Event
Japan’s recent Big Beach Dance Festival at the Makuhari Seaside Park in Chiba, again saw crowds of around 20,000 people assemble to see an all star line up, including The Chemical Brothers (playing a DJ set), John Digweed, Beardyman, Timo Maas and many more. Promoted by alife Entertainment, adding to the atmosphere of the legendary beach party was a full RCF rig on each of the three stages. RCF’s sales manager for the region, Lars Yoshiyama, reported that the event was a major success.
Contracted to provide the sound was rental company, Comestock, and such was the scale of the PA requirement that they needed to buy a complete new system. After careful consideration they opted for RCF, and placed an order with territorial distributor Ballad Co.
Managed by Norihiro Matsuyama, Comestock chose the TT+ system because of its clarity and its exceptional power handling. The company noted that the system was very easy to fly while the proprietary RDNet allows complete control and system monitoring. In fact during the event it was possible to monitor all components through the remote RDNet tool.
As a result, the main stage saw 14 elements per side of RCF’s premium TTL55-A line array in a spiral configuration, with 12 TTS56-A and TTL36-AS subs — in straight line stacks across the centre, with one TTL36-AS double 18in box on top of a TTS56-A double 21in sub. Nearfield coverage was provided by four TTL31-A compact line arrays — all under RCF RDNet control for delay and monitoring. Stage monitors were provided in the shape of six TT25-SMA and two TTS28-A subs — while coverage for a VIP area close to the stage was also provided by a pair of TTL31-A enclosures.
The second stage was equipped with four RCF TTL33-A per side with a pair of TTL31-A providing nearfield coverage and four TTL36-AS adding low frequency extension. Artists reference monitoring included two RCF TT25-A, two ART722-A and four NX15-SMA wedge. Finally, sound reinforcement in the auxiliary tent, which provided the third sound stage, was again RCF — this time four TT22-A active non-linear boxes were used, underpinned by a pair of SUB 718-AS.
The event was supported by RCF product specialist, Oscar Mora, who provided system training as well as helping to identify the crosspoint between TTS56-A and TTL36-AS subs. In addition, he took care of the system’s fine tuning and guided Comestock through the most efficient way of using the RCF RDNet controller.
Also present was RCF’s Lars Yoshiyama, who was involved in the planning of the event. He organised the availability of the system as part of his role of managing the strategic planning of RCF in the Japanese market.
However, the production was not without its challenges. Such is the location of the beach that sand blown by the swirling wind presents a constant threat. Heavy rain the day before and the proximity of neighbouring residences, potentially giving rise to noise complaints, presented further challenges.
However, the TT+ system managed to overcome the wind problem with its uniform, constant coverage pattern. “The extraordinary power in the high frequency range and the high definition helped a lot in negating any kind of wind problem, while the cabinets are completely water resistant and were impervious to the rain,” said Lars Yoshiyama.
As to the noise problem the RCF products — and expertise of the engineers — helped to obviate any complaints, and the coverage remained tight and directional, yet still maintained a punchy 122 dB max at FOH, 52 meters from the stage.
BBF has been voted the best dance music festival for the last three years and is one of the most respected events in Japan. Hence their endorsement of this sound system became a great profiling exercise for RCF with many PA guys, sound engineers and stage directors wanting to hear the next generation of sound.
One top boy band producer simply said: “The system is number one.” And sound engineers who routinely specify other line array brands when touring had only good things to say.
But perhaps the best quote of all came from Alex Nightingale, manager of the Chemical Brothers, who said, "Sonically the production enhanced the set to create the effect of the sound of a club on a beach."
Installation
One of London’s top rehearsal studios has upgraded its flagship Studio A with end-to-end RCF TT+ active loudspeakers.
Charlie Barrett, who has run Terminal Studios for the past 28 of its 33 years, has been heavily committed to providing leading edge PA systems for its premier clientele, since moving the business to Bermondsey in 1990. Last month he introduced line array technology, commissioning six RCF TTL33-A active enclosures — three elements a side — and two ground-stacked TTS28-A subs to maintain their competitive edge.
