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Rat Sound, Never Meanin' No Harm - Mixonline

Rat Sound, Never Meanin' No Harm

Rat Sound, the California-based sound services company that boasts a long association with the likes of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pearl Jam, Blink 182 and Ben Harper, is not necessarily the first name that springs to mind when it comes to country music. But when Hollywood recently came calling, the company had an opportunity to supply a large Turbosound Aspect speaker system for an after party and open-air show by country music legend Willie Nelson at the world premier of The Dukes of Hazzard at Grauman's Chinese Theatre.
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Willie Nelson at the world premier of The Dukes of Hazzard at
Grauman's Chinese Theatre

Rat Sound, the California-based sound services company
that boasts a long association with the likes of the Red Hot Chili Peppers,
Pearl Jam, Blink 182 and Ben Harper, is not necessarily the first name that
springs to mind when it comes to country music. But when Hollywood recently
came calling, the company had an opportunity to supply a large Turbosound
Aspect speaker system for an after party and open-air show by country music
legend Willie Nelson at the world premier of The Dukes of Hazzard at
Grauman's Chinese Theatre.

Rat Sound chose the new Turbosound Aspect speaker series for the main system
with Rat Sound-designed MicroWedges for stage monitors. The company fielded
18 Turbosound Aspect TA890H mid-high enclosures, plus 18 TA890L bass
cabinets powered by Turbosound T25 and T45 power amps for the event, which
took place on Hollywood Boulevard in a parking lot adjacent to the famous
movie theater. The mixing consoles, at both FOH and monitors, were Yamaha
PM5Ds.

FOH engineer Ronnie Kimball, who has manned the console for Bad Religion for
many years, recalls his surprise on hearing about the show. "Jon Monson of
Rat Sound called to inquire about my availability for a country show.
'Country?' I asked. Jon said, 'Think, Hazzard County Fair.'" And Hazzard
County Fair it was, complete with hay bales, the Duke brothers' signature
General Lee car, the world's largest grill and about 100 girls serving
drinks in their "Daisy Dukes."

In keeping with the 'country' theme, a flatbed, provided by All Access, was
used for the live performance area. On each side of the stage Kimball
configured the rig as a five by four block, with five TA890L woofers laid
horizontally and four more bass boxes stacked at one end to form an L-shape,
with the TA890H enclosures stacked four wide by two high on top of the low
boxes. "The remaining two TA890H boxes were used as infills, inside the main
system, in the vertical position," he explains. "That configuration provided
the proper height as well as dispersion necessary to cover the all-VIP
event."

With the location surrounded by tall buildings on all sides, says Kimball,
the tight dispersion of the Aspect system proved critical. Each Turbosound
Aspect cabinet generates a phase-coherent curved wavefront with a 25-degree
horizontal by 15-degree vertical dispersion pattern through the use of
proprietary multi-waveguide Polyhorn technology. "There was a nice
slap-back, so I shored the speaker rig up in the back and had it pointing
down into the crowd, the best non-reflective surfaces I could find. It could
have been really bad with a wide dispersion, but that box, as tight as it
is, allowed me to keep it correctly focused."

Kimball also used the Turbosound Aspect system recently in Sacramento,
California for KNCI FM's Country in the Park event featuring Leann Rimes,
Colin Raye, Aaron Tippin and Sugarland. "It worked out really well. It was
beautifully clear."

Commenting on the departure from punk and hard rock into country music, he
says, "I'm trying to bring that aspect (no pun intended) into the Rat Sound
shop. I've been doing some of the hardest, fastest music known to man my
entire life, so it's nice to do something with some dynamics and room to
breathe."

For more information, visit www.turbosound.com and www.sennheiserusa.com.