Event
The Triad Music Festival powered by RCF TT+
The 1st Annual Triad Music Festival was held on the 3rd of September 2011 at the NewBridge Bank Park aka Greensboro Grasshopper Stadium. The "For the Love of Music" Festival was a one-day event; the grand finale of Summer 2011, with a goal of being the largest annual, outdoor music concert of its kind in North Carolina.
With a focus on music, culture, and community, the Triad Music Fest showcased some of the best of Pop, Rock, Hip Hop, Indie and much more offering Greensboro and the state of NC a new experience in diversity.
The unique festival featured a well rounded line-up including artists such as well-known rapper “Lupe Fiasco”, rock band “Fuel”, country star “Lee Brice”, the Young Teens of Hip Hop “New Boyz”, “Carolina Chocolate Drops”, singer/songwriter “Hope”, indie rockers “Outasight”, and guitar driven rock-n-roll from “The Stone Chiefs”.
The sound system, supplied by Rock Quarry Production of Raleigh, NC was composed of a cutting edge new RCF TT+ line-up including 16) TTL55-A large format line array elements along with 12) TTS56-A Ultra high-end dual 21”Subwoofers.
“Everyone is always amazed by the RCF TT system’s capabilities” says Jay Holem from Rock Quarry Productions.
Rock Quarry Productions offers equipment and services for large-format concerts, theatre, corporate, worship, media, and sporting events. Their professional staff of production designers, site managers, engineers, and technicians insures that your event is spectacular. Rock Quarry Productions has used large RCF TT+ systems for many applications.
See more at: www.rockquarryproductions.com
Event
TT+ delivers sound to the Platinum Legends Hip-Hop and R&B at the RBC Center
On December 2nd 2011 the RBC Center, home of the NHL Carolina Hurricanes, NC State Wolfpack Men’s Basketball and host of the 2011 NHL Allstar Game and numerous large events in Raleigh was transformed into the world of legendary Hip-Hop and R&B music and grooves. The concert “The Platinum Legends of Hip Hop and R&B” featured the top original pioneers of Hip Hop including: The Fat Boys, Kurtis Blow, Kool Moe Dee, Christopher Williams, Al B. Sure, Aaron Hall, Doug E. Fresh and more.
The cutting edge RCF TT+ sound system, supplied by Rock Quarry Productions of Raleigh NC, included 32) TTL55-A, 8) TTL33-A and 18) TTS56-A Subwoofers all software controlled by The RDNet management software.
“RCF TT55 never fails to deliver the power and performance we need to cover even the largest of rooms. The RDNet system allows us amazing detailed control of all aspects of the system in real-time.” says Jay Holem from Rock Quarry Productions.
Rock Quarry Productions offers equipment and services for large-format concerts, theatre, corporate, worship, media, and sporting events. Their professional staff of production designers, site managers, engineers, and technicians insures that your event is spectacular. Rock Quarry Productions has used large RCF TT+ systems for many applications.
See more at: www.rockquarryproductions.com
Event
RCF shines among the stars of Russian jazz.
ARIS (RCF distributor, Russia) has presented TTL11A in Moscow famous "Teatr Estrady".
On October, 21-23 ARIS invited all its friends and partners to become a part of two unique events – a demo and a workshop of the TT+ family newcomers active column speaker array system RCF TTL11A, and the extremely compact active loudspeaker TT052-A. The event was held at the VIII International Moscow Festival of Jazz.
During all three days of festival all guests had an opportunity to enjoy the performance of different jazz-bands and well-known artists.
The performance of TTL11A was brilliant as well; both guests and professionals noted it’s authentic, balanced and clear sound.
Event
RCF audio systems solution at the Niebla Flamenco Festival.
The village of Niebla is located roughly 30km of the southeast of Huelva city and 60km from Seville on the shores of the Río Tinto. Niebla literally means "fog" in Spanish, a name that might relate to its relative proximity to the Atlantic coast. It is a town that begs to be explored by foot. Niebla is famous for its beauty and archaeological heritage that can be found within its ancient walls and buildings of the town and the castle.
