Front Of House May 2012 : Cover

Reports Cite “Ambiguity of Authority,” Rigging Flaws in Indiana State Fair Staging Collapse INDIANAPOLIS — Reports by Witt Associates (Washington, DC) and Thorn-ton Tomasetti (New York) released April 12 cited “ambiguity of authority” and inadequate wire and concrete anchor reinforcement as key factors in the Aug. 13, 2011 staging collapse at the Indiana State Fair that killed seven and injured 40. Also last month, Sugarland band members provided private video depo-sitions from West Virginia, countering the January 16 testimony of the fair’s executive director, Cindy Hoye, who had asserted that band members had resist-ed postponing the show due to weather. The report from Witt Associates pointed to several factors that led to the show not being canceled, including a lack of effective emergency planning, indecision and breakdowns in commu-nications among those in charge. “The plans in place were not fully de-veloped, and what they had was not fol-lowed,” stated Charlie Fisher, vice presi-dent of Witt Associates, in news reports. Despite the report’s criticism, no fair officials have been disciplined or repri-manded since the staging collapse. Indi-ana governor Mitch Daniels has spoken out in support of both the state fair’s chairman, Andre Lacy and Hoye. Lacy added that while Hoye has offered to continued on page 8 PEOPLE. PRODUCTION. GEAR. GIGS. MAY 2012 Vol. 10 No.08 Bruce Springsteen’s Wrecking Crew Dave Shadoan, Ross Ritto To Be Honored with 2012 Parnelli Audio Innovator Award By Kevin M. Mitchell LAS VEGAS — The Parnelli Board of Advi-sors has announced that Sound Image co-found-ers Dave Shadoan and the late Ross Ritto will be honored with the 2012 Dave Shadoan Parnelli Audio Innovator Award at the annual gala dinner Oct. 20. “Dave and his part-ner Ross Ritto built one of the most admired com-panies in the business,” says Terry Lowe, Parnelli executive producer and Ross Ritto FRONT of HOUSE pub-lisher, noting the many patents that Sound Image has secured. Lowe also called Shadoan “a key player in moving pro audio forward. He inspires a loyalty in his top-tiered clients that is as envious as it is deserved.” “Dave has always been most fair to deal with and is always pushing the state-of-the-art for his clients,” says A-1 Audio founder and 2010 Parnelli Innovator Honoree Al Sinsical. “Dave thinks of advancements for the client, before the client even knows what they need! He works hard, and I’m glad to hear he’s re-ceiving this honor.” “I can only accept this if it’s for Ross as well,” says Shadoan. “Without him, they’d be no Sound Image, and who knows where I’d be. But I am deeply honored to receive this continued on page 8 Buyers Guide: Large-Format Line Arrays Bruce Springsteen has a loyal following, not just among fans, but among crew members as well. Shown here are, from left, back row, Etienne Lapré (L-Acoustics K1 system engineer); Jef Tweedy (Steve Van Zandt guitar tech); Troy Milner (stage right monitor engineer); John Cooper (FOH engineer); John Bruey (crew chief/system engineer); Ray Tittle (system tech); and Monty Carlo (stage left monitor engineer). Front row, from left, is Rob Zuchowski (system tech) and Klaus Bolender (system engineer). The big change for the Boss’ Wrecking Ball Tour , in terms of sound reinforcement, is the switch to L-Acoustics speakers. Solotech’s Mario Leccese and FOH mixer John Cooper tell the full story. Turn to “Production Profle,” page 28. For the past 10 years or so, line ar-rays have been the hottest ticket in live sound systems. The largest venues and really big jobs need plenty of horse-power, so here are the largest, top-of-the-line systems from more than two dozen manufacturers. George Petersen’s report begins on page 34. Speaking of Speakers: Neodymium 32 Our resident scientist Phil Graham ex-plores how this rare-earth element has forever changed the art and technol-ogy of transducer design. MSI Becomes First Company in U.S. to Purchase JBL VTX Line Arrays BALTIMORE, MD — Maryland Sound In-ternational (MSI) recently became the first company in the U.S. to add the new Harman JBL VTX Line Array Series loudspeakers to its inventory, investing in more than 300 of the next-generation loudspeakers. MSI president Bob Goldstein antici-pated using the speakers for “large-scale events, smaller productions and everything in between.” The company first deployed its VTX system at the annual White House Eas-ter Egg Roll on April 9. Crediting the system for “outstanding components,” Goldstein called the VTX V25 “amazing. I’m a guy who likes to experience high-frequency reproduction all the way out to 20kHz. The D2 drivers handle a ton of power with no breakup modes and no mea-surable distortion. Having the D2 drivers in continued on page 10 Road Tests 42 Reactor and Jamie Rio reviews Mogan’s Elite Series Earset Microphone Steve La Cerra checks out Radial’s JDX www.ProAudioSpace.com/join

