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Stage Electrics Deliver Sound Clarity at Hay

26th June, 2009

Hay on Wye FestivalSince 1988 the market town of Hay has been the unlikely setting for one of the world's biggest book festivals. The event is now an essential feature in the cultural calendar attracting authors, publishers and media attention from all over the world.

The main venue at the prestigious festival has always presented a particular challenge for audio reinforcement. To manage this Stage Electrics supplied L'Acoustics' Kiva Curve Linear Array this year with astounding results.

The numerous novice public speakers and interview format used creates a level problem along with acoustic challenges arising from staging the event in a marquee, the numerous reflections and the inclement Welsh weather.

Sound Designer Paul Turner specified the L'Acoustics' Kiva system due to its formidable reputation for fantastic speech reproduction. Previous attempts to install a line array in the venue had presented problems due to limits on weight loading and sight line issues. Stage Electrics explains, "Size and weight are key factors here. Due to its throw and coverage, the system's ability to deliver speech in this application is perfect. Also, as you can power two drops of 8 boxes with just two LA4 amps its technology footprint is tiny."

L'Acoustics' 'Sound Vision' software enabled Paul to try out many different system designs and speaker models before settling on the ideal system. 3D modelling allowed the sight lines to be checked to screen and mechanical data gave accurate weight loading stats. "What really impressed me was just how accurate the prediction software was. I'm used to tweaking array angles given by other prediction programmes on site but this was startlingly accurate. The final result was a much more coherent image with fewer reflections in a much faster rig time." "It just sounds fantastic" commented Front of House Engineer Rob McNeil, "It delivers speech with remarkable clarity".

Stage Electrics also supplied the festival's second venue with the new Digico SD8 console. It benefits from all the major features and versatility of the acclaimed Digico SD Series and the advances already made in the SD7 at a price point more commonly associated with midrange mixing consoles.

Incorporating highly innovative Stealth Digital ProcessingT, the SD8 brings you the Tiger SHARC® FX engine. This provides unrivalled audio quality, precision and processing power with an extensive range of built-in, world-class effects, reverbs, dynamics, output matrix and more, offering much more than its nearest rival.
Stage Electrics' Chris Vass explains, "A digital desk was essential as, along with musical entertainment, the venue was being used for talks, interviews and discussions. Frequently acts have to sound check in the breaks making an analogue desk impractical. The desk also needed to be flexible and of a high enough spec. to meet the requirements of touring acts. The SD8 ticked all the boxes."

Tour engineer Philippe Dubich had not used the console before but was familiar with the SD7 and D5 desks. "It took only a short while to get used to it only having one screen, otherwise it has all the functionality of larger desks and sounds just as good. Really very clever." Venue Technician Kyle Macpherson who also used the console for the first time enthused "It is very intuitive and remarkably flexible."

Stage Electrics distribute L'Acoustics and Digico systems, for more information please contact us

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