VIO L210 Shakes Up Geraldton
65Thirty Events puts the dBTechnologies VIO L210 line array system to work in mid-west WA.
Text:/ Graeme Hague
The city of Geraldton is about 420km north of Perth in Western Australia in what’s known as the Mid-West region, with a population of over 40,000 people. It’s also, by the way, recognised as the third windiest city in the world, although it’s not clear if this means the winds blow harder or more often.
More to the point, it’s fair to say that Geraldton has enough distance and isolation from the state capital that an AV and production business like 65Thirty Events and Entertainment demands reliable and durable equipment in its inventory. Although the owner and manager, Lane Place, isn’t averse – as he did recently – to nipping 1100km up the road to Karratha to quote on a job, there are few options when gear decides to fail. You can’t cross-hire from another company, or purchase replacements at short notice. It’s all just a bit too far away.
So, when Lane began researching what he’d need for a new PA, a high priority was a product that wouldn’t let him down, and among the many other excellent features it has to offer, a dBTechnologies VIO line array had all the answers.
ARRAY OF EVENTS
65Thirty Events needs to be versatile. They handle anything from small corporate functions, medium-sized indoor concerts, and the rigours of large outdoors events such as the Mullawa Muster and Rodeo. Lane estimates, “With the larger festivals in this part of the world, you’re looking at audience sizes of up to 4000 people. But with events like the muster, they’re spread over a wide area, not packed shoulder-to-shoulder in an auditorium. So often the size of the gig isn’t really determined by the crowd numbers. We wanted a PA that had great coverage and lots of headroom when the gig is a lot bigger than the audience suggests.”
After consulting with Steve Parkins from NAS, the ideal configuration came with 10 dBTechnologies L210 VIO line array elements and six S218 VIO Sub arrays. 65Thirty already owns a pair of VIO S118 Sub arrays which obviously can supplement the new units.
EASE & FLEXIBILITY
A big bonus for Lane Place is how the dBTechnologies speakers can also be scaled down for smaller functions and still work brilliantly. He points out, “There’s plenty of choice in how you configure the system. We certainly don’t have to install the entire rig, and the units can be ground-stacked or flown, and you’ll always achieve great results.”
Another factor is how the dBTechnologies speakers require almost no EQ. Lane says, “In most situations we don’t have to apply any EQ at all. We’ve had a few poor acoustic setups where a bit of top end was dialled in, but that was because of the venue. Otherwise, the clarity of the line array is fantastic, and the amount of headroom is easily more than we ever need. Having said that, the VIO is super-tuneable. It can adapt to any challenge.”
When it comes to ground-stacking or flying the arrays, 65Thirty Events has another trick up its sleeve which works perfectly with the VIO arrays. Lane has invested in a hydraulic trailer stage with built-in flying towers – an all-in-one solution for many events. The real beauty is that the casings on the dBTechnologies arrays allow for the units to be mounted on stage towers before leaving the home base. In other words, a lot of the rigging and cabling is done at the 65Thirty warehouse before the stage hits the road, saving a tremendous amount of time, and this also has the convenience of having everything to hand rather than taking a zillion bits and pieces just in case. We all know how that works – just a few more cables… just in case.
All the VIO units can be networked with the onboard RDNet modules, and this provides two powerful tools for Lane and his team.
First, the software displays every aspect of the line array’s performance, which is invaluable when the venue somehow compromises the sound engineer’s ability to have total control like, “The sound desk has to go in that corner, next to the ice cream truck, behind the tree…” (We’ve all been there.) The Aurora Net software can be reassuring, showing everything that’s going on even if you can’t properly hear it.
The second tool is dB Composer, which is software for designing and configuring the line array for every purpose. However, just as important is dB Composer’s function of providing such things as rigging safety factors, projected decibel levels, and all the necessary “red tape” information that authorities require before signing off on a production. It’s the kind of time-consuming paperwork that can drive production companies crazy, and this function of dB Composer is a huge time-saver.
Ultimately, Lane Place and 65Thirty Events are big fans of the dBTechnologies environment – the ease of use, the thought that’s applied to the product’s design and use, and of course the great performance of the VIO line array speakers. Lane is already looking ahead to add to his VIO stock with some of the larger VIO L1610 speakers.
Thanks to NAS and dBTechnologies VIO line array speakers, the crew at 65Thirty Events and Entertainment can provide the best of PA production with the utmost confidence the VIO will deliver flawlessly.
Even if it does get a bit windy.