Bruce Springsteen’s Wrecking Crew

Bruce Springsteen has a loyal following, not just among fans, but among crew members as well. Shown here are, from left, back row, Etienne Lapré (L-Acoustics K1 system engineer); Jeff Tweedy (Steve Van Zandt guitar tech); Troy Milner (stage right monitor engineer); John Cooper (FOH engineer); John Bruey (crew chief/system engineer); Ray Tittle (system tech); and Monty Carlo (stage left monitor engineer). Front row, from left, is Rob Zuchowski (system tech) and Klaus Bolender (system engineer). The big change for the Boss’ Wrecking Ball Tour, in terms of sound reinforcement, is the switch to L-Acoustics speakers. Solotech’s Mario Leccese and FOH mixer John Cooper tell the full story. <br /> <br />

MSI Becomes First Company in U.S. to Purchase JBL VTX Line Arrays

BALTIMORE, MD — Maryland Sound International (MSI) recently became the first company in the U.S. to add the new Harman JBL VTX Line Array Series loudspeakers to its inventory, investing in more than 300 of the next-generation loudspeakers.<br /> <br /> MSI president Bob Goldstein anticipated using the speakers for “large-scale events, smaller productions and everything in between.” The company first deployed its VTX system at the annual White House Easter Egg Roll on April 9.<br /> <br /> Crediting the system for “outstanding components,” Goldstein called the VTX V25 “amazing. I’m a guy who likes to experience high-frequency reproduction all the way out to 20kHz. The D2 drivers handle a ton of power with no breakup modes and no measurable distortion. Having the D2 drivers in the V25 makes a huge difference, and I wanted to have that kind of sound quality in our inventory.”<br /> <br /> The JBL VTX Series V25 full-size, 3-way high-directivity line array element features two 2,000W, 15-inch Differential Drive® woofers mounted in die-cast aluminum baffles, with four 8-inch Differential Drive midrange transducers and three D2 dual-diaphragm dual-voice-coil compression drivers mounted on a third-generation waveguide and patented Radiation Boundary Integrator assembly.<br /> <br /> “The new JBL D2 high-frequency driver is fantastic,” Goldstein added. “There is virtually no distortion, and designer Paul Bauman and his team came up with a new waveguide that takes full advantage of its performance to distribute extremely smooth frequency response with even coverage.”<br /> <br /> In addition, Maryland Sound will continue to use its existing VerTec VT4889 inventory. “I think the VT4889s with the V5 software tunings are world-class, and we will not stop using them anytime soon,” Goldstein said, adding that “the VTX V25 is simply a step up in its ability to resolve musical detail.”

Reports Cite “Ambiguity of Authority,” Rigging Flaws in Indiana State Fair Staging Collapse

INDIANAPOLIS — Reports by Witt Associates (Washington, DC) and Thornton Tomasetti (New York) released April 12 cited “ambiguity of authority” and inadequate wire and concrete anchor reinforcement as key factors in the Aug. 13, 2011 staging collapse at the Indiana State Fair that killed seven and injured 40.<br /> <br /> Also last month, Sugarland band members provided private video depositions from West Virginia, countering the January 16 testimony of the fair’s executive director, Cindy Hoye, who had asserted that band members had resisted postponing the show due to weather.<br /> <br /> The report from Witt Associates pointed to several factors that led to the show not being canceled, including a lack of effective emergency planning, indecision and breakdowns in communications among those in charge.<br /> <br /> “The plans in place were not fully developed, and what they had was not followed,” stated Charlie Fisher, vice president of Witt Associates, in news reports. <br /> <br /> Despite the report’s criticism, no fair officials have been disciplined or reprimanded since the staging collapse. Indiana governor Mitch Daniels has spoken out in support of both the state fair’s chairman, Andre Lacy and Hoye. Lacy added that while Hoye has offered to resign, he has not accepted the offer, citing his confidence in her abilities and a greater concern for future safety than for assigning blame for past events.<br /> <br /> The Witt Associates report also noted a dearth of information about the stage’s ability to withstand strong winds — “no records, documentation, plans, engineering reports or related technical data,” and a communications gap between Hoye and those who had been monitoring the weather all day, including news of the severe thunderstorm warning issued at 8:39 p.m., more than 10 minutes before the stage collapsed.<br /> <br /> The Thornton Tomasetti report zeroed in on the design, assembly and safeguards of the temporary staging structure, and found shortcomings in the way the structure, provided by Mid-America Sound, was braced against the wind. By the time the winds had reached 33 mph, the “Jersey barriers” securing the structure began to shift and slide. At 43 mph, the anchors had slid so far that the structure was no longer self-supporting.<br /> <br /> Although wind-catching tarps were a contributing factor to the collapse, the report noted that a properly-anchored four-post structure might have been able to withstand winds of up to 68 mph.<br /> <br /> The Indiana state government, which operates the fair, commissioned both reports and Daniels called for the “immediate and complete implementation” of its findings. He also noted that Indiana won’t hesitate to share the reports with others staging similar events to help them learn from the tragedy.