Niebla has been a pivotal enclave in the history of Southern Spain, and the castle bears eloquent witness of this. It's so well preserved that in summer times it forms the backdrop for theatre, music, and performance and dance festivals. All year round, its rooms, chambers and dungeons, whose interior design is perfectly in keeping with the era, are a veritable mediaeval museum.
At this year “Festival Flamenco Condado de Niebla” the company dB Sound supplied a RCF audio system, to arrange the sound and the acoustic adaptation in the courtyard of the Niebla Castle.
Several flamenco artists performed at the festival and furthermore the pop artist Kiko Gavin that performed an awesome concert in these beautiful surroundings.
The main stage was inside the walled enclosure with a capacity of about a thousand people. To ensure the correct acoustic sound and coverage, the system were settled with 2 Clusters in "Grand Support", composed by 6 pcs RCF TTL 33-A, and 6 pcs RCF TTS 28-A distributed to the front of stage every 1.5m.
To ensure sound coverage at the front rows, some RCF TT08-A speakers were installed as front fill.
The monitoring consisted of: RCF TT25-A, RCF TT22-A, and RCF 4PRO4003 as Side Fill, and ART905-AS as Subwoofers.
For many artists it was their first experience with RCF audio equipment and the feedback was very positive:
"Has been one of the best sound systems I have ever heard", says Kiko Gavin
Thanks to this event the company dB Sound showed their high professional attitude towards offering the best quality, their technical and material services – all based on a complete RCF audio solution
Corporate
Ketch Kelly to receive the first ever "RCF USA Special Recognition Award" for 2011
Long time RCF user Eric “Ketch” Kelly from Christopher Newport University’s Ferguson Center for the Art is the recipient of the "RCF USA Special Recognition Award" for 2011.
“Ketch Kelly has done a lot of efforts to promote the RCF brand in US and especially the TT+ range. With a lot of experience and always interested in trying out new stuff he is always giving us very valuable feedback on our products and he has been very active in creating new references for RCF and are a respected source to advise which system to work with. We really appreciate his efforts and we would like to honour Ketch for his job by awarding him with the RCF USA Special Recognition Award for 2011”, says John Krupa – Sales Director RCF USA
RCF talks with Ketch Kelly about his entrance into the audio world and he shares some inside experiences.
How did you start to get involved with the audio engineering and sound?
Well, if not trying to blow up stereos as a teenager it would have been after I was drafted and was serving on an Aircraft Carrier then a Nuclear Submarine. The large distributed systems were fascinating. Just after getting out a good friend started touring with Bob Marley and Peter Tosh as a musician. I started as a Roadie and paid attention to the systems we used and to how they worked. Coming from the nuclear Submarine system I liked well-built systems that showed care in construction attention to detail.
What is your main audio background?
As a sound engineer mixing F O H I worked at The Ritz in NYC toured with bands in the 70’s and 80’s Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Jimmy Cliff in a variety of positions I worked for a Hotel developer and did distributed systems and Large Club systems for both Live and Program music all over the U.S. Here at CNU I am the Audio Engineer and have designed several of our Audio and Video systems in venues across campus. Ferguson Center, Music & Theater Hall, Studio Theater and the Gaines Theater as well as A Student lounge The Crows Nest.
When did you discover the RCF products and what was your first experience with these?
The drivers used in a variety of cabinets and their reputation to perform under demanding use.
Are there any particular things you like about the RCF products and what is your personal experience with these?
Well I often say that we are sound engineers first so how does it sound, today everyone can find measurements that say how great their equipment is. How does it sound! I have headphones that are very accurate but do not sound great for listening they are for reference! The First time we hung the TT31’s was for a show that afternoon, so we really were just taking them as is. The tours engineer looked at me and said, “Buy them”. I had a group of working sound engineers over to take a listen and they all were amazed as we played music we all know well, that we use to check systems out. The depth is what struck me, the images in each of the tracks and the detail sold me! We are a concert hall that sees hundreds of shows with every major speaker line come through our doors. I do not talk down equipment that does not appeal to me because frankly almost all modern speakers are remarkable, so it comes down to how the make you feel! The TT series makes me smile from ear to ear every time I hear them!
