Boonville, CA––A yearly touchstone for Sacramento Production Services, this year's 3-day Sierra Nevada World Music Festival featured a plethora of roots music talent from around the globe including King Sunny Ade, Sly & Robbie, Femi Kuti (Nigerian superstar Fela Kuti's oldest son), Junior Reid, The Heptones, The Abyssinians and many more.
The main challenge for the SACPS crew––Keith Wackford (System Tech & Monitors), Dwaine Wise (FOH) and Rich Stansby (Monitors & Stage Tech) was, in Keith's words, “the large number of bands each day, most of them between 8 and 12-pieces, with only ten or fifteen minutes between sets and no sound checks. And because the expectations for audio quality are high and we've been doing this show successfully for 14 years, you have to have your A Game on and be well prepared.”
Designed with the help of Martin Audio's Display software for maximum reach and coverage, the system consisted of 24 Martin W8LC Line array enclosures and 12 W8LS subwoofers.
Onstage, 12 Martin LE1500 monitors and eight Martin LE12j monitors, along with four W8Cs and S218 subs for side fills and two W8Cs for drum fills handled the monitoring. A Soundcraft MH4 console was used for FOH and a Yamaha LS7 for Monitor console. FOH processing included Drawmer compressors and noise gates, TC and Yamaha multi-effects processors.
Monitor processing consisted of Xilica DP4080A processors and XTA GQ600 Graphic EQs. Shure R series wireless mics and a Cable Factory 52-channel, 3-way transformer audio splitter completed the system.
With crowds for the main stage averaging around 3,500 and the distance to the back of the venue about 275 feet, Keith reports that “the mix was set a bit further out than we would have like, but the sound was crystal clear from front to back.”
Asked about the choice of Martin Audio, SACPS President Steve Palmer is typically straightforward: “Duh. Because it sounds great right out of the box.” Elaborating on that a bit, Keith adds, “People love Martin Audio speakers. They sound so warm and it's easy to build a nice, decent-sounding mix. You don't have to work very hard or do a lot of processing.
“It's a very British sound,” Keith continues. “Martin Audio has a very unique low-mid sound to it. Many of the artists who were on stage with LE1500's absolutely fell in love with the monitors. Our clients are always happy with the PA, which explains why we've been doing this for as many years as we have.”