Creative Audio recently deployed its JBL VTX line array system at a sold-out New Year’s Eve concert in Greensboro, N.C., featuring the Avett Brothers.
Harman reports that Creative Audio, based in Rockford, Ill., has added JBL VTX Series line array loudspeakers to its inventory. Creative Audio supports country, comedy, rock and pop music tours in the U.S. and Canada for artists ranging from Larry the Cable Guy and George Lopez to Trace Adkins for his 2012 “Songs and Stories” tour.
“We own and are very happy with our JBL VerTec VT4888 line array loudspeakers," says Chris Mentzel, owner of Creative Audio. "In fact, we own more than 100 VT4888 and VT4880 subwoofers combined. But our company had grown to the point where we needed to find a line array speaker that was more suited to large concerts. JBL’s new VTX Series line arrays were announced around the same time we started looking, so the timing was perfect.
“We looked at other line arrays, but the VTX Series was our first choice, and we knew that if we went with anything else we might regret it,” Mentzel adds. “When I found out that other major tour sound companies were starting to use the VTX Series, that also helped with our decision.”
Mentzel says that the sheer output of the VTX line array elements is amazing. “We’re finding that you don’t need to use as many boxes as in the past with other line arrays,” he says. “In that sense, the VTX Series can actually save you money and space. The improved clarity and smoother frequency response are readily noticeable, as is the even coverage pattern.
“As a sound contractor there’s another practical consideration we have to deal with—our gear has to be rider-friendly,” Mentzel adds. “I think it’s clear that more and more artists, promoters and venues are going to be specifying the VTX Series in light of their exceptional performance.”
Creative Audio has already put its new VTX system to the test at a number of events, including the Southern Illinois Country Fest at the Worldshooting and Recreation Complex in Sparta, Ill. For the three-day festival, Creative Audio deployed a left-right configuration of 12 V25 fullsize line array elements per side, while ground-stacking nine G28 subwoofers per side.
“The first night the headliner was Trace Adkins, the second night was Dierks Bentley and the third night was Tim McGraw,” Mentzel says. “Every engineer working the festival loved the system. That was also the very first time we used the rig and we were blown away.”
Creative Audio recently completed a 12-show Christmas tour featuring country music star Martina McBride, which spanned the U.S. and Canada. For these arena dates, Creative Audio provided left-right hangs of 12 V25 line array elements per side, with six G28 ground-stacked subwoofers per side. For shows where additional out fill was required, Creative Audio also supplied 12 VT4888 midsize line array elements per side.
Most recently, Creative Audio provided its VTX system for a sold-out New Year’s Eve performance by folk-rock band The Avett Brothers at the 12,000-seat Greensboro Coliseum Complex in North Carolina. The P.A. system featured 12 V25 line array elements per side, eight G28 ground-stacked subwoofers per side, with 12 VT4888 line array elements per side for outfill.
“As has been our experience since purchasing the rig, the VTX system filled the arena with no problems,” Mentzel concludes.