As been working with sound and installations for many years, what are your key rules when you are choosing a system to work with?
“There is the new and the known” do not put it in just because it’s the vogue product, balance where you’re dollars are allocated. That said stay current look at new products with an open mind and attention to the fit and finish. Will the company and products be around in the future? Give the best fit for the budget and level of skill the everyday operator will bring to the installation. Make it sound great
You have done several church installations. What do you see as the main challenge when deciding on what types of speakers and systems to use to these kinds of installations?
Not really I installed Pipe organs when I was 17 this let me appreciate the acoustic environment of the spaces. I am working on a Chapel project here on the Campus so it brings its own demands that although common to theater are new. The space needs to be clean with no apparent technologies, but the space will be used by all types of events from acoustic, spoken word to electric so the Steerable arrays seem to be the best for now.
When you do installations in venues, concert halls etc. how do you manage to secure that the systems will exceed a performance that match perfectly to the room?
Well I think headroom first when the budget allows, then I think of what the venue is going to be used for. I also try and think what it will be used for in the possible future. Then it is time to look at what science will tell us of the space. The final thou is let’s say intuition I think often if we listen to ourselves, experience tells you what will work
The RCF TT+ products are having a lot of DSP onboard. What is your experience with DSP in general for these big systems, do you feel that it is a good help to create a perfect listening result?
I like DSP in general but feel there are some parameters that should not be changed such as Cross over points. I like to be able to monitor levels and the condition of the amplifiers and power consumption etc.…. I like to be able to gain shade sometimes remotely
What do you see as the big difference for the audio systems today compared to what you were working with 5 years back?
The quality of horns for smooth reproduction and control, also the power amplifier sections on self-power speakers. I think the TT45 is a great example of these properties it’s on stage and in your face. They display great clarity and control but sound wonderful not a statement I would associate with stage monitors in general loud comes to mind. I remember in the late 70’s a band member wanting more Kick and there was nothing left I mean it was all the way up! So looking at the monitor you could watch it hop with each kick beat so I told him when it hopes that’s the kick. That would not happen with the speakers we use today.
The technology is constantly being improved, what do you see as the next big thing for speaker design or features that could make it easier to be an installer and a sound engineer?
More steerable control digitally to deal with where we do not want power and where we do. Better rigging hardware so that there is less chance of accidents assembling rigs. Perhaps a scanning laser showing the area of coverage not just the point.
When you work with bands, do you experience that they are getting more involved in the actual stage sound and they want to secure that they are sounding close to their sound on their music releases?
Being a house engineer I find that often they are focused on their monitor mix and pay less attention to the house mix. They expect you to get the house right and sometimes you have to push to get the time you need to dial it in.
Today there are a lot of online resources to get new information about gear, installations, new technology etc. What online resources do you use to maintain your knowledge and are you contributing with your own experience to other sound engineers etc.?
I use FOH and SPL websites they are open to a very lively they tend to be good clearing houses of experience with gear and application of knowledge.
Today many people are talking about the challenges in secure that your sound level at concerts and public places are in control and stays at a maximum or average level that is set by the authorities. Do you have any experience with this, and what do you feel about having to work to a set of rules?
I do not think with modern PA’s that you do not need to be as loud as we once did because we can put the power in the seats now with Arrays, DSP and cabinet design and choice. There is a local amphitheatre that you get warned for being too loud and then arrested if you ignore the warning. I have run into engineers that treat contract SPL levels as an excuse to be abusive even push a desk harder and harder when the processing is trying to keep the lid on it. I have been on both sides but come down on the side of common sense if you are driving people out just because you can be that loud clearly your ego is righting the checks. Make it sound great, encompassing and powerful
All sound engineers have their favourite test songs, to mention one could be Donald Fagen´s I.G.Y., what songs are on your test CD?
One Voice - the Wailin’ Jennys The Hounds of Winter – Sting Seven Bridges Road (live)- Eagles Lisztomania – Phoenix In the Darkest Place – Burt Bacharach& Elvis Costello Maria Rita 1st album Jamie Cullum Jeff Beck Live at Ronnie Scotts
These are a few - I have others Donald Fagen / Steely Dan etc.
