The Ultra Music Festival, which took place Friday through Sunday, March 27 to 29, drew thousands of music fans to Bayfront Park in downtown Miami, and featured a lineup including EDM artists such as Krewella, Bassnectar, Porter Robinson, Die Antwoord, Big Gigantic, Chromeo and Gorgon City.
“We’ve been doing the Ultra festival for a long time and have become very familiar with what a system needs to be able to do this kind of show right,” says Andre Serafini, founder and president of Beachsound & Lighting, the Miami Gardens-based sound reinforcement provider for Ultra over the past decade. “Bayfront Park can be a challenging venue for this kind of music, but the L-Acoustics systems handled it without a problem, and even overcame some of the venue’s special challenges.”
Those challenges included keeping the sound for each stage contained within its area and avoiding overspill into nearby stages. For the Live Stage, Beachsound assembled an L-Acoustics K2 sound system with a main array comprised of 24 K2 enclosures flown 12 per side.
“The K2 has very precise, incredibly accurate off-axis performance, which enabled us to keep the sound on the crowd and away from any of the other nearby stages,” Serafini explains, noting that they used L-Acoustics’ Soundvision 3-D acoustical simulation software to precisely map out the sound field. “That kind of predictability is critical for a loud outdoor show like this.”
Atop each main array were four K1-SB high power subwoofers per side. “Flown subwoofers were the key to being able to overcome the unique bass null that was created by this sort of concrete moat area in front of the stage,” he says. “It was an architectural challenge that we were able to overcome with the right speakers.”
Along with a total of 32 SB28 stacked subs, the Live Stage had all the low end it needed and then some. In addition, two ARCS II constant curvature line source loudspeakers were used as side fills under two SB28 subs per side; six ARCS Wide enclosures were deployed as front fills; and, finally, 24 Kara enclosures were used for outfills.
Onstage, a dozen 115XT HiQ active stage monitors joined several Kara enclosures to provide DJ foldback. “L-Acoustics speakers—especially Kara—have become ‘the standard’ for EDM stage monitoring and were specifically requested by the artists for the DJ sets,” Serafini notes.
L-Acoustics speakers, such as the SB18 subs, were found as part of systems on all of the stages at Ultra, but it was the K2’s first star turn as the Live Stage P.A., and Serafini says its performance was magnificent. “It had the power we needed, but it was also a beautiful-sounding P.A. system,” he says. “That’s the word that comes to mind first: beautiful. It’s a sound you never get tired of hearing.”