JBL Vertec at The Crossroads

Monday, 6 August 2007
JBL Vertec at The Crossroads
USA - Rental company Sound Image provided the live sound system for the Crossroads Guitar Festival in Chicago. The show was staged on 28 July at Toyota Park, Chicago's newest outdoor concert facility that can accommodate up to 28,000 concertgoers.

First staged in 2004, the Crossroads Guitar Festival was created by Eric Clapton to bring together musicians of all genres. In addition to Clapton, featured artists at the all-day show included Jeff Beck, Sheryl Crow, Robert Cray, Jimmie Vaughn, BB King, Albert Lee, Stevie Winwood, John Mayer and many more.

"This was a once in a lifetime musical experience," observed Dave Shadoan, president of Sound Image. "The amount of musical talent that was pulled together in one place, on one stage, for 11 hours of live music, had to be experienced to be believed. On events like this, JBL's Vertec system really proves itself."

For the Festival, Sound Image fielded a total audio crew of 16. Sound Image engineer Kurt Springer led a pre-event system setup team, and system engineers Dave Gautrey, Gary Sanguinet and Son Nakamura were on hand to manage the multi-array Vertec rig and assist the artists' soundmixers with system familiarisation. Additionally, producer/engineer Ed Cherney and recording teams from both David Hewitt's Remote Recording Services and Guy Charbonneau's Le Mobile were onsite to capture the event for an upcoming live concert DVD release.

"For an all-day festival event like this, with world-class recording requirements, stage patching and pre-setting the sound reinforcement mix consoles can make or break the show," advised Jim Douglas, Sound Image's director of concert operations. "Our team has worked on numerous large-scale multi-act events like this one, and our staff works very well with the remote recording engineers. They know and trust our audio system, and our procedures."

The Sound Image system included a total of 76 JBL Vertec VT4889 full-size line array elements supported by 32 VT4880 arrayable subwoofers. In addition to the main left and right and outfill arrays, a pair of VT4889 delay arrays was installed at the rear of the audience area in Toyota Park. The system was powered by Crown I-Tech 8000 power amplifiers. Harman HiQnet System Architect software provided the audio team with a comprehensive remote control and monitoring platform.

"Large-scale events with world-class artists and live recording requirements require a very high degree of live sound expertise," said David Scheirman, vice president, tour sound, JBL Professional. "With a truly successful system deployment at the Crossroads Guitar Festival, the staff at Sound Image has really shown the value of advance planning and, demonstrated their ability to help these artists deliver their best performances while working under the pressures of a tight schedule and the outdoor environment."

(Jim Evans)

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