–RMB Combines Mobile Stage & Martin Audio W8LC Arrays For Maximum Sight & Sound At North Carolina Blues Festival–
Durham, North Carolina–Presented by the St. Joseph’s Historic Foundation, Inc., the 20 annual Bull Durham Blues Festival was held at the Historic Durham Athletic Park in downtown Durham and featured an impressive lineup of blues and R&B legends including Buddy Guy, Booker T. & The MG‘s, Percy Sledge, Shemekiah Copeland, Big Bill Morganfield (Muddy Waters‘ son), Betty Pride and a host of stellar North Carolina blues artists.
According to Raleigh Music Brokerage‘s Cooper Cannady, a longtime audio provider for the festival, “the weather was excellent and on Friday night, they set a record for attendance with 12,800 people filling the entire park. The night before, they had an excellent tribute show at another venue celebrating the 20th year of the festival, which honored Piedmont and Carolina blues legends John Dee Holman, Joe Thompson and the late Etta Baker. Opening was this really unique and fantastic group, the Carolina Chocolate Drops, an African-American string-band under the tutelage of Joe Thompson, the last of the great North Carolina string-band players.”
Asked about the audio challenges for this year‘s blues and roots music get-together, Cannady describes one significant change: “We had been talking to the client about reconsidering everything, a new look, new stage, everything. After a course of three years, we finally got them into a mobile stage, which tightened up the sightlines, gave us more room and brought the visual focus into the stage. And with that stage, we could fly line arrays without having them look obtrusive. It gave us a nice clean look, with excellent access and the company we used for the mobile stage, Main Stage, did a terrific job.”
In order to provide maximum audio quality and coverage from the front to the back of the crowd, RMB flew nine Martin Audio W8LC compact line arrays.
As Cooper explains, “We really needed coverage from fifteen feet in front of the stage at the barricade lip to 400 ft. back, and we didn‘t even need to go that far because we wanted to keep it enclosed in the park. Nine W8LCs gave us a very comfortable level and everywhere you walked the coverage was absolutely seamless. It really sounded exceptional, all the way to 400 feet back within the park without any of the concert sound going into the neighborhood, which was important. The nice part was that the sound stayed on the field and all the seats.”
In addition to six Martin Audio W8S subs a side, LE700 biamped wedges and S18 drum subs, the sound system consisted of Yamaha M7CL consoles for Front of House and Monitoring. Lab Gruppen and Chevin Research amps, BSS Minidrives and a microphone complement that included Shure UHF wireless with Beta 87 capsules, Shure Beyer, Sennheiser, Crown and AKG.