August 13, 2015 · Camarillo, Calif. – Before the dawn of the mainstream, there was the desert underground. The highly passionate, non-commercial Moontribe Collective has been convening since 1993 when a handful of people gathered in the Southern California wilderness to share their affinity for electronic music, community and love of the desert. An original precursor to larger, more famous desert gatherings, the Moontribe Collective recently celebrated its 22nd year and now attracts between 500 and 3,000 participants at its gatherings, which take place quarterly under the light of the full desert moon.
Robert Diaz, manager of Los Angeles-based Whump Sound, was an early ‘audio’ contributor to the Moontribe Collective after being introduced to the group by longtime friend and classmate Brian Golub — a DJ who realized his passion for electronic music while manning the decks at early Full Moon Gatherings in the California desert. Both Diaz and his Whump Sound colleague Victor Pruitt provided audio for the 22nd Anniversary event last month.
Diaz says that Moontribe was a very significant catalyst for the underground desert theme in general: “It really sprung out of a small community of artists that didn’t want to be limited to a nightclub and who wanted to have some space in a wide open environment,” Diaz recalls. “There was no money involved and there is still no money involved — it is really about the community, for those folks who want to be outside the status quo and just enjoy music.”
Bringing Durability into the Desert
As Diaz’ sound company grew, he began investing more heavily in premium audio equipment. After specifying Powersoft on several high profile, award-winning installations around the United States including the legendary Sullivan Room in NYC, he acquired several Powersoft K Series amplifiers for his own rig. In the true communal spirit of Moontribe, it wasn’t long before Diaz shared his recent sound investment with his fellow desert dwellers at a Full Moon Desert Gathering event.
“We all donated our stuff,” Diaz explains. He summarizes how the choice of Powersoft has been particularly suitable for the Full Moon Desert Gatherings. “In the desert, the equipment takes a beating and you have temperatures of over 110 degrees. My Powersoft amplifiers are perfect in this environment because they are super-durable and provide predictable, high quality audio that always stays clean,” he says. “We are often in the desert for two or three days, pushing audio through them non-stop. We don’t even have to have them in the air conditioning.”
Whump Sound’s Moontribe setup consists of a five way sound system comprising of subs, mid bass, mids, high mids and highs, each corresponding to a specific amplifier. “For Moontribe we use Turbo Sound floodlight rig with Danley Sound Lab Dual 21 subs,” Diaz explains. “For the 21s, we use a single K10, two K6s for the bass, then we are using K3s for the mids and the highs.”
Electronic Music Under the Desert Moon
In the desert, perhaps not surprisingly, power can be scarce — so efficiency is the name of the game: “Having control of the voltage, the amperage and everything coming in and out of the K Series is so much more efficient than anything we’ve used,” says Diaz, who adds that this efficiency does not have to come at a price: “With Powersoft, the sound quality is excellent. The amplifiers have plenty of power, and it is never lagging.”
“Also,” he adds, “two days into the party, the K Series units will sound exactly like they did when brought them in the first day. Other amplifiers sound tired after two days and will start clipping since there is no reserve power. Two days into a party with Powersoft, the amps are just purring and doing exactly what they were doing when you first turned them on.”
Diaz says that the dampening is a unique and important feature on Powersoft amplifiers. “The dampening is how fast the amplifier is able to control the speaker itself, and with Powersoft, we have a lot more control over this,” he says. “Typically, once you follow the amplifier to cable to the speaker itself, you actually lose power. But on the Powersoft, you can actually control your response time to the cone. I don’t think there is another amplifier that does that.”
“The sound is one of the most important elements of the show, and we really notice when we are playing on a fantastic sound system,” said Treavor Moontribe, who performed at Moontribe’s 22nd Anniversary through the system, driven by Powersoft K Series amplifiers. “I played a six hour set at that party and I felt really comfortable the entire time in the DJ booth. Everything sounded very balanced and we weren’t getting too much of any single frequency range. When you have a really powerful sound system that is tuned really well, the crowd is definitely more responsive.”
Just as Moontribe Collective is passionate about music and desert gatherings, Whump Sound is passionate about delivering pristine audio quality — efficiently and reliably. “We are a two person company and very passionate about what we do,” concludes Diaz. “We are more about audio quality, and for me, at the end of the day, it is all about the music.”
For more information on the Powersoft K Series, please visit http://www.powersoft-audio.com/en/touring/k-series/ – K10.