For the eighth year running, Rat Sound has been a main provider of sound reinforcement for the Coachella festival. In previous years, Rat Sound has provided sound for three of the festival's five stages, but this year is handling all five main stages.
Much consideration was put into the optimal sound system design for each of the five stages, of which each was unique. The main stage incorporated, at the request of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the new double-hung sound system setup where two separate P.A. systems were suspended side-by-side. "Typically," says Rat Sound owner and Red Hot Chili Pepper's FOH engineer Dave Rat, "running side-by-side P.A. clusters causes sound interference issues, but this setup differs in that when used properly, one P.A. is dedicated to vocals and the other to the rest of instrumentation, which provides a new level of sonic clarity."
The "Outdoor stage" featured an L-Acoustics V-DOSC system with Midas heritages at FOH and monitors with XTA processing and Lab.Gruppen amps. Both main and side stage used the low-profile minimal sight line mix positions.
The massive techno dance tent relies on a multitude of V-DOSC and dV-DOSC clusters pointing in all directions, creating a complete surround soundscape augmented numerous subwoofers. The more rock-orientated mid-sized Mohave tent was complemented by L-Acoustics Kudos system.
The newer and more eclectic artists performed in the small for Coachella, but still large, Gobi tent. To achieve the desired sound coverage while working within the limited weight restrictions of the Gobi tent structure meant that implementing a ground-stacked system was the best choice, so a Rat Sound Rat Trap 5 systems was brought in. Midas XL4s took care of monitor and FOH console duties, with processing provided by XTA DP428, Klark Tecknik DN410, BSS Audio FCS960, Aphex 622 and 661s, and Lexicon PCM80s.
Heading up the whole endeavor on Rat Sound's side was Jon Monson, who was not only responsible for fielding equipment for all five stages, but also managing the 34 Rat Sound employees working the event.
For additional information, visit Rat Sound at www.ratsound.com.