- by Frank Hammel
NEW YORK — Firehouse Productions provided Harman’s JBL VTX Series line arrays powered by Crown I-Tech HD Series programmable amplifiers for 12-12-12: The Concert for Sandy Relief. The Dec. 12 fundraiser for the Robin Hood Relief Fund, which took place in Madison Square Garden, featured Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, Roger Waters, Bon Jovi, Billy Joel, Alicia Keys, Kanye West, The Rolling Stones and many others.
More details from Harman (www.harman.com):
To fill the 18,000-seat Garden, sound reinforcement contractor Firehouse Productions of Red Hook, New York deployed a large JBL VTX Series rig including two main left and right PA columns of 18 V25 full-size line array elements, complemented by two outfill arrays of 12 V25’s, with four VERTEC VT4886 subcompact line arrays serving as under-hangs. Eighteen S28 and four G28 dual 18-inch cardioid arrayable subwoofers were ground-stacked to complete the VTX installation. All the speakers were driven by Crown IT12000HD power amplifiers with system control provided by JBL HiQnet Performance Manager software.
“We had to be completely at the top of our game for this one—although we’ve done many high-profile events, it’s not every day we get to do the sound reinforcement for a concert that’s broadcast around the world to more than a billion people,” said Mark Dittmar, Lead Design and Integration Engineer of Firehouse Productions. “We’d been using JBL VERTEC line arrays for more than a decade and that product has been spectacular in terms of sound quality, relative light weight and versatile rigging options. That said, with JBL VTX the sound quality we can achieve has gone up a whole other level. VTX sets new standards in clarity and impact, and delivers a consistently smooth and natural response.”
“In fact, the low end from the VTX V25 main arrays is significantly increased—to the point where we’re not flying subs with the system. We stacked the S28 and G28 subs on the ground to give the system additional low-frequency impact but we did not need to fly subs as part of the main array columns as we have in the past.”
“We have used Crown amplifiers ever since we started Firehouse,” Dittmar noted. “The IT12000HD offers us power and flexibility that we can’t get with other products. With the introduction of the VTX line arrays and the newest V5 DSP presets for VTX, the sound quality is spectacular.”
For Dittmar, deploying JBL HiQnet Performance Manager software worked out to be a major benefit. “The JBL HiQnet Performance Manager software makes setting up and controlling the system a lot easier and more accurate. In fact, the 12-12-12 show was only the second time we had ever used Performance Manager – the first being the Z100 Jingle Ball 2012 at the Garden the week before! I’m happy to say it worked perfectly for us,” added Dittmar.
“12-12-12 was one of the most challenging projects we’ve ever done,” Dittmar concluded. “Funny enough, though, the PA turned out to be one of the simplest aspects of the project. Using all JBL line arrays all around the Garden made a huge difference in getting the sound to be consistent throughout the arena, and consistently excellent.”
For more information on Firehouse Productions, please visit www.firehouseproductions.com.