Current Issue

George Petersen, Editor of FOH Magazine
George Petersen, Editor of FOH Magazine

Survival Tips for Your Next Gig

George Petersen
Editor's Note

Last month, I was chatting with FRONT of HOUSE columnist Steve LaCerra. I’ve known and worked with him for nearly 30 years, and he has an amazing sense of putting a sometimes-technical topic into a form that’s easy to understand. When not writing for us, he manages to stay out of trouble (i.e., keeping himself busy) by doing the three-hands-full job as the tour manager and FOH mixer for Blue Öyster Cult.

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InfoComm 2016 show floor
InfoComm 2016 show floor

Show Report: InfoComm 2016

FOH Staff
Features

Perhaps it was this year’s return to the Las Vegas location or perhaps a burst of election year optimism, but the 2016 InfoComm expo was an absolute success on every level. One clear indicator was the record-setting 1,000 exhibitors — including 211 new exhibitors — that filled some 527,105 net square feet of exhibit and special events space the at Las Vegas Convention Center from June 8 to 10.

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FOH engineer Robert Scovill (left) and systems engineer Andrew Dowling. Photo by Steve Jennings
FOH engineer Robert Scovill (left) and systems engineer Andrew Dowling. Photo by Steve Jennings

Mudcrutch Crushes It On the Road

Kevin M. Mitchell
Production Profile

Tom Petty’s Return to Smaller Venues Offers Challenges, Rewards

Embracing the bar band mentality of his 1970s band, Mudcrutch, Tom Petty brought his Heartbreakers’ audio team along for the Mudcrutch tour this summer. “Mutchcrutch, and Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, are two different things,” monitor engineer Greg Looper explains. “Tom put it best: The Heartbreakers are like a Ferrari, a finely tuned machine built for speed and performance. Mudcrutch is like an old pickup truck, fun to cruise around in once in a while.”

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The rains came, but the fireworks (and the musical presentation) went on as planned. Photo by Penny Adams
The rains came, but the fireworks (and the musical presentation) went on as planned. Photo by Penny Adams

Let Freedom Sing

Dan Daley
Production Profile

Nashville’s July 4th Event is one of the Nation’s Largest and Loudest

Apologies to the wingding producers at Macy’s and in the nation’s capital, but Nashville is pretty sure they had the biggest, baddest July 4 fireworks display in the country. They certainly have the best sounding. Now it its 12th year, “Let Freedom Sing” had the fireworks and the music to back up both assertions: more than 16 tons of explosives and 100 miles of ignition wire managed by a team of a dozen pyro technicians that took eight days to set up.

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Washington DC was among the cities that organized vigils in support of the victims of the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting. Photo by Ted Eytan
Washington DC was among the cities that organized vigils in support of the victims of the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting. Photo by Ted Eytan

One is Too Many: The Event Safety Alliance Response to Orlando

the Event Safety Alliance
Safety Factor

Ourr hearts are heavy with the news of the recent attack at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando. While undeniably event-related, this is above all a human tragedy that touches everyone, regardless of industry. As we struggle to make sense of what occurred, let us grieve those who lost their lives and foster a love that can overcome senseless acts of violence such as this. Although much remains uncertain about the horrific incidents in Orlando on both Friday night [the June 10 murder of The Voice vocalist Christina Grimmie] and early Sunday morning [the June 12 Pulse nightclub attack], we believe that enough is known for us to offer the following truths, which we believe are important to say because they appear not to be self-evident.

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Medium-Format Line Arrays
Medium-Format Line Arrays

Medium-Format Line Arrays

George Petersen
Buyer's Guide

While it’s true that large-format, 12- and 15-inch line arrays grab most of the attention among pro audio users, the “little guy” mid-sized boxes are the workhorses of the industry. This month, we turn our attention to line arrays based around double 8-inch and double 10-inch woofers, which are more compact than their 12-inch cousins and larger than the “mini” 4- to 6-inch enclosures. Yet, for a majority of applications, these 8-inch wonders are often “just right” — whether for smaller gigs, club/theater/H.O.W. installs or used as front/down-fills, under-balcony reinforcement, delay lines — the list goes on and on.

