The North Carolina State Fair in Raleigh, N.C. is known for its nightly concerts featuring country, bluegrass, contemporary Christian, R&B, hip hop and southern rock. This year, the concerts ran for 10 consecutive nights. Systems integrator RMB Audio technicians Roger Dennis (front-of-house) and Robert Weddings (audio stage monitoring and logistics) used Martin Audio Viewpoint room modeling software and SMAART audio analysis software to determine the best possible system setup for the fairground’s Dorton Arena.
The venue was built in 1952 and originally designed for rodeos, circuses and livestock exhibitions. Made of concrete, glass and steel, it has been renovated several times, but still presents obstacles to delivering high quality concert sound.
“Fortunately, we’ve worked that room for years, so we’ve learned how to compensate with the line arrays in terms of focusing and placement,” says RMB’s Cooper Cannady. “We’re mostly using Martin Audio W8LCs because they’re really appropriate for that room and the kinds of problems we have to deal with. The main hang consisted of 11 W8LCs and one W8LCD left and right, and eight W8LMs with two WLMDs hard left and right stage for outfills. Lip fills for the first rows were handled by W8LCs stacked on the subs at the corners of the stage.”
The rest of the FOH setup comprised a Midas Heritage 2000 console; Chevin Research and Lab.gruppen amplification; a Klark Teknik DN370 stereo 1/3-octave EQ and FDS-388 OMNIDRIVE; Drawmer limiting and noise gates; an Eventide H3000; TC Electronic D2 delay; and a Yamaha SPX990 multi-effects system. A Midas XL-88 matrix mixer was set up to allow the FOH console outputs from visiting audio engineers to easily interface with the seven sends required for the house speaker system. For monitoring, RMB used 14 Martin Audio LE700 bi-amped wedges for stage monitoring, along with two W8/W8S enclosures as sidefills.