Patriot Place, with the help of Warwick, R.I.-based Ambient Sound Inc., recently specified a new Electro-Voice sound system for â€œRock the Plazaâ€? events at the 1.3 million square-foot shopping, dining, and event destination adjacent to Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., home of the New England Patriots. The new system has provided a significant upgrade to the popular outdoor concert series, a weekly showcase for local musicians that runs from April to October each year on Patriot Place Plaza. Mario Pregoni Live Sound Production Manager for Ambient Sound, comments:
â€œRock the Plazaâ€? showcases upwards of four bands each weekend. Prior to this year, Patriot Place supplied the stage and bands had to bring their own PA equipment. The problem was that the equipment that the bands were bringing in wasnâ€™t always adequate and the audio quality of these concerts started to suffer. This is a big
area too, so we had sound bouncing off various surfaces; we knew we had to make a change.â€?
Pregoni has been working since 1998 at Foxboro Stadium and Gillette Stadium as a sound engineer, working on game day audio and also providing technical support, equipment and system maintenance. Says Pregoni, â€œRobyn Glaser from The Kraft Group, who manages all of the Rock the Plaza shows, came to me for help with â€œRock the Plazaâ€?. She said the event needed a complete, dedicated, in-house sound system at Patriot Place. So I did a walk-through of the venue to help figure out logistics. The venue is directly outside of Gillette Stadium, at the north endzone entrance. The main stage area is set up in front of The Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon, which is part of Patriot Place. They have restaurants, shops, clubs, a movie theater, and a hotel. Itâ€™s a great venue but its all concrete, so itâ€™s very reflective.â€?
Pregoni needed an easy-to-use, self-contained system for Patriot Place, and working with Rob Howitt of regional EV reps AudioPros, he found the perfect fit with Electro-Voice Tour X loudspeakers.
â€œItâ€™s a plug-and-play system that doesnâ€™t need a genius to set up and operate,â€? says Pregoni. â€œThese boxes sound great with minimal, if any, tweaking. The whole PA can be up and running within 20 minutes and taken down just as fast, which is perfect, because between the amount of foot traffic in that Plaza and the unpredictable weather, they donâ€™t want a system that would take up too much room and take forever to put away. No one wants to have to break down a system in inclement weather.
â€œI use EV for everything I do â€“ football, soccer, concerts, and corporate events â€“ so it was an obvious choice to use Tour X for â€œRock the Plazaâ€?. Tour X really fit the theme and structure of the event very nicely. It delivers everything these concerts need. These boxes bring all of EVâ€™s high-end touring technology and put it at a price point thatâ€™s much more accessible, which makes it a perfect match for smaller venues with smaller budgets and big ambitions. I also went with the CP Series amps, which I love. Theyâ€™ve proven themselves driving our main rig and that speaks for itself; they work under the harshest conditions without fail. I specâ€™d DC-One and Klark Teknik gear for the same reason.â€?
The new system is a four-main, four monitorâ€™s design that comprises two TX2152â€™s, two TX2181â€™s, and four TX1122FM stage monitors all powered by CP series amps. Pregoni also prescribed a compliment of EV N/DYM series microphones for input and included both a Klark Teknik Square One Dynamic processor and two Square One Graphic equalizers.
â€œThe first time we used the rig, everyone was blown away,â€? says Pregoni. â€œPatriot Place is developing a reputation for great sound, and bands are telling each other to play here. The bands get so excited when they can actually hear themselves through the mix on stage. And, on top of it all, Ambient Sound can use this rig as a showcase for Tour X. Weâ€™ve never received so many complimentary e-mails about a system; people constantly tell us how great the equipment made them or their friends sound. This is more than just another mid-level PA box; itâ€™s got that EV concert-quality sound at an incredible pricepoint. Tour X is really in its element here, and it has exceeded everyoneâ€™s expectations.
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