Known collectively as Sparks Will Fly: Essex, a day-long series of events in the area concluded in Chelmsford, as the 2012 Olympics Torch Relay reached Hyland Park, where local sound company Event Sound & Light (ESL) fielded the largest combined RCF TT+ PA system yet seen in the UK.
The company was working alongside Chelmsford City Council, who were responsible for staging the event, and their production company, Walk The Plank, who devised the concept for the pageant, closing event and street theatre style performance.
A crowd of 12,000 turned out for an event that culminated in the unveiling of an extraordinary glass bead representing Chelmsford, which took the form of 65cm acrylic orbs – of which the final piece was carried in by the Red Devils parachute team – rigged on two 37m long steel catenary wires. The Glass Bead Game itself revolved around two great champions in the form of Boreas Zephyr and Marina Mightier, who having completed their marathon journeys across Essex, came face-to-face for the first time, resulting in a finale with pyrotechnics, special effects and a spectacular firework display earlier in the day.?
ESL director Paul Galley explained that to equip a main stage measuring 50m wide, 2m deep and 2m high, they supplied a pair of 7.5m high V-mast towers to hang six active TTL55-A line array elements per side, with three RCF TTS56-A double 21” subwoofers. In addition, the company featured centre fill ground stacks comprising four TTL33-A enclosures on top of side-stacked TTS28-A subs.?70m down the field behind the FOH position, a centre delay consisting of four TTL55-A s were mounted on top of a pair of TTS56-A subs, using the dedicated flying frame. A further pair of TTL33-A s were also deployed for side fill and monitor duties.
The system was set up using RCF’s RDNet, a dedicated TT+ networking board. This is designed to make it possible to monitor all system parameters, from the input to the status of each single amplifier, as well as to address the specific cabinet presets, adjusting parameters such as gain, equalisation or delay. ?
The event was open air with no roof coverings, and as a result of the gloomy weather predictions, ESL replaced the RCF TT25-SMA wedges with line array side fills as they offered waterproof protection.
Explaining the thought behind the design, Galley stated, “Due to the extremely wide stage and dimensions, we chose to use the large format TTL55-A line array to cover the main audience area with the TTL33-A to evenly cover the front audience. Working outside was difficult in this weather, but having access to a telehandler made setting up the primary system easy, with the forking points on the TTL55-A and TTS56-A wheelable dollies.” ?He added that he found the RCF line array systems both simple to set up and use. “It sounded good straight out the box; we time aligned everything back to the monitors and the system really came alive. It sounded very hi-fi and musical.”?
Galley also noted that one clear improvement to the TTL33-A was the RDNet module upgrade, which is also featured in the TTL55-A. “This gave us ultimate control over all the speakers and individual drivers which was so useful,” he commented. “The TTL33-A and TTL55-A work extremely well together, they are voiced the same and where the 55 takes over from the 33 there are no noticeable drops or changes. You can tell they are part of the same family and a great team in a demanding and dynamic scenario.”?
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