BANGALORE, India — The blues has growing appeal as evidenced by the popularity of India’s An Ode to the Blues festival, now in its fourth year. Held at Bangalore’s CounterCulture performance space/restaurant, the festival featured international and Indian blues artists including Guitar Shorty, Soulmate, Blackstratblues, Ministry of Blues and many others, who performed on two stages outfitted with a complete HARMAN Professional live sound system and Martin lighting.
“With every event we do, our primary focus is on the artist and we want to present the way they sound and the way they look at their absolute best,” said Guru Somayaji, Program Director and Festival Manager at CounterCulture. “This year we wanted to up the ante to bring in a setup that not only looked good but sounded top-notch.”
The Robert Johnson Stage and the Roots Blues Stage were equipped with a variety of JBL loudspeakers including four VRX 900 Series loudspeakers, two STX828 dual-18-inch subwoofers, two PRX615M powered loudspeakers and two STX815M loudspeakers. The loudspeakers were powered by Crown VRACK complete, self-contained amplifier systems, which include I-Tech HD Series power amps, analog and digital connections and a globally universal power distribution system, all housed in wheeled rack with a suspension system that enables VRACK to be flown if desired.
A Soundcraft Si Expression 1 digital console with a Si Compact 16 handled the live sound mix for the Robert Johnson Stage, with a Soundcraft Si Compact 16 deployed for the Roots Blues Stage. The consoles were equipped with a Soundcraft Si Multi Digital Card to record the shows to a computer in multitrack digital audio. A selection of AKG microphones rounded out the system (Indian blues-rock band Soulmate are AKG endorsers).
The Robert Johnson Stage and Roots Blues Stage were illuminated by a complete Martin lighting setup that included RUSH by Martin MH 3 Beam, MH 1 Profile and MH 2 Wash models, plus MAC 101 LED wash and PAR 1 LED can lights. Martin M1 and M2GO consoles operated the lights for each stage.
HARMAN Professional India and students at India’s Audio Academy assisted CounterCulture in producing An Ode to the Blues. “This year through our partnership with HARMAN Professional and Audio Academy, the team not only delivered a fantastic-sounding and looking setup, but the students at Audio Academy also learned the process of setting up the system and the stage and in fact helped us a great deal,” said Somayaji. The students will go on to mix the multitracks and produce a finished live recording of the event. “From a lighting perspective, the audiences enjoyed a real treat – the Martin illumination created atmospheric, exciting and even surreal lighting experiences that took this year’s performances to an entirely new level.”
"An event of this scale requires a first-class sound and lighting setup. With multiple bands and a quick turn around required between acts, an effective and reliable sound system is an engineer’s backbone for an event of such complexity. HARMAN brands, AKG, BSS Audio, dbx, JBL, Soundcraft and Martin lighting ensured that! As an FOH engineer, I could not have asked for better technology. This was one of the best music festivals I have had the pleasure of being associated with," added Nikhil Pai, Freelance Sound Engineer.
“Without HARMAN Professional India and especially application manager, Sunil Karanjikar, none of this would have been possible,” he noted. “Each and every artist complimented us on how exceptional the JBL loudspeakers and Crown amps sounded, the clarity of the Soundcraft consoles and the AKG mics and the striking lighting provided by Martin. The audio was truly stellar, with excellent balance, presence and clarity from every location around both stages.”
Somayaji concluded, “We look forward to further such associations for next year’s An Ode to the Blues festival and other events.”
HARMAN designs, manufactures and markets premier audio, visual, infotainment and integrated control solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets. With 15 leading brands, including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon® and Mark Levinson ®, the Company is admired by audiophiles, musicians and the entertainment venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a global workforce of 15,200 people and reported sales of $5.1 billion for the last 12 months ended March 31, 2014.