The President expresses himself
It's an amazing thing the way momentum can be transferred from one unstoppable phenomenon to another, but that's what has happened to Stewart Sound in North Carolina since they first became involved with a certain Mr Barack Obama.
'It all started with a call from Atlas Group in Raleigh NC,' said Stewart Sound's founder Chad Stewart. 'Atlas is an event specialist and we've done several things with them since that first call. They needed a PA system for a Democrat Presidential campaign event in Greensboro. Boy! Seems a long time ago now, yet it was only last September. Obama was on the election trail at the time, and this was a public event for about fifteen thousand people. We put in a PA composed entirely of d&b audiotechnik Q-Series Q1 loudspeakers. After the event Atlas came to us and said it was the first time on one of these events when they hadn't heard a single complaint; not one heckler in the audience said they couldn't hear what was being said.'
Atlas knew a good thing when they heard it; they had placed an order for their own Q system by year's end and, since that fateful day in Greensboro, Stewart Sound has provided d&b sound systems for a further six such events in the Carolinas. Then, for the icing on the cake, they were contracted to provide a PA in Wilmington for an expected crowd of seventy-five thousand people when, now President Elect Barack Obama, journeyed to Washington by train. 'I don't have to tell you, this was a real honor for us,' said an understandably excited Stewart. 'The Obama Biden Whistle Stop Tour visiting Wilmington. But this was not as straightforward as you might imagine. There were unusual requirements, uppermost they didn't want loudspeakers getting in the way of the press or TV camera shots of the President as he spoke to the crowds. But of course they wanted everyone to hear.'
The venue was the Tubman Garrett Riverfront Park, which directly overlooks the Wilmington Amtrak marshalling yard where the train stopped. On the day of the visit the weather was bright and clear, air temperature just five degrees, bone dry. 'I designed a distributed system using six 25ft tall lifts holding some fifty Q1s between them. The lifts kept the sightlines as clear as possible; that's one of the great advantages of the d&b Q-Series: I don't believe there is another loudspeaker in existence that is so light, so fast to rig, and sounds so good. It is as powerful as something three times the size and to me it's about the best sounding box I've ever heard.' Yet again there were no unhappy spectators unable to hear the President's speech. Maybe Stewart has a momentum all his own?