Dave Shadoan, Ross Ritto To Be Honored with 2012 Parnelli Audio Innovator Award

Kevin M. Mitchell

<br /> LAS VEGAS — The Parnelli Board of Advisors has announced that Sound Image co-founders Dave Shadoan and the late Ross Ritto will be honored with the 2012 Parnelli Audio Innovator Award at the annual gala dinner Oct. 20.<br /> <br /> “Dave and his partner Ross Ritto built one of the most admired companies in the business,” says Terry Lowe, Parnelli executive producer and FRONT of HOUSE publisher, noting the many patents that Sound Image has secured. Lowe also called Shadoan “a key player in moving pro audio forward. He inspires a loyalty in his top-tiered clients that is as envious as it is deserved.”<br /> <br /> “Dave has always been most fair to deal with and is always pushing the state-of-the-art for his clients,” says A-1 Audio founder and 2010 Parnelli Innovator Honoree Al Sinsical. “Dave thinks of advancements for the client, before the client even knows what they need! He works hard, and I’m glad to hear he’s receiving this honor.”<br /> <br /> “I can only accept this if it’s for Ross as well,” says Shadoan. “Without him, they’d be no Sound Image, and who knows where I’d be. But I am deeply honored to receive this. Parnelli on behalf of myself, his family, and all the good people at Sound Image.”<br /> <br /> Shadoan grew up in Sidney, OH, playing saxophone in high school and joining a local band. In the 1970s, he struck out for California, meeting Ritto in 1976. Ritto had previously moved west from his native Rochester, NY, and it was through him that Shadoan began his relationship with Silver Fish Audio. Shadoan and Ritto changed the name to Sound Image in 1981. In the early days, the young company handled the accounts for, and got an occasional boost from, Bonnie Raitt, Jimmy Bufet, Jackson Brown, Robert Cray, and John Denver, among others.<br /> <br /> “We built or rebuilt everything,” Shadoan says. Working with Ashly Audio, they helped develop 40-channel consoles with paramedic EQ. “If we bought a power amp, we hot-rodded it to do more.” Through a longtime collaboration with QSC, they were able to improve the quality of touring amplifiers. In 1984, they made their first two-box system. They were also on the cutting edge of flying speakers in arenas, making concert promoters happy to have more seats to fill.<br /> <br /> Later, they pioneered the first five-way system with phase-Loc®, and Sound Image was the first to make speakers out of carbon fiber composite materials — the G-5 system.<br /> <br /> In 1989, they had a major breakthrough when Barbara Mandrell, who was as big as any rock act at the time, approached Shadoan. She said he could have a long-term contract if he set up an office in Nashville. He did, and the company began cultivating a long, impressive list of Nashville artists that included Brooks & Dunn, Toby Keith, Brad Paisley and Rascal Flatts, among many others. <br /> <br /> Boz Skaggs, James Blunt, Taylor Swift, No Doubt, Lenny Kravitz, Elvis Costello, Tom Petty and Def Leppard are just a few of their regular clients today. Sound Image has received multiple Parnelli awards over the years, among their many other honors.<br /> <br /> Shadoan, Ritto and Sound Image will be honored at the Parnelli Awards in Las Vegas this October. For more information, go to parnelliawards. com.

Buyers Guide: Large-Format Line Arrays

For the past 10 years or so, line arrays have been the hottest ticket in live sound systems. The largest venues and really big jobs need plenty of horsepower, so here are the largest, top-of-the- line systems from more than two dozen manufacturers.<br />

JH Audio

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