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Live Sound

Rat Sound, Focusrite Get Festive at Coachella and Stagecoach

Focusrite RedNet gear was used to connect 15 delay towers and more at the main stage.

Los Angeles, CA (June 25, 2018)—Neither Coachella or Stagecoach are simple festivals. The sprawling multi-stage, two–weekend Coachella 2018 in mid-April entertained more than 300,000 people at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, CA, and was then followed by Stagecoach, which attracted more than 75,000 music fans the following weekend. Helping simplify things a little, both events had Rat Sound as their audio vendor.

At the main stage, Rat Sound used an expansive array of Focusrite RedNet audio converters and interfaces, all on a Dante network. Each of the 15 delay towers used RedNet D16R 16-channel AES3 I/Os to connect their loudspeakers with the L-Acoustics LA8-amplified controllers, powering them through the sound system’s main matrix and QSC Q-SYS fiber network.

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On the main stage at Stagecoach, 27 RedNet D16R units performed the same task. In addition, the front-of-house position for the main stage at each festival had both a RedNet D16R and a RedNet A16R 16-channel analog I/O interface, allowing them to accommodate both digital and analogue FOH consoles brought in by performers.

Elsewhere in the main stage system, RedNet MP8R eight-channel mic pre and A/D converters were used for each row of delays towers at both festivals, a total of 10 in all. These allowed Rat Sound engineers to remotely change the positions of measurement microphones that were used to gauge the SPL at each row of towers, via RedNet Control software.

“We have to keep the SPL within the guidelines established for each festival, and usually that meant physically going out into the crowd with the microphones to measure the volume at each row, which was incredibly time-consuming and exhausting,” explains Bjarne Hemmingsen, audio systems engineer at Rat Sound and the crew chief for the main stages at both festivals. “

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I had gotten pretty tired over the years of battling the crowd to get these measurements, so I looked at the MP8R and thought, ‘Wait a minute….’” recalls Hemmingsen, who also did the initial system design work on the PAs for both festivals. “This was the first time we’d tried this, and it worked brilliantly, allowing us to adjust the mics as needed at each row of delay towers, saving us time and lot of effort. We’ve used RedNet at these and other shows and they keep finding new ways to make our lives easier.”

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