When RCF introduced the TT+ system to the market, the product line was designed with many inputs from FOH engineers etc. With your work with TT+ can you recognize things in the products that make it easier to set up and in general to work with compared to other systems?
Yes the recessed switch and connector positions are well thought out. The rigging is pretty good I would like a way to hold the bracket tongues with your fingers clear. They are very easy to find handholds on and the power to weight ratio out of this world
In your perspective what do you think that is important for speaker manufacturer to keep alive and never compromise on?
Musicality if that’s a word, we can make very precise systems but the need soul, heartfelt. There is a point that we must remember we may be technicians but we are also artists in our own right. I have disagreed with some engineers that say we are there only to reproduce exactly what is on stage. I would argue we are to remain true to what is on stage but we must bring all of our selves to each show or just have a computer balance the input gains and send that.
What projects are you working on right now?
The Chapel here at CNU and an upgrade to the Concert Hall system here at Ferguson Center
We just finished our fourth Theater on Campus (with TT25’s and TT45’s) the school has spent $700,000,000 on new facilities in the last 12 years and is working on another $500,000,000 over the coming years. The school is public and only around 5,000 students
What is your “dream band” to be FOH for, and why?
Well I worked with great bands and they all bring something Bob Marley and Peter Tosh were in the dream category and being House engineer Here has allowed be to work with a huge number of artists and engineers. That said I think all sound engineers think their Mix is the best not that we are known to have opinions, no never!
What has been your absolute biggest concert experience as being part of the audience?
I am working most of the shows I see so it would have been a long time ago for big shows in the Woodstock / Watkins Glenn era.
See more about the Ferguson Center of Art here.
Installation
RCF reinforces new Ilie Oană Stadium, Romania
Ilie Oană Stadium is a football stadium in Ploiesti, Romania and is the current home of the football club FC Petrolul Ploiești. The stadium opened in September 2011 and has a seating capacity of 15,500 people.
The construction has been built in the place of the former Ilie Oană Stadium, which was completed in 1937. The old stadium was demolished and a complete new stadium has been built featuring all top modern facilities and already appointed by UEFA to host the group matches and semi-finals of the Champions League.
The new stadium is named after Ilie Oană, a famous player and coach. The Ilie Oană Stadium will together with the national stadium be the most modern stadium in Romania and at the same time it will represent a turning point for stadium constructions in the country. It meets all the requirements according to UEFA standards and top facilities for mass media and journalists with two TV studios, nine transmission platforms and much more.
A state of the art RCF audio system has been installed to cover all areas of the stadium. Romanian RCF distributor FBS Lines provides the audio system project.
The audio system design for the Ilie Oană Stadium was done in collaboration with the RCF project department that specified the individual product system solution, documentation, acoustical simulation, measurement and more.
”Simply a milestone installation. Everything has been working according to the plans and we have ended up with a superb solution for the Ilie Oană Stadium and we are receiving many positive comments about our work. It has been great to see that the investment into a modern audio system solution is on the same high level as all the other segments that are within the stadium construction. It was important for us to be part of this project from the beginning and it also secured that we could supply the optimal solution. I am sure that this installation will add future references to RCF in our country”, says Kalman – FBS Lines
The tribune sections of the stadium are covered by 24 pcs RCF P6215 and 28 pcs RCF P4228 speakers.
The P6215 is a weatherproof full range; wide-dispersion, coaxial two-way loudspeaker systems for very high output and longer throw applications. The high-frequency section is a constant directivity CMD horn loaded to a 1.3” RCF Precision Neodymium compression driver with a 2.5” diaphragm assembly for smooth, wide dispersion. The low frequency transducer is a 15” woofer with a 3” voice coil. The cabinet is equipped with 12 x M10 brass inserts, a stainless steel U-Bracket and pair of spacers for 90° mounting. P6215 meets the requirements of IP 55 code (International Protection Rating).
