Taste of Chaos, Knotfest, It’s Not Dead, and FYF all had something in common this year – all of these festivals utilized an EAW Anya sound reinforcement system provided by Camarillo, California-based Rat Sound Systems.
Providing sound reinforcement in a festival environment requires a detailed understanding of the festival site, location of stages, area noise laws and the expectations of the promoter. To truly optimize results additionally requires specific information about the exact size and shape of the audience for each stage, the weather conditions and the potential presence of residential noise complaints – and all three of these final elements change repeatedly throughout the course of a festival.
For Rat Sound, the ability to respond in real-time to the changing demands of festivals has become a big part of the national sound company’s live sound business. Their 48 module Anya inventory provides their technical team with the only loudspeaker tool in the industry that allows them to instantly accommodate the non-stop demands of their expanding roster of festival clients as situations change.
“There are many factors that we use to determine the optimal system to use for events. It involves balancing artist demands, coverage requirements and maximum volume levels amongst other things,” explains Dave Rat, president of Rat Sound. “The Anya system’s coverage control is very useful in optimizing the sound for various venue types while minimizing offsite noise levels.”
Festivals often take place in locations where sound needs to be confined to a very specific area. This may be driven by the need to minimize bleed between stages or to keep the neighbors happy. Anya is designed to provide tremendous fidelity and consistency over a very well defined and controlled coverage area. And if the situation calls for a change to accommodate a smaller or larger crowd on a primary or secondary stage or to react to a noise complaint, targeted coverage modifications can be handled quickly and easily using software alone.
Each Anya module in Rat Sound’s inventory contains 22 highly customized transducers that are powered and processed independently to provide tremendous fidelity and control. Engineers use EAW’s Resolution™ software to tell the system about the venue and the coverage required. Resolution determines the optimal wave front shape and processing required to achieve those goals while maximizing sound quality at every audience position. This also allows them to change the coverage to match a new set of requirements in minutes, using only a mouse.
“When we used Anya for the Taste of Chaos, Knotfest and It’s Not Dead festivals – they were consecutive weekends at the same venue – but each had different audience areas and types of music,” explains Jason Brandt, system tech for Rat Sound Systems. “We were able to leave the system in place for all three weekends and just adapt the coverage for each event using the Resolution software. That was extremely useful and saved a lot of time.”
Anya arrays have the additional advantage of hanging straight, which provides greater flexibility during design and setup.
“Sometimes with the stage and points we are given, a conventional line array won’t work,” adds Brandt. “There isn’t room for the angles they require. Because Anya hangs straight, with a very small footprint, we don’t have to worry about that.”
The design of Anya ensures consistent response throughout any venue as defined by the end-user. Fourteen HF compression drivers provide a continuous line of apertures on a horn that expands to fill the entire face of the enclosure. Six 5-inch MF cone transducers combine with Radial Phase Plug™ and Concentric Summation Array™ technology to sum coherently with the HF wavefront, and dual 15-inch LF cone transducers employ Offset Aperture™ loading to extend horizontal pattern control well into the lower octaves. The engineers at EAW have designed Anya to direct outstanding and consistent audio fidelity precisely where the user needs it in all three dimensions – and nowhere else.
“We have deployed Anya rigs at multiple events and festivals over the last two years,” concludes Rat. “It’s a very useful PA in that it sounds terrific and can be used in ways that traditional line arrays can’t.”
Pictures: Knotfest, It’s Not Dead and Taste of Chaos festivals all utilized EAW Anya sound reinforcement systems provided by Rat Sound Systems.
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