It was in the early 90’s that Barrett started to periodically renew the technical infrastructure but recognised recently that his trusty 12-year-old system had reached end of life.
“I have always been a bit of a gear nerd and having a good PA that would keep us ahead of the game has always been our USP.”
A couple of years ago he made his first investment in RCF in the form of 12 processor-controlled RCF TT22-A full range point source system and six TTS18-A subs as a dry hire rental system for Terminal’s corporate and small scale live work. At the same time he purchased six TT25SMA dedicated stage monitors.
“We liked the system a lot when we heard it,” he remarked. “It goes out regularly but has been absolutely reliable and not one component has ever broken down. On top of that a number of engineers have passed favourable comment.”
So when it came to upgrading the premier of Terminal’s five studios he was eager to revisit the brand — aware that although RCF has penetrated many market sectors it is still developing a touring pedigree. “This room is hugely influential and is used a lot for record company showcases. RCF may not have the brand visibility yet in the touring world but there were a number of positive reasons for choosing it,” he said.
The proven reliability of the earlier TT+ system had been a key driver. “We wanted to keep the amount of power we had from our previous system — but without the harshness.
“Because we had already tried the RCF TT+ range I knew it to be both powerful and sweet sounding and also that it had been built without compromise. The big turn on was that it is very tightly processor controlled — in fact it sounded so great straight out of the box we were able to run it flat. It also takes up less space because there is no amp rack and you don't need to put separate crossovers in.”
As for the stage, following their positive experience with the TTS25-SMA wedge monitors, Terminal Studios have added a further six — plus three of RCF’s TT45-SMA 2 x 12 biamped wedges and an RCF 4PRO 6001A and 4PRO 8003-AS 4-way active drum fill. Once again, he notes that self-powered floor wedges can be added and subtracted more easily.
The room has around a 50ft throw and so benefits from having more components operating at lower level, believes Barrett. “Although the TT+ system doesn't sound loud, the whole room is completely filled with sound, and the bottom end is also impressive. Using RCF’s proprietary flying frame we can rotate the speakers to point either at the listener or the band.”
In the short time since its installation The TT+ (Touring & Theatre) system has already proved itself with a wide variety of acts including Jessie J, Chase and Status, JLS, Ollie Murs, The Wanted, Dappy and Brian May.
The sight of the TTL33-A certainly brought back memories for Chase and Status’s experienced sound engineer, Rampton — prepping for the latest festival tour; he immediately recalled playing through the same system at Cologne Live Music Hall with the two men last year.
“The Cologne show was the last in the run and the tech advance had been a little sketchy. So when I walked into the venue and saw these small boxes flown left and right with just the four subs under the stage, I was a little intrigued as to what it was going to sound like. I was blown away immediately by the power and clarity this medium size array was producing. Furthermore, the four subs under stage were sending my kidneys through the back wall!! I was running the system flat at my end and was amazed to discover that there was no pre-EQ on the rig apart from a tiny little dip around 315 Hz and nothing else. I was amazed at the detail I was hearing and the two lads, Saul [Chase] and Will [Status] came out front and were knocked out by what they were hearing. It was awesome.
“I used the same show file that we had been using with more familiar PA systems, yet this was another level completely. The show was the best of the German run and I would certainly be more than happy to walk into any venue and find the TT+ hanging there.”
Pics: Charlie Barrett in Studio A at Terminal Studios, with the new RCF TT+ rig
Corporate
In a radical departure from its conventional marketing style, RCF has produced five new poster-style display ads, designed to overturn popular perceptions and present a brand new image for the company.
Using cartoon-style cut-out characters they address all the company’s core areas, such as “Recording”, “Professional Speaker Systems”, “Precision Transducers,” “TT+ High Definition Touring & Theatre” and “Installed Sound” … under the umbrella of “Sound Culture”.
Each concept has been purposely designed for the application, and the artworks have all the impact of a Norman Rockwell-style Saturday Evening Post front cover.