The RCF P4228 is a weatherproof full range, wide-dispersion, two-way loudspeaker system offering substantial power and efficiency for a variety of professional indoor or outdoor applications; it meets the requirements of IP 55 code (International Protection Rating). The high frequency section is a constant directivity CMD horn loaded with a 1.4” RCF Precision Neodymium compression driver with a 2.5” diaphragm assembly for smooth, wide dispersion. The low-frequency transducer is a double 8” woofer with a 2.5” voice coil.
The amplification for the sound system is done with 6 pcs RCF DPS 3000, a 2-channel power amplifier that can handle exceptionally high power ratings in a compact and lightweight 2 units rack space, and 8 pcs RCF HPS 2500, a 2 channel power amplifier that delivers up to 2 x 1400 W RMS @ 2 Ω (2800 W RMS bridged @ 4 Ω).
The system is controlled by 2 pcs RCF DX 4008 digital loudspeaker management units. All installed in 2 pcs 26U racks with additional RCF electronics such as RCF M1033 CD-USB MP3 FM Tuner and more.
With several km´s of 4x4 cable installed all over the Ilie Oană Stadium the RCF system is now in work. So just like the recent RCF audio installation at the Juventus Stadium the audience attending the football matches of FC Petrolul Ploiești will experience a perfect and balanced audio when watching their teams effort to score some goals.
See the installation video here.
More info about FC Petrolul at: www.fcpetrolul.ro
Event
RCF TT+ at Sweden Rock Festival
Sweden Rock Festival is an annual rock/metal festival held in Sweden since 6 June 1992. While having a clear rock/metal focus, the festival is noted for its diversity across these genres, having featured southern rock bands such as Molly Hatchet to death metal legends like Obituary.
The first version of the festival was held in Olofström, with nine bands performing. The next five years, the festival was held in Karlshamn, but this was changed in 1998. Since then the festival has been held in Norje, outside Sölvesborg (locality and the seat of Sölvesborg Municipality in Blekinge County, Sweden with approx 8,000 inhabitants).
When the festival first began in 1992, it featured nine relatively unknown bands and it only lasted one day. The following year the festival was expanded to two days and more bands were added. From 1993 to 2002 the festival have lasted for two days; over those years it would also begin to feature bigger name and famous artists.
From 2003 to 2006 the festival lasted three days and had by then featured some of the biggest acts in metal and rock. From 2007 the festival has been expanded to four days and will feature approximately 120 different bands/artists.
Some notable appearances in the past have been Aerosmith, Judas Priest, Mötley Crüe, Dio, Bruce Dickinson, Yngwie Malmsteen, Twisted Sister, Whitesnake, Uriah Heep, Europe, Deep Purple, Accept, Motörhead, Saxon, Nazareth, Poison, Status Quo, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Scorpions, Porcupine Tree, Kamelot, Def Leppard, Alice Cooper, Testament, W.A.S.P., ZZ Top, The Orchestra, Thin Lizzy and Guns N' Roses.
The festival has also worked as a comeback scene for bands like Triumph and Thundersteel line-up Riot. The Bachman and Turner band started their world reunion tour here in June 2010
At the Sweden Rock Festival there were five stages: Festival (main stage), Rock, Rock Klassiker, Zeppelin and Sweden Stage. The sound system of the Rock Klassiker stage was powered by RCF TT+ sound system with the following configuration:
12 x RCF TTL55-A (high power, three way, active line array module).
6 x RCF TTS56-A (high power, high output active subwoofer system).
Furthermore several RCF 4PRO 3002-SMA were used as stage monitors and for the system side fills on the stage they used RCF 4PRO 6001-A (high output, medium-throw, 3 way speaker) and 4PRO 8001-A (high output bass reflex subwoofer system).
"Sweden Rock has become a milestone in European Festivals and is probably one of the biggest metal festivals in the world. Their long list of performing bands is impressive and each year the festival turns the little town "Solvesborg" in the southern part of Sweden in the world centre of heavy metal music in early June. This year was the first time for RCF TT+ system to be used for the sound of one of the stages - and with an amazing result - simply loud and clear and FOH engineers, artists etc. were extremely happy with the system. So we are ready to rock again in 2012", says Anders Scharer - Luthman TTS Sweden
The rental company Fegge & Mattes Sound – Light & Event, Vadstena supplied the audio system for the Rock Klassiker stage – the rental company is a long time RCF user and at the Sweden Rock festival they had their debut with the RCF TT+ system – and for sure they delivered what heavy metal is about – loud and clear sound.
