A formidable d&b toolkit helps Bassnectar deliver front row experience for fans.

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Bassnectar’s shows are characteristically an all-enveloping experience; the intimacy of a club but on a huge scale. Just how well that was recently achieved is a measure of how effectively Brown Note Productions Inc. of Denver, Colorado interpreted Bassnectar’s sound specification when it came to assessing Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, a major league soccer stadium in nearby Commerce City.

“This stadium is home turf for the Colorado Rapids,” began Ryan Knutson, President at Brown Note and audio project manager for this event. “Fairly intimate as stadiums go, it was not too tricky in terms of mapping coverage when we input the physical data. From where the stage was positioned it’s approximately 360 feet to the stands; aiming and ensuring even coverage in d&b’s ArrayCalc was easy: it came up nicely. The original specification was all d&b audiotechnik loudspeakers, mainly J-Series and V-Series for the heavy lifting, and called for long arrays of J-Series in the mains L/R; but when we modelled it we saw that actually it would be too much, so we were able to reduce by a couple of cabinets a side. This was important as we were implementing ArrayProcessing (AP) to meet Bassnectar’s desire for front row experience at every seat without, as he said, blasting people’s ears. Several factors in the d&b toolkit allowed us to do that with great success.”

Brown Note are a big d&b stockist; their experience with these systems proved important. “Bassnectar was aware of the reputation of this d&b system and he specified the relatively new D80 amps in particular because of the performance improvements they bring. Because of that we were able to recommend using AP. In our experience, and we have done a number of shows for him over the years, Bassnectar always strives for his audience. They are critical listeners and he is very particular to ensure they get to hear great sound, not just loud.”

The ability of ArrayProcessing to produce even level and the distinct d&b tonality across the whole listening area is now well documented, but Knutson and his system tech’ Chris Chierello went further in their attention to the low end propagation. “We had over eighty subs, a mix of J-SUBs and J-INFRAs in cardioid mode in front of the main stage,” continued Knutson. “The array was 120 feet across enabling us to easily control horizontal dispersion down into the 20 Hz range. That was part of our approach to ensuring we minimized the noise escape to the surrounding residential districts. Nick Malgeieri from d&b’s EAS department worked with me on the NoizCalc model, allowing us to predict where sound energy could become problematic outside the venue.

“When we came to measure levels at the property line beyond the stadium it was exactly as predicted. More importantly it met all the permit requirements for events at this venue. Using so many subs allowed us to create a more even coverage and use lower SPLs within the listening area. Because of that, the main sub array and a further sub delay array of B22-SUBs halfway down the field, barely ever went into gain reduction. That fundamental low end, usually around 27/28 Hz that Lorin (Ashton, Bassnectar’s real name) likes in his mix, was what the audience heard and it was really clean because we weren’t having to drive too hard.”

Image courtesy of Shawn Johnson

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