In a show of powered sound for one of the most watched events in history, Crown amplifiers were utilized by Baltimore-based Maryland Sound Industries (MSI) at the presidential inauguration of Barack Obama on January 20th, in Washington D.C. The event drew the largest civic-event audience ever served by an outdoor sound reinforcement system in the United States, with a crowd of as many as two million people.
Baltzell Audio Design designed the audio system and MSI, led by President Bob Goldstein supplied the Crown I-Tech amplifiers for the massive sound system at the event, powering a large number of JBL VerTec line array towers, which are dispersed throughout the Capitol End mall area. The I-Tech amplifiers feature advanced DSP processing which allows for additional tuning of the JBL line arrays. With a built-in LCD screen on the front panel, basic features and amplifier status can be accessed from the amplifierâ€™s location. Additionally, the added convenience of Harman HiQnetâ„¢ System Architectâ„¢ control and management interface allows a front of house or monitor engineer to easily monitor an amplifierâ€™s status from their location.
Pat Baltzell of Baltzell Audio Design feels the features of the I-Techs give the flexibility needed in this type of challenging outdoor environment. â€œIt made it possible to run System Architect and actually make subtle adjustments in the amps; each 14-box speaker column was divided into three zones, but to get even better resolution, you have the ability to go directly into the amps and put in filters to make subtle high-frequency adjustments in the amp that we would not have been able to do previously,â€? stated Baltzell.
â€œOne of the biggest challenges we faced was the high frequency. We tried to manage this by boosting the top cabinets in a way that would not affect the near field. Having the fine resolution of I-Tech with DSP in the amps takes us to another level of fine control,â€? added Baltzell.
â€œWe are extremely pleased with the assortment of tools that Harman provides us. From the superb JBL VERTEC line arrays to Crown amplifiers and Studer and Soundcraft counsels and other products. We are able to achieve the highest fidelity sound possible and vastly superior to that which was available only a few years ago. Given the harsh environmental conditions we were working in which has brought sub zero temperatures and lots of precipitation the equipment worked flawlessly with no failures,â€? stated Goldstein.
The amplifiers powered JBL VerTec line arrays with up to 14 VT4889 large-format line array speakers in each tower. JBL VP315DP, VRX932, and Control 25AV speakers were also utilizied for the swearing-in ceremony, presidentâ€™s speech, and performances by major music artists. Baltzell stated, â€œVerTec has a little more total output per box than competitors; because the boxes have three compression drivers instead of two, you get extra output, which is important for an outdoor application like this.â€?