Said head of marketing Gioia Molinari, “We have deliberately introduced a fresh and innovative graphic style, designed to stop the reader in his tracks — as if he had just seen a billboard, banner or magazine front cover. It will certainly shock people who see RCF as a traditional loudspeaker company.”
But beneath the humorous veneer lies the serious message of a 62-year-old company with a matchless pedigree.
The new campaign will address each of the appropriate market segments, and will go live in June 2012. “The company has now shed its old skin and this will provide a glimpse into the future of RCF,” concluded Ms. Molinari.
Event
When Pope Benedict XVI recently visited the Cuban capital of Havana, the government of Cuba chose RCF TT+ (Touring & Theatre) series to broadcast the Papal Mass.
Hundreds of thousands of Cubans from the capital and neighbouring provinces filled Havana’s José Martí Plaza de la Revolución — at 72,000 sq. metres one of the biggest squares in the world.
The system specified comprised 64 x TTL55-A (16 elements left and right of main stage and two 16-hang outfills) and 24 x TTS36-A subwoofers (12 per side). In addition, 27 xTT25-A’s were deployed as delays — in 12 towers (each containing two cabinets), and three towers with one cabinet in each.
Finally eight TT25-SMA and eight NX12-SMA wedges provided stage monitoring while system control was in the shape of two DX 4008 4-in/8-out digital loudspeaker management devices and RDNet Control8 control and monitoring network.
The system designers were both extremely impressed with the power and intelligibility of the TT+ series, which registered 106dB at the furthest point of the site (210 meters). In particular, they praised the coherent, constant coverage pattern and definition of the system — as well as its power.
In conclusion, RCF product specialist, Oscar Mora, stated: “The coverage was such that the mass of Benedict XVI could be heard clearly right across the Square, demonstrating the intelligibility of TT+. Those related to the event expressed their delight with the system and I received many plaudits and congratulations afterwards.”
Event
The first Red Bull Soundclash in Greece recently was supported by a TTL+ active line array system from RCF — provided as part of a complete sound, lighting and visual package across two identical stages by Greek production company, Kariotis Meletios Events Productions.
This unique band competition, famous throughout the world and held for the first time in Athens’ Building 56, saw a battle between Greek bands Vegas and Melisses.
With two identical stages installed opposite each other in the same venue the concept of the competition was that the audience would vote vocally for the best group after each of the songs (Melisses recording 124dBA on the decibel meter to emerge as victors).
Sound reinforcement for the event included four arrays of four TTL55-A active line arrays and a TTS36-A flown subwoofer, with four stacked arrays of two TTS-56A subs, divided equally cross the two stages. In fact the presence of the TT 55-A was its first official outing in the country.
With RCF TT+ product specialist, Emanuele Morlini, providing on-site support to help set up and optimise the system — controlled and monitored by RCF’s advanced remote control system, RD Net — the TTL solution offered an ultra dynamic and high energy live experience to the audience and delivered a continuous 120dB free of distortion over the entire period.
Kariotis Meletios had been awarded the contract by Red Bull’s American-based events company, Eleven Productions. Explaining the concept, Pandelis Kariotis said that the two famous bands participating on the two stages represented different genres. “A db meter mic was installed measuring the volume of the crowd screaming right after each performance and displaying the results on two big LED screens at the back of the two stages.”
The Greek production company had around 16 technicians working three days for the preparation of this project in order to manage the installation of the trussing and staging, the installation of the sound, light and LED displays, with soundchecks on the third day. MTV Greece, who hosted and broadcast the event, then moved in with a production crew, ten cameras and a OB van, while Eleven Productions managed all structures for Red Bull as well as crowd control.
The RCF system received a highly positive reaction all round. “The fact that the performance of TTL was state of the art was recognised immediately by the sound engineers of both groups,” confirmed Mr. Kariotis.
“The USA production company was also delighted with our standard of organisation, state of the art equipment and the expertise of our technicians.”
