Miami, FL â€“ March 2009â€¦ This yearâ€™s Orange Bowl football game between the Virginia Tech Hokies and the Cincinnati Bearcats was a spectacular event in and of itself, but the real action came during the much anticipated halftime show. Headlining this yearâ€™s event was The Doobie Brothers. Playing to a capacity crowd of better than 75,000â€”not to mention a national TV audienceâ€”The Doobie Brothersâ€™ spirited performances were brought to life by the audio team at Interface Soundâ€”using a collection of loudspeakers from the D.A.S. Audio catalog.
Based in Miami, Interface Sound has grown from a modest start in 1985 into one of the leading audio/visual, staging, and lighting companies in the Southeastern United States. Spearheaded by owner/operator Ralph Alvarez, the firm handles a wide variety of live sound and corporate/industrial events, and is the logistics organizer and equipment provider of audio and staging for Carnival Miami, an annual event in Miamiâ€™s Little Havana district that attracts upwards of one million people.
For this yearâ€™s Orange Bowl halftime show, Interface Sound constructed an audio system consisting of sixty D.A.S. Audio Aero 38A powered, 3-way line arrays and twelve Aero 182A 2k powered subwoofers that surrounded the playing field and faced out toward the stands.
Moving the equipment onto the field at halftime was no small accomplishment in and of itself, as Alvarez explains, â€œFrom the moment the whistle blew signaling halftime, we had exactly three minutes to get everything into position. This included two 32 x 16-foot stage platforms, which were on casters, as well as the dozen custom-made carts for the loudspeakers. Like last yearâ€™s show, we had 200 volunteers helping us with this task.â€?
The actual sound reinforcement system on the field consisted of twelve mobile carts that were pulled into place at halftime by a dozen golf carts. Each cart consisted of five Aero 38A line array elements and one 182A 2K subwoofer. There were four carts on each side of the playing field, along with two carts at each of the end zones. Connections were accomplished by two cables between carts (one each for subs and highs) plus a single phase, 60-amp Hubbell connector plate. To maintain signal strength and integrity, twenty-four channels of RDL line amplification were placed into service.
â€œThis configuration worked really well for us in the past, so it made sense to repeat it again this year,â€? notes Alvarez. â€œWe were able to reach all the way up into Level 400â€”known to the audio crew as the â€˜nosebleedâ€™ section. Using D.A.S. Audioâ€™s version of EASE Focus, we configured our systemâ€™s coverage quite easily and it all worked out exceptionally well. Frank Martinez, our companyâ€™s Chief Engineer, handled all programming and signal routing for the project.â€?
FOH (front of house) responsibilities were handled by Danny Fernandez. For this event, a pair of Yamaha PM5D digital mixing consoles were deployed â€“ one for the actual mix and the other for redundancy. A third Yamaha PM5D was used to mix and monitors. Mixing live to the FOX TV feed was Joel Someillan on a Yamaha M7CL digital console.
â€œThe biggest challenge of this project was signal routing and power consumption,â€? says Alvarez. â€œD.A.S. Audioâ€™s self-powered products use Class D power amplification, so they donâ€™t require a lot of amperage. Theyâ€™re highly efficient. Combine this with the fact that the Aeroâ€™s are very predictable in terms of their dispersion patterns, and you have a great system that ends up being easy to work with and provides great coverage throughout the entire arena. Everyone was really pleased with the systemâ€™s performance.â€?
Gary Hartung, FOH engineer for the Doobie Brothers, was equally enthusiastic about the D.A.S. sound systemâ€™s performance. â€œCovering a 75,000 seat stadium from the field is no easy task,â€? said Hartung. â€œI was impressed by the clarity and detail of the Aero 38A system. The blanket coverage of the entire bowl extended higher into the seats than I would have expected. This was, first and foremost, a college Bowl game and a TV show, and the Aero 38A system made my job much more enjoyable.â€?
About D.A.S. Audio
Headquartered in Valencia, Spain, D.A.S. Audio is one of the worldâ€™s leading manufacturers of loudspeaker systems, power amplification, signal processing, and related components. For better than thirty years, D.A.S. Audio products have been found on tour with the worldâ€™s greatest performing artists and installed in many of the most prestigious facilities. For additional information about the company, visit them online at www.dasaudio.com.