Horne Audio (Portland, Oregon) added to their extensive Electro-Voice loudspeaker inventory earlier this year, bringing on board new 90-degree horizontal dispersion XLC-907DVX and XLD291 line-array elements (Horne already has a complement of the 120-degree version of each, the XLC-127DVX & XLD281). The new boxes allowed Horne Audio to up the ante once again at their largest annual gigâ€”the Oregon Jamboree in Sweet Home, Oregonâ€”while bringing increased sonic control to two more big regional events, a Luis Palau Christian Festival held in downtown Portland and a summer concert series at the Oregon Zoo (Portland).Owner Peter Horne explained how the new 90-degree versions of the XLC and XLD add finesse to his EV rig:
â€œIn the past we have used delay towers at the open-air zoo amphitheater,â€? says Horne. â€œWe have been pretty successful covering this venue with our 120-degree XLD281 boxes, but the 90-degree (XLD291) boxes gave us more even coverage throughout the venue. That said, the amount of time saved setting up for this show demonstrated to us that they will be more than worth the investment. These boxes minimize the amount of energy thatâ€™s dispersed horizontally, which allows better zone control and focus, with around 3dB more in the HF at the back of the venueâ€”250-feet awayâ€”without the delays. Our goal was more even coverage throughout the venue, and the new XLDs helped us achieve that very well.â€?
â€œThe Jamboree continues to be a very successful event for us,â€? Horne continues, â€œand we like to raise our own bar every year, listening closely to the organizerâ€™s suggestions, and adjusting or adding to our equipment spec accordingly. The PA is based around main XLC-DVX line arrays (with XLD281 down-fills), flown XLC215 subs, XLD281 side-fills, and XLC delay towers. Of the 12 XLC boxes in the main hangs, the top six were the 90-degree versions (XLC-907DVX) and the bottom six were the 120s (XLC-127DVX). This is an outdoor festival, and the venue is almost 400-feet long. The 90-degree boxes helped to push the sound out to the edges of the field, acting as long distance fills for the areas furthest from the delay towers. You couldnâ€™t notice any difference between the house sound and the delays, it was that effective.â€? The show by Texan country stars Sugarland was a particular highpoint: â€œFestival Director Peter LaPonte remarked that it was one of the best-sounding shows heâ€˜d ever heard anywhere,â€? Horne says. â€œAdding the more focused 90-degree XLD boxes to the mix kept the sound warm and clear across all the audience areas better than ever beforeâ€”they added finesse to an already superb system.â€?
Held by the waterfront in downtown Portland, a two day festival for internationally-known evangelist Luis Palau was the third major proving ground for the 90-degree additions to Horneâ€™s XLC/XLD rig. Whereas the first two events needed to deliver sonic quality at long distances, this application was all about the control of a narrower dispersion pattern. Attendance was around 100,000 for the two-day event.
â€œThe challenge here was keeping the sound contained,â€? Horne explains; â€œone side of the long, narrow venue is along the river, the other along the cityâ€™s downtown edge. We needed to stay within the noise varianceâ€”set at 80 dBA for maximum peaksâ€”measured across the street. Keeping the sound focused was key, and the 90s were the perfect tool to do this.
â€œThe PA wasnâ€™t very largeâ€”two low-flown arrays of six XLC per side with a couple of XLD under-hangs. The top three boxes on each main array were the 90-degree versions. I was able to get 95 dBA for the engineers at FOH, staying within the noise variance across the street, which was literally a stoneâ€™s throw from mix position. That narrower dispersion was critical to the success of this show.â€? The overflow system adjacent to the main venue, which had a large screen for people to watch the event, also used 90-degree XLC boxes.
â€œWeâ€™re finding new uses for these boxes all the time,â€? Horne adds. â€œThatâ€™s what I like about the EV product line: they offer application-specific solutions, giving us options to precisely address the various sizedâ€”and shapedâ€”events we handle.â€?
Click here for more photos.