See more about Sweden Rock at: www.swedenrock.com
2011 Artist Line-up: 8-11 June, Norje Havsbad Absorbing the Pain, Accept, Agent Steel, Alien, Angel Witch, Black Label Society, Black Veil Brides, Bob Log III, Buckcherry, Chips & Kent From Sator, Claes Yngström, Clutch, Crashdïet, Dan Reed Band, Dawn Of Silence, Destruction, Doc Holliday, Down, Duff Mckagan's Loaded, Electric Wizard, Evergrey, Five Horse Johnson, Fläsket Brinner, Fm, Frantic Amber, Ghost, Goda Grannar, Groundhogs, Gwar, Hardcore Superstar, Hawkwind, Helloween, Houston, Iced Earth, Jason & The Scorchers, Joan Jett And The Blackhearts, Judas Priest, Kansas, Lee Aaron, Mason Ruffner, Mats Ronander, Mean Streak, Molly Hatchet, Moonspell, Morbid Angel, Mr Big, Mustasch, Necronaut, Nicke Borg Homeland, Nifelheim, Ninnuam, Overkill, Oz, Ozzy Osbourne, Perry & The Travellers, Queensryche, Rage, Raubtier, Rhapsody Of Fire, Rhino Bucket, Rob Zombie, Roffe Wikström, Saxon, Seventribe, Slidin' Slim, Spitchic, Spock's Beard, Steelheart, Stryper, Styx, Summoned Tide, The Brew, The Cult, The Damned, The Dead And Living, The Haunted, The Hooters, Thin Lizzy, Walter Trout & Whitesnake.
Installation
The QI Clubbing in Erbusco - Brescia, Italy installs RCF.
With catching environment and very stylish decoration the QI Clubbing in Erbusco, Brescia is absolute worth a visit. Several times the QI Clubbing has been awarded as one of the best nightclub in Italy. In October 2011 the QI Clubbing will be opening their new Restaurant and Private Club facilities.
Opening a new segment gives QI a 360 degrees solution of entertainment of dining, nightclub, dancing and social life comes together under the same establishment.
The key of the success for QI Clubbing is the constant investment into developing a good atmosphere and surroundings. At QI you can experience high-class entertainment and performance – you can dance the night away to the sound of the best Italian and International DJs at the fabulous discotheque, and start the evening with a relaxing dinner at the exclusive restaurant.
To keep the pace as one of the best club in Italy QI Clubbing is constantly upgrading their facilities and recently a new advanced RCF sound system have been installed both in the restaurant and in the private room.
A total of 20 pcs RCF MONITOR 88 are covering the restaurant area to supply the room with background music of the highest fidelity.
The music entertainment performance stage area is equipped with 8 pcs RCF H 1312 three-way speakers.
To strengthen the sound system they installed 4 pcs RCF DPS 3000 and 8 RCF HPS 1500 professional power amplifiers together with 1 pcs RCF DX 4008 and 1 pcs RCF DX 2006 digital loudspeakers management systems.
So the new RCF sound system will certainly help QI Clubbing to candidate again for the award as the best club and restaurant in Italy.
More info about QI Clubbing at: www.qiclubbing.com
Corporate
Randy Jackson – Live on Stage with RCF
Randy Jackson, lead singer and guitarist of the legendary band “Zebra” has been touring with RCF speakers systems for years. Since the mid-70’s Randy Jackson has been a major player on the American music scene. Today, he can be found performing with major symphony orchestras and as a solo acoustic artist while still maintaining a high profile with Zebra.
Randy Jackson takes us down memory lane and also updates us on what is currently going on with his musical career.
Zebra started out of New Orleans in the mid-70s, a rock trio with Randy Jackson as the lead singer and guitarist, Guy Gelso on drums and vocals and bassist/keyboardist/vocalist Felix Hanemann. The band became “local heroes” with a huge fan-base built by extensive touring in the region. In 1982 Atlantic Records signed Zebra. Their first album, "Zebra" was produced by Jack Douglas (Aerosmith, John Lennon) and released in 1983.
