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EAW®’s KF740 Compact And Lightweight Line Array Makes The Playground Weekender Music Festival Quick And Easy For Norwest Productions

Norwest Productions deployed a large KF740 rig quickly and securely, with a weight-to-punch ratio like no other P.A. in the world

Whitinsville, MA, USA, July 6, 2010 – EAW®, a world leader in audio system solutions, had exactly the solution needed by Norwest Productions, Australia’s largest audio services provider, for this year’s Playground Weekender music festival. The renowned EAW KF740 line array was used for one of the festival’s six main stages, hosting artists including Bjorn Again and Orbital, and was chosen for its combination of great sound, pinpoint accuracy and ease of rigging.

The Playground Weekender is a uniquely Australian music festival that has emerged as an eclectic gathering featuring a diverse mix of international and local artists, coupled with a relaxed outdoor atmosphere featuring multiple music stages, cabaret acts, a cocktail bar, a healing area, yoga and an array of international

food and market stalls. The P.A. system had to cover a large area with great sound but also needed to be well integrated into the visual presentation, and to go up quickly. The KF740 fit all of these requirements.

The main system consisted of 24, high output, 3-way KF740 modules flown in two line arrays on either side of the stage using 12 KF740 modules each. These were augmented with eight EAW SB1002 Large Format dual-18 Subwoofers and 16 EAW SB1000z Large Format Subwoofers, as well as four EAW KF650z Compact Array Loudspeakers offering 60-degree horizontal dispersion used as front fills. Powersoft DIGAM K10 amplifiers powered the KF740s, and Lab.gruppen FP6400 amps were used to power the system’s subs. The Norwest crew had the entire system flown in under and hour.

“One of the advantages of using this array is that it isn’t as heavy as some other arrays, and still packs a lot of punch,� observes Scott Harrison, Audio Systems Engineer at Norwest Productions. “As we were hanging [the system off] of the stage roof superstructure, weight was very important. Given the short time frame we had to get the P.A. in the air, the easy rigging was a great advantage. With input from EAW’s Resolution software, we got a hang that looked like what the computer said it should, and covered all the area it needed to. From start to finish we had both of our 12-box hangs flown in under an hour.� The KF740’s highly efficient use of power also helped keep weight down. “We were also able to keep the rig down to one amp rack per side, plus a sub rack,� says Harrison.

Every mixer and technician who worked that stage at Playground Weekender had nothing but positive comments about it. “All the engineers who came to mix were impressed with the sound of the P.A.,� says Harrison. “In particular, I had comments about how even the sound was, in both planes – left to right, and the transitions between boxes front to back – how it had a great presence without being overpowering, and how well it carried right out past 250 feet from the stage.� And the KF740 worked as hard and flawlessly as the performers themselves – Harrison notes that the rig operated at medium-to-high SPL during the weekend for an estimated crowd of approximately 10,000 people. “We never saw a sign of a clip light or any signs of speaker stress,� he says, noting the diversity of artists using the system, ranging from 3-piece bands to 25-piece orchestras, as well a choir. “The tonal character of the system was considered excellent. I thought the SPL and clarity of the boxes was great, and when combined with the weight/size combo and the easy rigging, it goes up fast, and doesn’t disappoint. I’d definitely use it again.�

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