ATR/Treehouse is a sound company on the move. Day or night, its trucks can be found departing the firm's base of operations in Providence, R.I., for destinations such as Phoenix, Las Vegas and beyond, or hauling gear for a corporate one-off up the New England seaboard.
"There isn't anywhere we won't go," general manager Bill Murray says. "And there aren't many places we haven't been, long-haul or just around the block."
Closer to home, ATR/Treehouse handles a lot of regional assignments requiring overnight duty, like one recently completed along with Magic Wig Productions of Schenectady (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; Troy, N.Y.). Providing speech and musical sound reinforcement for an alumni dinner held on campus at the Alumni Sports & Recreation Center, ATR/Treehouse brought concert-level audio to the vast space in-the-round using a WideLine-based rig from QSC flown on a circular truss.
"Dealing with a huge, open environment like this is never easy, especially in-the-round," Murray acknowledges. "But since QSC's WideLine loudspeakers became part of our regular truck pack, it's become considerably easier. At RPI, we basically needed only two arrays of four cabinets each flown on opposite sides to manage the event. Joined by a pair of downfill enclosures on each end of the circular truss, we were able to cover the entire area with rich, natural sound, and I'm talking a space measuring 200 by 200 feet here."
Beyond the sonic performance of the WideLine loudspeakers, ATR/Treehouse has come to appreciate the weight savings it has gained. Requiring fewer boxes to cover more floor space, according to Murray, his overnighters now weigh half what they once did. "That's a benefit you simply have to be grateful for, especially with the current cost of fuel," he adds. "Now, while we charge the same for our gigs as we always have, we wind up keeping more in profits because our overhead has dropped. We're saving on labor, too. What used to take three or four men to accomplish can now be done with two."