Old School Square Upgrades Amphitheater with Turbosound and iLive
With four venues in downtown Delray Beach, Florida, Old School Square Cultural Arts Center is a unique public/private partnership. The complex, listed on the US National Register of Historic Places, includes a museum, a theatre, a multipurpose gymnasium, and 5,000-seat outdoor amphitheatre.
When the time came for a new sound system in the amphitheatre, the facility's technical director, Brian Ridolfo, and head sound engineer, Holland Ryan, were determined to find a combination of loudspeakers, mixing console, and power that would do justice to the wide array of artists who perform there. "It was a difficult assignment, because budgets just aren't what one might hope they would be," says Ryan. "But when we saw what could be accomplished with a Turbosound Flex array paired with an iLive digital mixing desk, we knew we had a winner. We worked directly with the sales rep, Mainline Marketing in Melbourne, to create a turnkey package that would work for everyone."
The system was specified and installed by Wireless Systems Group of West Palm Beach. "Old School Square is one of our oldest customers, but we were up against some intense competition for this installation," notes Craig Downey, president of the firm. "They were also looking at some other quality brands, so we designed a system that would give them the technical abilities and sound quality they wanted, and still fit into a very tight budget."
That system consisted of self-powered Turbosound loudspeakers for both the main PA and stage monitors, and an Allen & Heath iLive-T112 console. "One thing that worked in our favor was the iLive," Downey recalls. "Having all your inputs and DSP effects in the iDR48 MixRack on stage and running a simple Cat5 cable instead of huge copper snake out to the mixing surface is a huge advantage. It's fast and easy."
The story is similar on the loudspeaker side, where the Turbosound Flex array was selected. The two main arrays each consist of six TFA-600HWDP loudspeakers, supported by a total of six TSW-218DP subwoofers. Stage monitors consist of eight Turbosound NuQ-12DP wedges, with one B-15DP subwoofer for drummers. All are self-powered. System control is provided by the included TurboDrive software, accessed via the Turbosound BVNet USB adapter.
According to Wireless Systems Group's Craig Downey, the TFA-600HWDP was selected specifically for its wide dispersion pattern. "It's a 100-degree box, which is a perfect fit for the hang at this venue," he says. "We ran everything through an EASE simulation for them to show that two hangs, 40' apart above the stage lip, gives us full coverage with either four-box or six-box arrays. There's no dead spot, no need for fills."
Old School Square wanted a system that could be set up quickly and stored safely out of the south Florida weather between shows. All the Turbosound loudspeakers and the iLive-T112 console and MixRack are stored in a convenient 6' by 10' storage room backstage. The portability of the iLive console is paying additional dividends for Old School Square as well, generating revenue through rentals to off-site events such as outdoor festivals.
Ryan is a big fan of the Flex array flying hardware. "They really thought of all the little things, like having the locking pins permanently attached," he notes. "We have chain motors attached to the I-beams we hang from, so we just roll a speaker stack into place, connect the flybar bumper, and send it up. The Flex array's integral hardware and flying rig is so easy to use, I can set up the entire system in an hour with a four-man crew."
Ryan feels the Flex array is ideal for Old School Square. "One thing I really like about these boxes is that they're virtually silent behind," he says, "which is a huge issue for us because we have an all-concrete stage. Slapback echo can be a nightmare here. I noticed the same thing about the NuQ monitors. It's a great design feature."
Reactions from audiences and artists alike have been very positive. "Everyone just loves the sound of this rig. It's amazing how well the Turbosound speakers and the iLive console work together," says Ryan. "For me, the system really exceeded expectations, both in power and sound quality. We couldn't be happier with it."