Audio rental company 8 Days a Week recently deployed a complete JBL VTX Series audio system for a major concert by German pop-rockers PUR at Veltins Arena.
PUR has played multiple concerts at the arena since it opened in 2001, and Frank Müller of 8 Days a Week has been the systems engineer for all of them. One of the biggest challenges at Veltins is the lack of good options for deploying subwoofers.
When PUR played the arena in 2014, Müller hung the subwoofers in a 40-cabinet cluster above the center of the stage, which created weight and placement issues for the video and lighting deployments. In order to avoid those difficulties at this year’s show, Müller forwent a traditional subwoofer deployment and instead relied on JBL’s VTX V25-II loudspeakers to cover most of the bottom end for the performance.
PUR's setup featured a four-sided stage, which provided good viewing angles for everyone in the venue. Using wireless gear, the band members were able to move around the stage at will. Müller’s design for the stage included 144 V25-II loudspeakers, deployed in eight hangs of 18. For front fills, 16 VTX A12 loudspeakers and 24 S28 subwoofers were deployed in eight separate clusters, with two A12 stacked on top of three S28.
I like to have a kick drum that hits me in the chest, and that’s just what you got."
- Frank Müller, systems engineer, 8 Days a Week
The entire system was powered by Crown I-Tech HD amplifiers, and the monitor console was a Soundcraft Vi3000. Müller’s team used JBL HiQnet Performance Manager 2.4.1 software to configure, optimise and monitor the system.
"We used the combination of the subs and A12s as a separate front fill system,” Muller explained. “It's physically impossible for only 24 subs to fill an arena like that. So other than in the areas in front, all the bass came from the V25s."
The VTX A12 is JBL's newest line array system which features a high-frequency waveguide design. Although Müller didn’t use them in the main hangs at this show, he was extremely impressed with their performance: “They sound amazing,” he said, “and when I saw the measurement of their phase response, it was flatter than for any other cabinet I’ve ever seen.”
Overall, Müller was very satisfied with the way the V25-II loudspeakers were able to reproduce the entire frequency spectrum, with an extremely small subwoofer deployment: "You didn’t miss the subs at all,” he concluded. “I like to have a kick drum that hits me in the chest, and that’s just what you got. The 15-inch speakers in the VTX cabinets are incredibly powerful, and JBL’s standard tuning presets give you an enormous amount of low end.”