely remote locations, which is why we settled on the HDL 26-A's. Not only do they do everything we need them to for the East Arnhem Live Festival, but we're also able to load them in the back of a 4x4 Troopy or in the back of single engine Cessna, and then rig it all up with a two-person team on the other side.”
Having been suitably impressed by the capability and power of the HDL 26-A line array system, Andrew goes on to outline the lasting impression RCF technology has made on both himself, the crew, performers, and community at large:

“The improvement to our sound quality with the RCF HDL’s has been night and day to what we had before. The clarity of the speakers is immaculate, their output is crazy impressive given their size, their footprint leaves us a lot of additional space for other essentials when we're packing to go out bush, and being so light and easy to assemble it's cut down our set up time noticeably. These speakers have made a lot of people very happy: the crew, the bands, the crowds! Now that I've had the privilege to use this technology in a range of different environments, I have so much confidence in the speakers. Last year on the bush circuit it was a lot of fun watching the smiles on the bands and the crowds as we cranked them up. We have a lot of great bands here in East Arnhem Land, and they've never sounded as good as they do on the RCF HDL’s.”

Adding to Andrew’s praise, Matt explains that “the RCF system is helping ARDS regularly service Arnhem Land’s remote Yolŋgu communities in a highly professional and portable manner. The amazing sound quality is bringing joy and pride to these areas and their local artists.”

Echoing Aris & Grimes’s sentiments, Andrew Gurruwiwi, Yolŋgu Radio’s most senior presenter and cultural advisor, gave his thoughts on the speakers and how they contribute to spreading ARDS’s fundamental message of togetherness and cultural preservation:
“Communities from all over Arnhem Land loved the sound of the speakers, it was a big sound, it was a clear sound. We are really proud at Yolŋgu Radio to have this equipment, and to be able to share music across the region.”

The improvement to our sound quality with the RCF HDLs has been night and day to what we had before
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