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RCF’s TTL6-A — a powered vertical array with two 12-inch woofers, four 6,5-inch cone mids and an HF compression driver — is an example of a single speaker that is good for specific task, rather than piling up a bunch of random boxes together. Offering 90 x 30 degree (H x V) directivity, it can be pole mounted, stacked, suspended or flown in curved vertical arrays.
RCF’s TTL6-A — a powered vertical array with two 12-inch woofers, four 6,5-inch cone mids and an HF compression driver — is an example of a single speaker that is good for specific task, rather than piling up a bunch of random boxes together. Offering 90 x 30 degree (H x V) directivity, it can be pole mounted, stacked, suspended or flown in curved vertical arrays.

Coverage Pattern Wisdom

Phil Graham
Tech Feature

Since the beginnings of professional audio, we have needed more output, coverage, and frequency response than a single loudspeaker transducer could provide. Due to the limitations of loudspeaker drivers, much of the effort in professional loudspeaker design has been expended in combining multiple drivers in a single loudspeaker box, and then combining multiple boxes together into arrays. Even with dramatic increases in modern transducer performance, it would seem that combining multiple loudspeakers together — whether for response, coverage or output — will continue to be a perpetual fixture of the industry.

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The system uses large Multi-touch screens for the user interface.
The system uses large Multi-touch screens for the user interface.

Waves eMotion LV1 Mixer

Vince Lepore
Road Tests

Software-based mixers have come a long way in the last five years. The release of the iPad served to solidify what a lot of us knew was an inevitable trend in digital mixing: “surfaceless” mixing consoles. While writing this review and working with the Waves eMotion LV1, I reminisced about the first time I saw someone using Lake Contour with a wireless tablet, and I also thought about discussions I had with other audio engineers about touch screen mixing in the early 2000’s.

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The 16 box/side Cohesion-12 main P.A. hang for James Taylor’s debut performance at Chicago’s Wrigley Field on June 30, 2016.
The 16 box/side Cohesion-12 main P.A. hang for James Taylor’s debut performance at Chicago’s Wrigley Field on June 30, 2016.

Inside the Cohesion-12, Part 2

David Morgan
On the Digital Edge

On the road with the James Taylor tour, one learns early about the intensely personal relationship that James has established with so many of his fans. Over the decades he has been performing his songs, he has deeply connected with his audience through his writing, singing and the power of his personality. In my 40 years of touring, I have never witnessed an artist be more free with his time for interacting with the fans. During the intermission at each show, James sits on the front of the stage shaking hands, signing autographs and posing with audience members for selfies before the band pries him away to perform the second set. After the show he usually does a meet-and-greet backstage. Finally, as he leaves the venue and heads to his bus, James spends additional time with everyone who has been patiently waiting at the stage door. Never have I seen James Taylor refuse an autograph request or otherwise deny a reasonable request from a fan. His stamina, devotion and patience are truly remarkable.

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Even with its minimalist design, Dire Straits’ breakout self-titled 1978 Dire Straits LP clearly listed the producer, engineer and recording studio credits on its reverse side.
Even with its minimalist design, Dire Straits’ breakout self-titled 1978 Dire Straits LP clearly listed the producer, engineer and recording studio credits on its reverse side.

Who Did What?

Dan Daley
The Biz

As more live shows are recorded, technical credits become more important for careers…

Who engineered Dire Straits’ hugely successful, self-titled 1978 Dire Straits LP, and where was it recorded? That would be Rhett Davies, at London’s Basing St. Studios. It’s right there on the back of the album, or on any number of online sources. Now, who was the FOH mixer and system tech when that album became the biggest tour of the 1980s? Yeah, I thought so.

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