Founded in 1991, the Jazz Aspen Snowmass Festival has grown to become one of Colorado's most popular outdoor music festivals. The recent 2010 event in Snowmass Town Park hosted a wide variety of artists including Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Black Crowes, Glenn Frey and Joe Walsh, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Wilco and other acts. The 3-day festival attracted more than 35,000 fans each day.
Audio Visions has fielded a JBL VERTEC® system at the festival for the past five years. With offices in Omaha and Minneapolis, the company is the Midwest's largest single-source, full-service production company. For the most recent event, Audio Visions provided a main PA system comprising 12 JBL VERTEC VT4889 fullsize line array elements per side, with an additional six VT4888 midsize line array elements in use for front fill. A dbx DriveRack 4800 loudspeaker management system was in use for front-end processing.
“After five successful years, we've grown to know the characteristics of VERTEC very well,” noted Chip Kempke of Audio Visions. “We know that the VT4889 has the performance characteristics needed for this large-scale festival, which features a wide variety of musical acts and styles.”
At an altitude of 2,500 meters (8,200 feet), the high elevation of the event location presents a temporary installation challenge. “The thin mountain air requires us to drive the system at a higher level than normal to deliver a high SPL,” said front of house engineer Elliot Nielsen. “The thin air really deadens the sound, so we typically have to push the system very hard. The VT4889 loudspeakers handle the situation without difficulty. The VERTEC system has performed as advertised; it's an easy-to-use line array with a ton of horsepower and performs predictably in any environment.”
The outdoor stage venue itself presented another challenge. “The roof of the stage is curved, which creates some really weird frequency responses at various locations, and the sound can get a little muddled on the monitor mix side of the stage because of echo reflections from the roof,” said Kempke. “We've had to learn what the roof was doing to the sound distribution on stage and in the audience area, and make adjustments to work around it.”
The diverse musical lineup presented yet another test of the system for the Audio Visions crew. “The lineup of artists at this festival ranges from popular and rock to jazz, blues and hip-hop, so we need a system that can handle the varying dynamic contrasts and still provide high-quality sound,” Kempke pointed out. “We've found that JBL VERTEC loudspeakers have superior sound quality compared to competitive models, along with the requisite directivity characteristics and power-handling capability for a large-scale outdoor event.”
For more information on Audio Visions, please visit http://www.audio-visions.com
HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of audio and infotainment solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets – supported by 15 leading brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon® and Mark Levinson®. The Company is admired by audiophiles across multiple generations and supports leading professional entertainers and the venues where they perform. More than 20 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of about 11,000 people across the Americas, Europe and Asia, and reported sales of $3.2 billion for the last twelve months ended March 31, 2010. The Company's shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol NYSE:HAR.
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