Electro-Voice, Dynacord, Midas, Klark Teknik, and Urban Communications Instrumental in Providing Utmost in Sonic Quality for Macy’s Day of Music
Telex Communications’ pro audio brands and Minneapolis-based production company Urban Communications were recently instrumental in facilitating the utmost in sonic quality at the 24-hour music extravaganza held at Orchestra Hall from noon on Friday, July 14, through noon on Saturday, July 15. More than 300 local and regional musicians participated on five stages, including Low, Excelsior, The Lamont Cranston Blues Band, Charles Lazarus, Billy McLaughlin, The Melismatics, Charanga Tropical, and EV microphone endorser Rockie Lynne.
To meet the critical demands of the event, the Minnesota Orchestra production staff and Macy’s Day of Music organizers once again turned to the brands Electro-Voice, Dynacord, Midas, and Klark Teknik, as well as local audio professionals Urban Communications. The Telex Pro Audio Group’s Jeff Taylor and James Edlund were on site recently to lend a hand with production, as well as PR and photography. Terry Tilley, Minnesota Orchestra audio engineer, was on hand to answer some of our questions about the choice in equipment for this event and similar outdoors performances.
Electro-Voice: I know that you do a number of orchestral gigs and outdoor festivals of this kind. What is it about our brands that is so ideal for these events?
Minnesota Orchestra FOH engineer Terry Tilley: “EV is a staple for these events; the mics work great. As you can see, the stage is top-to-bottom EV. Additionally, I absolutely insist on using the Dynacord Cobra system for events like this. It really excels outdoors. I think you probably know that the BBC also uses the Dynacord Cobra for its outside orchestral events. There’s a reason for it. In England, all of the proms - the outdoors orchestral shows that the BBC does - are all done with the Dynacord Cobra. There are several reasons why it’s so great: the horizontal coverage, the ease of set-up and tear down, getting it in, getting it up, and out of the box it sounds really good - you don’t have to touch the factory presets at all. It really takes care of itself. Once I get my mic arrays up there and do some alignment, it’s really ready to go. Typically 90% of what I do on stage comes down to about 8 microphones; if I can get those mics flat and sounding good, I’m almost home. Of course I have the outriggers, woodwinds, etc. Over the years, I’ve learned what systems work and what systems don’t. The Cobra is just perfect… I might use a little outboard EQ, but that’s it.“
Tillman continues: “The Cobra’s coverage is outstanding for an event like this. We are somewhat limited by city noise ordinances, but the SPL, coverage, and intelligibility is perfect. Dynacord product manager Jeff Taylor also placed two subs in the back of the stage, on a delay out-of-phase to create a cardioid pattern with the LF. It’s worked out great. Again, I can’t reiterate enough. I love the Cobra 4! It works out of the box…“
Loudspeakers: Dynacord Cobra-4
FOH: Midas XL3
Signal Processing: Klark Teknik Square One Dynamics; Klark Teknik Square One EQ
Microphones: EV/Blue Raven, RE410, RE510, RE200, N/D767a, N/D967, N/D868, N/D478, N/D468
About Macy’s Day of Music
Macy’s Day of Music programming has come to be known for its focus on outstanding Minnesota and Upper Midwest musicians who represent diverse musical styles and backgrounds. The 2006 lineup included Big Surf playing its signature California beach music, acoustic guitarist Billy McLaughlin, a gamelan ensemble and Dreamland Faces, which showcased the almost-forgotten art of the musical saw.
The 24-hour extravaganza of free performances has become the Twin Cities’ most musically diverse summer concert experience. Beginning at noon on Friday, July 14, and continuing through noon on Saturday, July 15, the 2006 Macy’s Day of Music featured more than 30 free performances on five stages at Orchestra Hall, celebrating all genres of music-from jazz, funk and R&B to Cuban salsa, classical, country and tango. Macy’s Day of Music kicked off the opening weekend of Sommerfest, the Orchestra’s month-long summer music festival led by Andrew Litton.