With their huge fan base built from 8 years of touring in Louisiana and New York the album sold 75,000 copies the first 2 weeks and overnight Zebra became one of Atlantic Records most valuable bands, and had the fastest selling debut album in Atlantic Records history.
Strong melodic songs such as: “Who's Behind The Door" and "Tell Me What You Want", written by Jackson, received serious notice in the press, and helped to form legions of new Zebra fans.
RJ: “When I look back at my career with Zebra it has been quite a journey. I feel that we are really fortunate to have had a career spanning over 35 years. It is a great feeling to know that people still want to see us live and are still so interested in hearing new music from the band”.
The debut album went gold and certified Zebra’s great success.
RJ: “It was an amazing trip, going from performing on smaller local stages to suddenly sharing stages with groups like Aerosmith, Kiss, Queensrÿche, and Dream Theater and playing large arenas and stadiums”.
In 1984 Atlantic Records released the second album, “No Tellin´ Lies”. The album was well received in the press but never got the same attention at radio as the previously one. The third album, “3.V”, was released in 1986.
RJ: “We did three albums in less than 3 years and at the same time we were constantly touring, doing videos, promotional appearances, TV shows etc. I put a massive amount of time and efforts into recording the 3rd album "3.V". It was our most ambitious production ever, and we were confident that the album would do well. We used the album to experiment with new instruments such as the Synclavier and the Fairlight. We also did a lot of midi "keyboard" sequencing with the Linn 9000”.
Unfortunately the “3.V” album didn’t get the reception the band had hoped for and Atlantic Records soon dropped Zebra.
RJ: “3.V” contains some of our best songs. As an "album", it might be our best. It just seemed that we were always falling short on airplay. Bon Jovi had just released "Slippery When Wet" and I think our album just got lost at radio.”
Zebra scaled down and the individual band members started to focus on outside music projects.
RJ: “It was a big let down for the band, but our music and our fans kept us positive. I developed a huge interest for computers and started building my own recording studio at home. I was called to do several session recordings on guitar and met a lot of great people along the way. In 1989 I got a call to tour as keyboardist, guitarist and backing vocalist with the original Jefferson Airplane for their last tour together. It was an awesome experience!!”
In 1989 Randy Jackson was signed to Atlantic Records again to do a solo record, which was eventually called "China Rain”. This time his direction was aimed more at harder metal. During the production of the album Nirvana released their album, "Never Mind", and Atlantic decided that "China Rain" had become unmarketable. In 1990 Zebra released a live album on Atlantic and the band received great reviews on the record. Soon afterward he started working on a live solo show incorporating a Macintosh computer to run the sound and lights. A year of programming resulted in a show that people still talk about today, which featured the best of Zebra along with many other classic rock favorites.
RJ: “Those were some very busy years and I started to developed some skills in computer programming while working with all kinds of music software. My interest and passion actually led to an offer to develop instruments and software for Lonestar Technologies in 1992”.
Lonestar Technologies was based in Hicksville, New York. The company was developing a new instrument called “The Key”, a guitar-like synthesizer that was ground breaking in its diversity.
RJ: “What an amazing project. It was a big change for me, going from being a full time musician to doing development for such an innovative company. “The Key" had a very futuristic design and by itself is a guitar-like synthesizer, where the "frets" are like keys on a keyboard and the "strings" are made up of synthetic "veins" attached to the body. “The Key” could be used as a stand-alone MIDI controller and had it's own internal sound engine. Chords are formed by pressing different combinations of keys while strumming the "veins". "The Key" could also be used as a video "reader" that would allow the user to play along with music videos on encoded video tapes. We also developed cartridges called "Song Pacs" that could be plugged into a slot in the instrument and used to accompany the player. The "Song Pac" cartridges included midi versions of licensed songs and allowed the user to play an album’s worth of songs on each cartridge. I liked to describe "The Key" as an electronic Autoharp. We got Jon Anderson from Yes to try out the instrument and he ended up writing a bunch of songs using "The Key". "The Key" was pretty expensive when it was released and only a few could afford it. "The Key" was a very ambitious project and may have been a little ahead of its time”.
