One of the first two companies worldwide to acquire Martin Audio’s WPL (Wavefront Precision Longbow) line array, Soundworks of Virginia successfully supported the Richmond Jazz Festival in Maymont Park with the new system and Martin Audio SXH218 subwoofers.
An eclectic lineup of featured artists on the main stage included Jill Scott, Maze featuring Frankie Beverley, Stanley Clarke, Ledisi, and Black Violin, to name a few.
Describing the event, Soundworks’ President/Senior Engineer Grant Howard recounts, “The two-day festival featured 33 bands on three stages. It was spread out over nearly 10 acres of gently rolling grassy hills in the park with about 5,000 people listening to the main stage. The WPL system was featured on the main stage and included 12 flown WPL boxes a side with six SXH218s a side ground-stacked under each hang. For power, we had a total of 12 Martin Audio iK42 amps. Six amps were configured for two box resolution on the WPLs and six amps were run in bridged mode for the subs.
“The main goal was to avoid using delays this year,” he continues, “which WPL accomplished, with the exception of an audio hole created by a large tree in the middle of the audience area. The challenge was overcome by a small delay about 250 feet from the stage. Other than that, the WPL coverage was perfect. We were really happy how far the system threw and how articulate and defined it was. That was the overwhelming response from everyone was how clear the WPL sounded right out to the extremes of the listening area.
“We are always amazed at the consistency of coverage with the WPL system. After decades of providing live sound reinforcement we’ve come to expect changes in tonal balance as we walk the audience area during sound check, but with this PA it is absolutely consistent throughout the listening area. In fact, it’s almost disconcerting. We’ve been used to hearing changes forever, and now, they’re not there. It’s really fantastic!”
Asked about WPL’s audio quality for the musical performances, Grant concludes: “The system was able to flawlessly handle all of the different artists––from quiet, smooth jazz to full on loud R&B. The staff and FOH engineers were really happy with the PA. One of the challenges of this festival is only the headliner gets a soundcheck––all the other acts are throw and go. The engineers are running out to FOH moments before the set starts and they have to hit the ground running. With WPL, they were able to get it sounding good within minutes which was huge. Best of all, our client and the production manager were really happy with how good WPL sounded. We will definitely be back for the Richmond Jazz Festival next year.”
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