Electro‑Voice XLC, FIR‑Drive enhancements put through paces at metal multi‑headliner
What better way to put a sound system through its paces than at a six-hour concert event featuring some of the heaviest metal bands on the planet? That’s exactly what Verona, Wisconsin-based Intellasound Productions L.L.C. did recently when a multi-headliner tour featuring Drowning Pool, Five Finger Death Punch, Hellyeah, Lacuna Coil, and Seether rolled into town for a show at the 6,000-capacity La Crosse Center in La Crosse, Wis. on May 18.
Intellasound deployed its state-of-the-art Electro-Voice XLC sound system for the event, bringing in (32) XLC127-DVX mains and (24) Xsubs, all powered and processed via (30) Tour Grade TG-7 amplifiers equipped with RCM26 IRIS-Net control / DSP modules.
“Coupled with the inherent audio quality of the system, this makes EV hard to beat.”
This high-SPL proving ground was also the perfect venue for Electro-Voice to test some new technology: George Georgallis (senior applications specialist) and Matt Donarski (EV engineering) were in attendance to run some real-world engineering tests for the new TEMP (Thermal Energy Management and Protection) limiter about to be released for the RCM26 DSP card for the TG amp series. Tim Woodworth of Intellasound described the rig for the event, along with the difference made by EV’s FIR-Drive DSP technology, which will soon house the new TEMP limiter.
“This was a fun show to work on, and our XLC rig really got to flex its muscles,” says Tim Woodworth of Intellasound. “We were running around 111 dBA (slow) at front-of-house – very loud and very heavy, which is just what the tour wanted. We brought in 16 per side of the XLC full range elements and 24 Xsubs for the massive low end required. Plenty of PA was a good idea because, in my experience, engineers for these kinds of acts have high SPL near the top of their priorities. This system allows them to go there, but with the finesse of superior amps and system processing – it sounds as good as it can sound at these levels, with all the dynamic headroom they need to add something extra to their mixes. All the band engineers were extremely happy with the PA; I even received e-mails from a couple of the guys after the show, telling me they thought the sound was unbelievable, which was great to hear.”
As well as top-notch sound quality, the software and DSP that ties the system together also makes a big difference: “We’re using the latest FIR-Drive-based presets,” Woodworth adds, “and the amount of time it takes to EQ the system to where we want it is so much less than before. In fact, there are a lot of venues where we haven’t needed to EQ at all, which is the goal, really. Of course, if one of the engineers needs to add their flavor to the mix, they can do so, but you won’t be hearing anyone ask for more HF or more MB, etc. The core sound quality is there. For this show, I only pulled two filters, and that was it – it sounded great. The FIR-Drive presets give us significant time-savings in terms of the day-to-day setting up of the PA and dialing it in. At multiple-band shows like this, the engineers are understandably eager to get going with their checks, and are used to being kept waiting by the PA guys. With this rig, we’re ready to go when they are. The combination of the filters, the amps, and the speakers has given us unanimously positive feedback on a nightly basis.”
“Intellasound has been a very valuable partner for us,” adds George Georgallis of Bosch/Electro-Voice. “They’ve been assisting us in testing new technologies for sometime now, and we’re proud to have them as a source for insight and feedback.
“With the new TEMP limiter we can further minimize any heat-related damages to the loudspeaker components. With amplifiers getting larger, and with shows like this being more abusive to the PA, the new enemy is heat. The combination of the new TEMP limiter and the already proven PA (Peak Anticipation) limiter makes for a complete system protection solution – all without compromising sound quality. We let the FOH engineers at this show push the PA as much as they wanted (with greater than 10 dB Peak Limiter reduction) just so we could observe the behavior of the new limiter package. At the end of the night all the engineers were happy and we were pleased with the results.”
“From my perspective as the owner of the company, the new TEMP limiters will add even more value to this system,” Woodworth continues. “The new FIR-Drive package represents yet another reason for anyone looking to invest in a complete sound system package – speakers, amps, and control – should look at EV first. The value of our initial investment in EV, in terms of the working life of the product, is extended and protected with these new innovations. The new protection package (PA and TEMP limiter) basically eliminates speaker component failure expenses, especially at high-SPL events like this. Coupled with the inherent audio quality of the system, this makes EV hard to beat.”