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."