In 1996 Randy got an offer to sing the music of Led Zeppelin at a show with the Virginia Symphony.
RJ: “I did that first show with Brent Havens (Windborne Symphony) conducting and we have been doing them ever since. It is a full rock band performing the music of Led Zeppelin with a full symphony orchestra. It is a really big production and we have played all over the U.S. with a few shows in Canada as well. We have added some different shows over the years (music of The Doors, Pink Floyd and The Eagles) which helps keep me busy year round. It is such a great thrill to perform the music of my youth with such high caliber musicians in a symphonic environment”.
To round out his schedule Randy started to work on a solo acoustic show.
RJ: “I met a musical instrument distributor who highly recommended RCF and said he would help me check out what speaker systems that would be good for me to use for my solo acoustic shows. My main specification was that the system be portable but very powerful the system by myself. I wanted to be able to get it all into my Ford Expedition. I knew I had to be my own tour manager, stage crew and sound engineer for most of my shows. I invested in two systems, one for New York shows and one system to use in Louisiana for my gigs there. My audio system is based on the 4Pro Series using a combination of 6001 model speakers and a mix of 8001 and 8002 subwoofers”.
So with two new speaker systems Randy Jackson started to promote his “Solo Acoustic” shows.
RJ: “It was amazing to see how huge an interest there was for booking my new acoustic shows. One of my first gigs with my new RCF system was actually at the Canadian Formula One Grand Prix. At first I thought it would be a real challenge to perform at this type of event since the room was large with a lot of people but I was blown away by the performance I got out of my RCF system. The sound coming from the speakers is truly amazing, whether it is acoustic music or hard rock, you immediately hear the incredible quality, the sound is clear, each instrument is perfectly defined and the vocal clarity is second to none”.
In 2003, Zebra made a deal with the Italian label, Frontiers Records, to release their new album, “Zebra IV”. RJ: “We worked on the new CD until we felt it was really ready for release. The album did really well for us and helped us cultivate a new generation of fans. We will be working on a new studio album for next year. With more and more Zebra gigs in the works I am simply doubling my RCF system to give us the headroom to do larger venues. I just added 4 NX series wedges to my system and I'm looking into the TT+ touring products for the larger shows I do with Zebra or the Windborne Symphony. The support I have gotten from RCF U.S. is just awesome. I couldn't ask for more from a company or their product”
And the reaction to RCF from his fans?
RJ: "The compliments I get on my live sound just keep on coming. I get inquiries about my RCF system at just about every gig I do and a lot of people have said it is the best they have ever heard!”
ZEBRA DISCOGRAPHY
1983 Zebra 1984 No Tellin´ Lies 1986 3 V 1990 Live 1998 The Best of Zebra in Black and White 1999 King Bisquit Live 2001 No Tellin´Lies/3 V 2003 Zebra IV 2004 Slow Down
2007 Zebra - The DVD
More information about Randy Jackson and Zebra at:
www.thedoor.com
www.randyjackson.com
www.facebook.com/randyjacksonzebra
www.facebook.com/pages/Randy-Jackson-of-Zebra/147328201985551
http://twitter.com/#!/Randy_Zebra
Event
Welcome to the xSolutions
The xSolutions show is taking place at the Excel, London. The trade show is from October 19th to 20th 2011.
xSolutions is for professionals who sell, install, purchase or have responsibility for the day-to-day running of audio and video communication technologies within commercial facilities.
It will provide the opportunity for you to immerse yourself in the latest AV technology and solutions based offerings - as a specific product, part of an individual system or as part of a complete building systems solution.
xSolutions will provide an unprecedented focus on business communication technology within UK and Ireland.
Meet and greet with RCF Team at the show and get a chance to hear and see more about the new products, about our innovative technologies and to learn more about the large selection of product ranges and solutions from RCF.
See more about the show at: www.xsolutionsonthenet.net
Come and visit us on booth D14
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