We were tired after the Friday night Knight’s Challenge, but pushed forward on through the next night. I met up with Ophelie outside Del Val at around 10 in the morning, and we got started getting equipment into the building. Once everything was inside, we had the arduous task of untangling the cables from the night before. This took a while, but we had arrived so early, I really wasn’t worried about anything time wise. The system was a little more in depth than I normally have, as the acoustics of this space are particularly challenging. The first step was to setup and tune the Main PA. This was my standard Yamaha Club V rig (two S115vs and one CW118v). It sounded okay when running through the automatic tuning program in the DriveRack PA2, but when it started to turn the volume up to be loud enough for the measurements at the back of the gym, the reverberations started to become overwhelming. The generated EQ curve of the gym sounded alright once it was applied. Once the automatic tuning was done, I made a couple of adjustments per my preferences, particularly a pretty decent boost at 75 hertz to get a little bit of the kick drums in songs to carry throughout the gym.
After the Yamaha rig was tuned and ready to go, I turned the volume down quite a bit; to the point where announcements and music were at a comfortable listen level for a sporting event about half way down the bleachers. Then we setup the delay speakers. I have a pair of Behringer Eurolive B1520 Pros that were given to me with blown compression drivers. I was able to repair them by replacing the diaphragms and fuses so I now have a second set of PA, which is very convenient in situations like this. I had the Behringer speakers setup half way down the court on the sidelines to cover the back half of the gym. This way I could keep the volume lower than if I had just one set of speakers covering the whole gym and keep the energy on the court as low as possible, to minimize reflections from the gym floor. I don’t have a second DriveRack, but I do have a Behringer DCX 2496, and I was able to punch in all of the required adjustments I felt were necessary. I think I came out with a pretty good sounding rig. I spent about 45 minutes aiming the four speakers and getting my gains set just so that the coverage across the front and back half of both sets of bleachers was as uniform as possible. When I was done, the sound was better than I had ever heard in that gym. A few people even commented on how much better our rig sounded than the gym’s installed PA.
In between setup and the start of the event, there were a couple of people shooting baskets on the far side of the gym, so Ophelie and I had to stay to make sure no rogue balls hit any of our equipment before the show. We were finished after a couple of hours, and still had a few hours to kill before everything got started. I forget what time people were allowed in to start getting seated, but we started playing our walk in music when they did, and wee ready as soon as the event was set to start. There were no major issues other than the audience complaining that the delay speakers were blocking their line of sight. I eventually caved and had Michael and Ophelie take them off the stands, but was mad that I had put all of that time getting the system to sound perfect and uniform for nothing. It’s like moving in next to an airport and complaining that the planes make too much noise. There were plenty of seats that weren’t blocked, but those apparently are less desirable than picking a spot with a bad sight line and then complaining.
Otherwise, the event went well, and we had no major issues. This was a good cause and I am glad that Mystic Rhythms was a part of it.