Now in its eighth year, SoulFest 2005 recently welcomed 15,000 attendees to what is reportedly the Northeast’s largest faith-based festival. More than 125 national and regional artists and speakers performed on three stages. Hampstead, N.H.¬based Rainbow Production Services provided audio, lighting and production services for the event, including two large line arrays built from Meyer Sound’s MILO and MICA.
C.J. Danek took time off from his regular duties mixing the Boston Symphony Orchestra to work a system comprising 18 MICA compact high-power curvilinear array loudspeakers and eight 700-HP subs. The stage hosted performances by a mix including Dead Poetic, Haste the Day, Pillar, Stretch Armstrong and Adelaide. Danek mixed on a Yamaha PM4000 front-of-house console, which fed another LD-3.
“The MICA rig was truly phenomenal,” marvels Rainbow’s Scott Tkachuk. “We were completely blown away by the fact that so much sound could come out of something so small. C.J. was running at around 104dB SPL, A-weighted, for most of the weekend, without overdriving the console or the stack, and it was totally smooth and transparent, with great tone.”
Tkachuk helmed the main Revival stage, mixing performances by Michael W. Smith, Rebecca St. James, Jars of Clay, Steven Curtis Chapman, Jeremy Camp, Audio Adrenaline and more. The rig included 20 MILO high-power curvilinear array loudspeakers and four MILO 120 high-power expanded coverage curvilinear array loudspeakers. The low end was covered by 14 700-HP ultrahigh-power subwoofers, with front-fill provided by four UPA-1P compact wide-coverage loudspeakers. The system was driven by an LD-3 compensating line driver. Tkachuk moved between Yamaha PM5D and Midas Heritage 3000 consoles to mix the shows.
Tkachuk was particularly pleased that the system used virtually no equalization to achieve its stellar performance. “We actually physically removed the EQ from the system,” he reports, “and no one complained. In fact, Ryan Rettler [Audio Adrenaline’s FOH engineer] and John Van Hook [Jeremy Camp’s FOH engineer] both said it was the best-sounding festival rig they’d heard all year.”
Imaging was also a strong point for both arrays, according to Tkachuk. “The FOH positions were not in the center for either stage, due to sightline considerations,” he says. “We were about 110 feet off the downstage edge and on-axis with the house-right P.A. stack. The P.A. stacks were about 90 feet apart, and we still got a great stereo image.
“Our first priority is to take care of the client and do whatever we need to do to make them feel warm and fuzzy,” he continues. “You can’t cheap out when it comes to that. You get in there and do the best job you can, and the rest will fall into place.”