Machinery for the masses with d&b

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There’s elegance to a one word title: Maquinaria literally translates as Machinery. For a festival of all that's heavy in the world of rock and roll Maquinaria was certainly that. Three days in Santiago, Chile, one of the four continent spanning locations of the festival, saw a procession of bands that, like a convoy of yellow bulldozers, powered their way through the deepest aural excavations of the mind. The festival organisers arranging this assemblage of the mighty, set themselves some equally muscular challenges, "They wanted a new PA company to step up to the plate in Chile and really give the festival some impact," said Erickson Cardona from Audiomusica, one of the biggest pro audio distributors in South America. "They were looking for comprehensive coverage; the systems for both stages had to be identical: there was no room for the politics of envy. The contract went to Spectra from Santiago. A client of ours and one of the emerging champions of good sound that are appearing across the continent."

The machinery of Spectra appears to have hit the spot. "Earlier in the day we sound checked before the festival was open to the public," said Tom Maddocks who was mixing front of house for The Prodigy. "I had a good chance to walk around the whole audience area listening to the PA from all positions. The coverage of the d&b audiotechnik J-Series that Spectra supplied was excellent." But with the low end being a particular focus for sound engineers of this genre, Maddocks had his concerns. "This is something that has often frustrated us in the past. Multiple stacks of subs arranged across the front of stage can cause more problems than benefits when not correctly spaced or time aligned by the installation company. However, the configuration of the ground stacked J-SUBs and J-INFRAs Spectra supplied, combined with the generic two 18"s left and right sub stacks worked well to provide a good uniform coverage across the whole audience area, with negligible cancellation points."

Spectra had invested heavily to fulfil the demands of the promoters, buying almost a complete J-Series festival system for the second Maquinaria stage with Spectra's Jose Miguel Vera Gomez as the system technician, making Spectra now one of the largest stockists of d&b audiotechnik J-Series in South America with well over one hundred J-TOP cabinets. "But we were still obliged to add our own two 18" to the stock of J-Series SUBs and INFRAs to feed the insatiable appetite for grunt at the low end," said Nicolas Perez de Castro, who with Marco Ambiado, project managed the two main stages for Spectra. "So Audiomusica arranged for Janko Ramuscak to come over from the d&b Application Support department in Germany to help our system techs correctly array the various sub elements."

The appositely named T 'Quake' Mark who mixes for Slash had also been pleased to discover a robust low end arrangement. "The low end worked, though if they could have pulled off cardioid patterns throughout it would have helped me, so having all J-SUBs would have been better. However I must admit my particular artist really enjoys the extra low end on stage!"

With bands such as The Prodigy, Kiss, Slayer, and Marilyn Manson topping the bill Spectra took the whole festival very seriously, "The front of house systems tech, Nestor Hernandez, was typical," said Maddocks. "He was very helpful, had a good working knowledge of the Dolby Lake processing system and was able to make any adjustments I requested with ease and confidence." 'Quake' was equally enthused, "Festivals on the Southern continent have a reputation for being all power and no prowess, but the guys from Spectra gave me just what I needed. A good, balanced and properly hung PA that was flat for me to do my work. We had a blast."

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