Miami-based SRX Events recently teamed up with Mix3 Sound, both Miami-based sound companies, to provide full production for the Mercedes-Benz Evolution tour. Mix3 is tasked with deploying sound, video and lighting systems for each event, with owner John Ferlito choosing to roll out his new Eastern Acoustic Works (EAW) Anya line arrays as mains.
“One of the reasons we decided to purchase the EAW Anya system was for events like this,” explains Ferlito. “When I heard Anya I knew it was exactly what we were looking for. It still amazes me how easy it is to use while sounding so great.”
The five date tour takes place at venues in New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Austin. A celebrity DJ and live band perform at each venue – either a combination of DJ Ruckus and British rock band Bastille or Grammy Award-winning musician/DJ ?uestlove and Passion Pit.
The Chicago event took place at the Aon Grand Ballroom at Navy Pier – an 18,000-square-foot room with a sweeping 80-foot domed ceiling, a large platform stage at the front of the room, and panoramic views of the Chicago lakefront via windows in the other three walls. For Evolution, the main floor offered a dance floor surrounded by several bars, numerous Mercedes-Benz vehicles, and interactive attractions. The balcony, which wraps around the room, provided a VIP area and also served as the front of house location. DJ Ruckus and Bastille headlined the event.
“The Resolution software makes the set-up of the system straightforward,” Ferlito says. “Once you’re familiar with the program, it’s simple to enter the required information and let the software determine how many boxes are required to ensure even, consistent coverage throughout the venue.”
The PA consisted of left-right arrays each made up of eight self-powered Anya modules, with six EAW SB1002 dual 18-inch subwoofers ground stacked two-wide/three-high beneath. Compact EAW JF56NT loudspeakers placed on top of the subs delivered front fill, while another JF56NT was positioned center stage to provide monitoring for Bastille, EAW UX8800 DSP provided processing.
“Navy Pier isn’t the easiest place to work, especially with the mix position (on this occasion) up on the balcony,” Paul Cooper, FOH engineer for Bastille, adds. “The lack of real treatment and the ceiling bowl create somewhat of a chamber, which is better suited to lower volumes.” In addition, as a corporate show, the usual audience absorption wasn’t what it normally would be, with most of the floor space occupied by the stalls and car displays, adding to the acoustic challenge.
“It was a very natural sounding system – it was directional but with enough spread to make outfills in the room unnecessary,” he continues. “The clarity of the system shined through and things were legible and clear. I would happily recommend it as an option to people based on its top-end clarity and spread alone.”
Cutline: Left-right EAW Anya columns blanket the Aon Ballroom at Chicago’s Navy Pier for the Mercedes-Benz Evolution event.
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