On September 15, Sydney International Regatta Centre in Penrith Lakes, near Sydney, Australia, hosted the Defqon1 outdoor dance party event. The outdoor festival featured seven stages spanning over the Island, with the main stage, also known as the “Red Stage,” hosting 22,000 people who came to dance to the beats spun by Wildstylez, Headhunterz, Frontliner, Code Black, Psyko Punkz, Toneshifterz, Zany, Max Enforcer, S Dee vs Hektic, and XDream.
The event was hosted by MC Villain, produced by Matt Chromatic and promoted by Q-dance Australia. Norwest Productions provided complete sound production; staging, lighting, and pyrotechnics were executed by LX- PRG, Lasers- Oracle, and Pyro-Howard & Sons.
Audio system design was executed by the event front-of-house engineer Scott Harrison, who used Adamson’s Blueprint AV software to plot four hangs plus a front fill.
‘The prediction really matched well what we experienced on the day,” Harrison says, “and it was great being able to plot all four hangs at once, giving us a great idea of our coverage, and our expected SPL.”
The main E15 hangs per side we made up of 16 boxes in each, outer hangs had 10 Y18 boxes and the subwoofer extension was provided by three clusters of eight T21 subs arrayed in a two-high, four-wide configuration at each location. Front fill featured three stacks of three Y10s. EAW’s SB730 with KF730 subs were used for DJ monitors.
“With an area of 260-feet wide by 330-feet long to cover, including a VIP viewing deck at the100-meter mark, we needed something that was going to have the ability to make it all the way to the back, without sacrificing clarity and SPL,” Harrison says. “We have used the Y18 in previous years, so we knew an Adamson solution was going to do the job. From all reports about the Energia system, I was very excited to get hangs of 16 boxes out, and give its legs a stretch.
“It was the first time I’ve flown the E15, and after getting back from lunch, we decided to hit the two main clusters. It was System Tech Jonathon Warren and I, and we had a 16-box hang flown to trim in 25 minutes—and most of that time was spent getting the boxes into place inside the scaffold towers. The E15 is easily the fastest and easiest rigging system I’ve seen.
‘There really is nothing like having 24 T21’s really beefing up that real low end,” Harrison continues. “The Q-dance end-show track has some really good sub sequences in it just waiting for a stack of 21-inch drivers to move a whole bunch of air.”
Given the width of the area they needed to cover, the subwoofer design was always going to be a challenge: “From an engineering and design point of view, we wanted to achieve fairly even coverage everywhere, but to have plenty of it for those up-front and center. In previous years [and at other events] we have used a single center cluster; however, once you go over four subs wide, the horizontal pattern really narrows up, and that wasn’t going to work for the width we needed. So went with the three cluster design, which helped us to achieve that coverage, and little bit of DSP magic reduced the destructive interference between the clusters.”
All processing was provided by Lake LM Series, and amplification was Lab.gruppen totaling in four racks of 6x FP6400 for the subs, eight racks of 4x FP6400 and 2x 10000Q for all the Adamson tops, while 2x PLM10000Qs took care of the DJ monitors. For FOH, a DiGiCo SD8 was chosen because of its Optocore link, allowing the engineers the 90-odd meters to the FOH position without having cable joins in the run.
“It was great to get the E15 out and have a listen to what everyone has been talking about. I was impressed by the speed that the rig went up, and how even the sound was from the front all the way to the rear, and how the P.A. sounded like it was right in front of my face, even when it was 100 meters away,” Harrison concludes.