Installation
Dominated by its dramatic ceiling, featuring nearly 3,000 diamond-shaped pieces of LED-lit cut crystal, London West End membership nightclub Jalouse recently underwent a complete audio revamp as part of a general structural refurbishment, to prepare the award-winning luxury venue — owned by Moruf Yoozooph and Freddie Achom — for its next phase.
The three-year old club had never been entirely happy with its original sound system. Brought in with the task of upgrading the system and resiting the DJ console, Cosmic Electronics opted for an RCF dancefloor solution, redeploying the existing system to peripheral bar and lounge infill duties. At the same time they carried out some digital rewiring, and placed the crystal ceiling under computerised lighting control.
“We have worked a lot with RCF over the years and it was only when we became involved in another club project recently that we realised just how powerful and compact the new generation of products were,” stated Cosmic Electronics MD, Keith Damon, who managed the project.
Wrapping the clientele in an improved, and more potent dancefloor sound are two pairs of RCF C5215W's — containing15” high-output LF transducer with 3” voice coil — facing each other across the dancefloor. At the same time the existing subwoofers have received further LF extension with the addition of an RCF S8015 single 15” high output unit, which is sufficiently compact to recess neatly under the existing seating with 1mm tolerance. Capable of delivering 1kW of power (RMS) and maximum SPL in excess of 135 dB, this leaves plenty of headroom for the DJ (and trouser flapping for those seated above).
Finally, in order that the DJ can monitor his own output, a tiny powered RCF TT051A (with 5” woofer and 1” dome) has been flown above the console.
With an eye on the budget, Cosmic UK has continued its optimization programme by completely re-configuring the existing Crest amplifiers and reprogramming the gain structure of the BSS Soundweb DSP.
“The result,” says Keith Damon, “is a clean, warm sound, rich in bass, which envelops the entire club.”
The Mayfair club’s elegant interior, which originally cost £3.5m to build, was designed by Mark Humphrey London. And having been voted best new club at the London Bar and Club Awards in 2009 and Best Club at the same awards last year, Jalouse’s new RCF sound system is perfectly placed to keep its clientele on the dancefloor for the foreseeable future.
Installation
A Casteldelfino, piccolo borgo antico in Provincia di Cuneo, a 1.296 metri sul livello del mare, ogni giorno a mezzodì suonano 12 rintocchi ORIGINALI del Big Ben, il famoso campanile di Londra.
Forse ci dareste dei visionari, ma l’affermazione risponde alla pura verità. A Casteldelfino il Big Ben suona le ore di metà giornata, così come, alle otto del mattino, un allegro e squillante canto di gallo dà il buongiorno ai cittadini; e alle quattro del pomeriggio il cinguettio dell’uccellino della Rai e la marcia alpina dei Coscritti Piemontesi scandiscono “l’ora della memoria”, mentre alle otto di sera la buona notte viene augurata con il suono spiritoso e rasserenante dell’orologio a cucù, e con il coro della Madama Butterfly di Giacomo Puccini.
Al sindaco di Casteldelfino, Domenico Amorisco, va attribuita l’idea di questo interessante esperimento di diffusione sonora, che colloca il paese all’avanguardia in Italia. L’impianto, realizzato dalla ditta F.P. Impianti con apparecchiature targate RCF, coinvolge l’intero centro storico del paese: piazza Valentino, via Roma, via Pontechianale e piazza del Municipio. L’intento, secondo le parole del sindaco, era quello di offrire al visitatore “una giornata che si può vivere solo a Casteldelfino.”
L’impianto di diffusione sonora che copre l’intera area è composto da 21 diffusori RCF Monitor MQ 80P-B da 30W l’uno (per un totale di potenza dell’impianto di 500W) dislocati nel paese in due “dorsali” da 11 apparecchi, una per ogni metà del borgo. A servire gli altoparlanti, 730 metri di cavo. Il cuore pulsante dell’installazione è un rack che contiene tutte le apparecchiature necessarie a diffondere messaggi e musica, un lettore CD/MP3 e sintonizzatore radio FM, un amplificatore AM2320 da 320W, una unità di potenza UP 2321 da 320W per annunci e diffusione musicale. Insomma, un lavoro tutt’altro che banale, corredato poi da un’apparecchiatura Chorus Fulgor: solitamente installata nei campanili per automatizzare la diffusione di suoni o messaggi, in questo caso è stata utilizzata per gestire l’impianto di diffusione audio che copre capillarmente l’intero paese.
