PRG Audio provided a JBL VerTec line array system for the 2007 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, held June 10 and aired live on CBS. Sound designer Dan Gerhard turned to PRG Audio for a system that would meet the necessary criteria for the dynamic production, specifically the ability to handle the combination of vocals (including speech) and elaborate musical ensembles.
The system included 16 VerTec VT4888 mid-size line array elements and eight VT4880 arrayable subwoofers per side, with a center array of VT4887 small-format line array elements providing downfill. “With JBL’s VerTec Line Array Calculator software, I know how the system will sound before I have even turned it on,” Gerhard says. “The VerTec speakers are also very easy to rig, and they keep a low enough profile to stay out of camera range for the TV broadcast.”
With years of experience engineering live sound productions at Radio City Music Hall, Gerhard knew the acoustic challenges of the space required a high-performance, highly controllable system. “Because the room is expansive for a performance hall, there is a consistent amount of ambient noise coming from the audience at all times,” Gerhard explains. “So we have to maintain the audio system at a higher level than in more intimate venues. There are also certain characteristics of the room that can create some nonintelligibility if the output at certain frequencies is too high. The VerTec system has proven to be very easy to manage and its behavior is highly predictable.”