Over 160 classes and 20 workshops were held during the two-day conference including many by Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc. along with some of the best Christian entertainment performed at nightly festivals along with presentations by John and Stasi Eldredge and Christian artist Michael W Smith, who was also one of the evenings' concert headliner. Other performers at the event included Frank Peretti, MercyMe, Erwin McManus, Paul Baloche, Shane Claiborne, Brian Doerksen, William P Young (The Shack), Matt Maher, Phil Callaway, Arlen Salte, and many, many more. Other events included the Faith Film Festival and Bananas Comedy Festival.
Allstar Industries provided audio production for the various events and supplied the Main Stage at the Shaw Centre with a NEXO GEO D system with CD18 subs and Yamaha PC9501N Amps. Monitors were NEXO PS15 W and PS15 WMR. PM5D-RH consoles were used for both FOH and Monitor Consoles were PM5DRH. Front Fill speakers were Yamaha IF2108's with T4N amplifiers; Delay rig was NEXO GEO S8's with Yamaha PC9501N amplifiers.
“When I was asked to head up audio for Break Forth 2009 in Edmonton Alberta Canada, one particular challenge aroseâŽ¯how to choose the right PA to accurately re-enforce both speech, and full bands in an acoustically unfavorable venue with 8,000 people,” states Cory Papirny, senior audio tech, Allstar Show Industries and FOH Engineer for Breakforth Canada 2009.“After hearing that Yamaha was involved, my choice became quite easy. NEXO's Geo D tangent array elements would provide more than enough horsepower and clarity to fill the harsh listening environment of the Shaw Conference Center.”
Having previously toured across Canada with David Copperfield and Charley Pride using NEXO's GEO S12's with extraordinary results, Papirny said he was very excited to have the opportunity to work with the S12's bigger brother. “Using the GeoSoft2 software, I was able to accurately predict SPL level and frequency response from various locations in the venue, and upon using acoustic measurement software, was utterly amazed at how accurate the GeoSoft software was. I was able to maintain a consistent SPL level throughout the 315-foot hall with minimum high-end frequency loss.
Deploying the PA turned out to be an absolute dream, Pipirny continues. “The compression rigging meant that I could link all clusters together from an upright position, alleviating the need to be fussing with front and back motors to get the speakers to properly align. Once everything was connected, a simple ratchet bent the speakers to their proper angles. Genius.”
Filling out the sub bass for the PA were NEXO CD18's. Pirpirny noted that the cardioid subs completely surpassed all of his expectations. “Even at 250 feet back the low end was still tight and punchy while keeping the stage free of annoying low end. All of the guest engineers commented that there was no shortage of low end, and they weren't wrong.”
“As far as consoles go, my first choice always is the PM5D-RH,” adds Pipirny. Our monitor engineer, Dave Pallet (Alanis Morrisette, Loreena McKennitt, Sarah McLaughlin) and myself both find being able to run the console at 96K a huge asset. The crisp and clean high end from the console was well represented by the NEXO GEO D10 speakers as well as in the performer's in-ear monitoring systems. And, the ability to load guest engineers' files onto the console drastically shortened sound check times and cut out worry-some hard patches between bands, making changeovers remarkably smooth. I truly believe that Yamaha's involvement took this event to the next level. The caliber of the audio was second to none.
The Spirit Street Stage events used 12 NEXO GEO S12 speakers with four RS15 subs, five PS15s wedges for stage monitors, Yamaha T5n amplifiers and two Yamaha M7CL-48 digital consoles for front of house and monitors. The Breakout Education Classes and small stages used Yamaha STAGEPAS 300s and STAGEPAS 500 portable sound systems along with NEXO PS10s with LS500 subs and PS 8s.
“The subs were placed horizontally, one on top of the other with grills pointed in opposite directions, and with the sides the sides of the stacks pointed at the audience,” states Justin Snow, head sound tech, Spirit Street Stage. “This is called “Alternate Directional Configuration” and creates a cardiod pattern allowing the low frequency to be controlled and aimed a provides a much cleaner sound with good low end punch even in the back rows.” Snow said one of the features he likes about the NEXO PS15 monitors is that real â€˜in your face' sound with any vocal, and very little equalization.
Monitors were run from the Yamaha M7CL FOH console. House left and right and four monitor mixes were done from the M7CL easily accommodated through the use of its 16 mix buses and 16 Omni outputs. “With the eight space virtual EQ/effects rack, I was able to load 6 – 31 band EQ's, four monitor and one each for left and right mains. The two remaining rack spaces were used for two of the built-in effects, one Hall Reverb and one mono Delay. Each channel of the M7CL has a 4-band parametric EQ, and with the Dynamics 2 section on each channel, I was able to add a gate and a compressor to any channel. This allowed me another level of control without adding any additional outboard gear.” Snow notes that he also appreciates the ability to wirelessly interface his notebook to the console by plugging a wireless router into the network port on the board giving him the option to view or control the console from his laptop.
The Yamaha training sessions led by house of worship marketing manager, Dan Craik were very well attended, and were followed up with one on one hands on sessions in the trade show booth. The front of house positions in the performance spaces were turned into question and answer booths, with Allstar and Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems staff answering questions about the systems in use at the show. Training sessions included Intro to Digital Mixing – a basic M7CL console training course; Art and Science of Audio Part 1 – EQ, compressors, Effects; Art and Science of Audio Part 2 – Getting the Basic Mix in 7 Minutes; The Output Side – speakers and amplifiers; and Basic Analog Audio – overview of an analog audio system.
“LET ME GET THIS STRAIGHT … go all the way up to Edmonton Alberta to participate in a worship conference in the dead of winter where the temperatures get down to -30 degrees? Are you kidding?" recalls Dan Craik. “That is what I secretly thinking when I first met Arlen and Elsa Salte on a nice warm, spring day in Nashville, Tennessee. But the more I learned about Break Forth Canada, the more intrigued I became. To make a long story short, Break Forth was everything they said it would be and more. After a week of putting up numerous sound systems, teaching classes, showing off our gear on the exhibition floor, having fellowship and making new friends with some of the 15,000 people that attended the conference, I left there feeling like I had been privileged, given a gift as it were, to be there. In spite of all the work it takes to put on an event like this, it was certainly worth it. I am eagerly looking forward to doing it again.”
For more information on Allstar Show Industries, visit www.allstar-show.com.
For more information on Yamaha and NEXO products, visit www.yamahaca.com.
For more information on Break Forth Canada, visit www.breakforthcanada.com
About Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc.:
Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc. (YCAS) provides a full line of integrated professional audio products offering complete systems solutions for the broadcast, sound reinforcement/installed sound, touring, commercial recording, and post production markets. With the recent purchase of NEXO loudspeakers by Yamaha Corporation Japan, the company remains the official U.S. and Canadian distributor for all NEXO models. YCAS offers comprehensive in-house and field product training for its customers, a dedicated dealer network, and 24/7 technical support.