L’installazione ha avuto luogo nel corso del 2011, e ha richiesto una decina di giorni. Il 9 aprile 2012, lunedì dell’Angelo, l’impianto è stato inaugurato. Adesso funziona principalmente durante le manifestazioni o le feste di paese, per la diffusione di musica o messaggi, ma è in realtà attivo 24 ore su 24: i quattro “appuntamenti” con il Big Ben, il canto del gallo e l’orologio a cucù sono quotidiani e, dal 9 aprile di quest’anno, scandiscono la vita di Casteldelfino.
Corporate
Promising to standardise on RCF components after purchasing a major Theatre & Touring (TT+) system nine months ago, Yes Events Ltd this month remained true to their word when they added a second tranche of the Italian manufacturers’ products to their hire fleet from this increasingly-popular range.
This time they have bought an eight-enclosure TTL33-A compact, 3-way active line array system and two further TTS28-A subs to add to the four they already have. In addition, they have invested in six TT25-SMA touring 15in stage monitors and RCF’s proprietary RDNet system software, to integrate with the TTL33-A.
According to Yes Events director, Tom Chennells, the underlying reason for the latest round of spending was to service the assault on 30 shopping malls simultaneously by Rock Choir’s infamous Flash Mob on Sunday, March 25th.
Rock Choir is the biggest contemporary choir in Britain. With a burgeoning repertoire of rock, pop and gospel music, a soloist turned up at each of the selected destinations, armed with a radio mic and backing tracks, to kick start the ‘choir’ of shoppers in each location.
As a preferred supplier Yes Events were contracted to handle sound reinforcement at many of the sites — all with RCF components. Their new TTL33-A line array was immediately shipped down to Bristol’s new £500m Cabot Circus, operating two elements per side and showing all the benefits of their wide dispersion. Elsewhere, they fielded other RCF components, including their existing TT25-A active two-way monitors, compact ART 722-A active full range enclosure with ART 905-AS active 15in bass bins and the 4PRO series, with 4PRO 8003-AS active 18in sub.
Explained Tom Chennells, who runs the business with Nick Ratcliffe, “We are big fans of the Touring & Theatre range. We topped up our inventory with the Rock Choir event coming up but really purchased the new SMA stage monitors because we have won the contract to look after 25 outdoor community festivals this summer, generally featuring smaller acts and tribute bands.
“As the TTL33-A is compatible with the RDNet control and DSP input cards we can be specific about how it throws the sound — which is vital at sites where containment is an issue. This is a unique feature and one of the reasons why we chose the TTL33-A.”
As if that wasn’t enough Yes Events have also purchased their own stage roof, so can now provide a one-stop shop. And as for the foreseeable future, Tom predicts, “We will continue to expand with RCF.”
Corporate
RCF has confirmed the sale of its first D-Line HDL 20-A active line array system in the UK to Leicestershire-based Chameleon Pro Audio & Lighting Ltd.
Given the vast spectrum of events for which the company provides production support, Stewart Duckworth’s long-standing sales, rental and installation operation sensed the time was right to invest in its own line array system after previously hiring in. As a result, this month they took delivery of an initial 12 HDL 20-A full range enclosures and four SUB 8006-AS subwoofers from RCF UK — and believe this is just the beginning.
Based in the East Midlands — in heart of the country with excellent transport links — this self-described “jobbing PA company” says the HDL 20-A ticks all the boxes — particularly with the busy summer season approaching, when their workload spans the spectrum of village galas right through to full-blown music festivals as well as theatre shows.
RCF was already a brand long respected by Stewart Duckworth. “I have been working with RCF components since the mid-1970s, when we were building our own enclosures for local bands, and this continued when we set up Chameleon in 1979,” he says.
Having been exposed, through hiring in, to most of the crop of current line array systems, he was looking to combine performance and budget within a small footprint and reasonable weight to output ratio, with all the amplification and DSP onboard. The polypropylene enclosures also give him a lightweight option. “The cost is exceptional, it’s all contained in a moulded composite box, with internal amps and preset DSP settings which simplifies everything. It’s ideal for what we want.”
Nevertheless, the Chameleon MD first needed proof of concept and hired a local theatre for a full listening test assessment. He rigged the D-Line in two hangs and with the assistance of a percussionist colleague miked up a full drum kit and alternated different source feeds (from snares, cymbals etc) with some of his preferred reference CD tracks. “Without any outboard processing, just using the EQ on the board, we could achieve all the variation in drum sounds regularly required" — proving the flatness and balance between the boxes to be just right.
“That told me everything I needed to know,” he continued. “The system produces excellent sound quality and at the same time will comfortably meet customers’ budgets. With the 2in horn on a waveguide and two 10” drivers, the top box could be used in its own right due to its broad frequency range.”
Duckworth also pinpointed many other positives. “More and more outdoor trailer stages are now being built with rigging points, which means that with the low weight mass —less than 30kg per box — we will generally be able to fly these using the enclosure’s simple three-point rigging hardware".
“The flybar will support up to 16 enclosures and HDL 20-A’s also provide a weather proofing solution, which is essential. Because we service a number of outdoor events on this type of stage for one day events we can easily and safely get a system rigged and running in a short space of time, either flown or ground stacked as the flybar acts as ground support and actually attaches into the subs for stability.”
The new RCF system debuted at the end of the month on local and national Diamond Jubilee celebrations which then extend into June. It is then earmarked for duty at The Feast of St. Peter in Chalfont St Peter, Buckinghamshire, staged by the local council and now attracting up to 10,000 people.
In conclusion he states, “RCF have come up with an elegant solution and it’s clear that a lot of research has gone into the design".
“RCF’s Shape Designer software provides full optimisation and in terms of transportation, we have developed an efficient flight case solution which — unlike with passive systems — will enable us to carry production in smaller 7.5 tonne trucks and three and a half tonne vans.”
Further information from: Chameleon Pro Audio & Lighting Ltd. Scotlands Industrial Estate. London Rd. Coalville Leics
LE67 3JJ 01530 831337
www.chameleon-pa.co.uk
info@chameleon-pa.co.uk
Event
RCF's TT+ Line Array technology makes it's major Japanese festival debut at the Big Beach Festival '12!
The Big Beach Festival has been voted the best dance-music festival in Japan for the past three years in a row and the TTL55-A is the perfect companion for this premiere musical event!
With over 17,000 people in attendance last year, past BBF events have included such big name artists as Fat Boy Slim, Carl Cox, DJ Sasha, Groove Armada, and has featured fireworks presentations, Red Bull Air Race Flight performances and even a special appearance of a Grand Prix winning F1 race car!
This year's headline acts are Chemical Brothers, Sven Vath, John Digweed and beat-box sensation Beardyman!
With all three stages powered exclusively by RCF, all musicians are sure to be in for a pleasant surprise. Never before has such a high-definition system been provided and everyone is highly anticipating this TT+ debut.
The RCF TT+ system that will be employed is as follows:
28 x TTL55-A 12 x TTS56-A 16 x TTL36-AS 8 x TTL31-A 8 x TTL33-A 4 x TT22-A
Plus all stage monitoring, utilizing:
6 x TT25-SMA 2 x TTS28-A 4 x ART415-A 2 x ART722-A
And VIP coverage with:
10 x ART410-A 2 x TT052-A
This will be a great showcase of RCF's latest products and will provide the high-definition musical energy required to power what is widely considered to be the best dance-music festival in Japan.
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