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All-EV Sound for the Detroit International Jazz Festival

September 27th, 2006

A top-shelf lineup of Jazz, Blues and Soul stars-including headliners Sergio Mendes, Diane Schuur, Taj Mahal, Dr John, CJ Chenier, Buckwheat Zydeco, Richie Havens, Mose Allison and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band-performed on the festival’s main stages. To kick off the festival in a proper fashion, The Temptations Revue (starring Dennis Edwards) performed Motown classics on the Friday night, and other local luminaries, including pianist Kirk Lightsey’s Detroit Four, performed jazz and blues Detroit-style, helping the festival maintain a hometown flavor throughout the weekend.

“Over 120 artists performed on ten stages, mixed by over 20 engineers,“ reported Jim Lillie of Aerial Enterprises. “This is a foundation-run festival that attracts big sponsors and big names, and we make sure the sound is up to the job.“ Lillie added that, “besides the larger stages, there were smaller performance areas, such as the Detroit Princess jazz cruise riverboat, which featured the region’s best collegiate jazz bands, and the Jazz Talk Tent, where audiences could meet the musicians and participate in discussions. On every sized stage for every performance, the quality level was assured by EV, Dynacord, Midas and KT equipment. The visiting engineers all enjoyed mixing on familiar, high quality equipment such as Midas consoles and KT EQs, and the wide range of EV speakers used, from compact Sx250s on the Family Jazz Stage to X-Array and XLC systems on the largest stages, meant the whole festival sounded consistently excellent. Over the entire weekend, I don’t think I spoke to an artist, engineer or organizer who wasn’t extremely happy with either the sound equipment or service they received.“

Lillie also described some of the finer points of making the festival sound superb: “We use a lot of vintage microphones for the wide array of acoustic instruments used at the festival, and find that a high quality, flat-sounding speaker-an Xi-1183, for example-at the other end of the signal path minimizes the need for tweaking in between,“ Lillie continued. “The true character of a grand piano or vintage instrument is best left as pure as possible, so we let high quality transducers do the work. The additional ingredient, of course, is the expertise of the engineer putting all those clean signals together with the genre style and artistic expression intact. Many of these jazz groups don’t tour with an engineer, which means they may be at the mercy of a mix engineer who doesn’t know their work, or what the (jazz) genre is supposed to sound like. For example, a jazz drummer might be keeping time on the ride cymbal and high hat while playing accents on the kick and snare drum (the opposite of rock music). Then the next act might have rap kick drum and bass (in the case of Sergio Mendes whose newer material is hip hop influenced). Understanding these differences is critical, as is having the right equipment to allow the engineers to work at their best.

“Most of the personnel working with us have worked over 25 years as audio engineers (we like the term vintage engineers). So for all of them mixing a stage at a festival with such a diverse line up of performers isn’t a problem-especially with sound systems designed for the specific needs of each stage, from small two-way boxes to line arrays. To cite one example: The FOH engineer at the waterfront stage, Al Hurschman, learned his craft while interning with the Cleveland Symphony later he was the recording engineer behind some of Ted Nugent and Grand Funk Railroad’s biggest hits. With Al, you know the mix (at his stage) is going to be dialed in to bring out the best in whatever act happens to be on that stage. Couple chops like Al’s with Midas preamps, KT EQs and EV mains and monitors, and you’re going to hear a memorable concert.“

As well as the plethora of talent on the bill and behind the mixing boards, the festival was a showcase for “application-specific“ sound solutions. The close proximity of the larger Amphitheatre and Pyramid stages was a potential problem, so Aerial spec’d shorter-throw, high output Xi trap boxes for both to prevent bleed-over. The Waterfront and Campus Martius stages had a lot more breathing space, which allowed for line arrays. In addition, Aerial deployed recent offerings from EV and Dynacord, including the EV X-Line Very Compact (XLD281) and a “plug and play’ Dynacord Xa-2 system. “The XLD281 is a tremendous new piece,“ Lillie says, “offering tremendous power for the amount of space it occupies-tons of headroom. It also requires very little tweaking to run nice and flat for corporate applications and concerts alike. This makes it very flexible and easy to use. We recently ran the XLD rig at a corporate event for General Motors: it sounded great for that lav mic gig, and it sounded just as good with Jaco Pastorius and Zappa tribute groups. Likewise, the Dynacord Xa-2 delivered a lot of compact power on the Ford Spirit of Detroit Stage, offering tremendously transparent low/mid punch and controlled coverage for the bluesier artists on the bill.“

Detroit International Jazz Festival 2006:

Artistic Director: Frank Malfitano

Executive Director: Terri Pontremoli

Festival Production Managers:

Tim Miller, Dave Bartlebaugh

STAGE BY STAGE EV, DYNACORD, MIDAS & KLARK TEKNIK EQUIPMENT ROUNDUP:

AMPHITHEATRE STAGE:

EV Xi-1183 mains with EV X-subs

EV Xi-1122 front fills

EV Xi-1152 side/drum fills

EV Deltamax DML 1152 rear fills

EV Plasma P2 sub (drum monitor)

EV P3000 amplifiers

EV-loaded proprietary monitors

EV RE20, RE1000 and 408 microphones

Klark Teknik DN370 EQ

EV Sx300 (backstage VIP viewing area)

Midas Heritage 3000 monitor console

FOH Engineer: Jim Lillie

Monitor Engineer: Don Pushies

A2: John DaMonico

Headline Performers:

Saturday - Sergio Mendes Brasil 2006

Sunday - Ahmad Jamal

Monday - Diane Schuur

BOOGIE BAYOU PYRAMID STAGE:

EV Xi-1152 mains

Dynacord M-18 Madras powered subs

EV ZX1 front fills

EV Deltamax DML 1152 delays

Midas Heritage 1000 FOH console

Klark Teknik DN360 EQ

EV Dx38 processing

EV RE20, 408, Re 1000 microphones

FOH Engineer: Dan Hubble

Monitor Engineer: Pat Beenie

A2: Mark Geougeon

Headline Performers:

Saturday - Buckwheat Zydeco

Sunday - Marcia Ball

Monday - Beau Soleil

ABSOPURE WATERFRONT STAGE:

EV XLD281 main line arrays with EV XLC215 ground stacked subs

Midas Heritage 2000 48-channel FOH console

Klark Teknik DN360 EQ

EV Xi-1122 monitors

EV Xi-1082 front fills

EV P3000 amplifiers

EV Dx38 processing

EV Deltamax DML1152 drum monitors

FOH Engineer: Al Hurschman

Monitor Engineer: Travis LaGuire-Quinn

Headline Performers:

Saturday - Gerald Wilson Big Band

Sunday - Jaco Pastorius Word of Mouth Band w/ spg Will Lee

Monday - Ed Palermo Tribute to Frank Zappa w/ spg Napoleon Murphy Brock

FORD SPIRIT OF DETROIT STAGE:

Dyancord Xa-2 system

EV QRx115 monitors

Dynacord Madras M-15 powered fills

EV P1200, P2000 & P3000 amplifiers

Dx38 processing

EV Deltamax DML 1152

Midas Heritage 2000 FOH console

DDA monitor console

Klark Teknik DN370 monitor EQ

Klark Teknik DN6000 audio analyzer

Klark Teknik Square ONE Dynamics

Dynacord DSP 244 processing

EV RE-1 dual wireless system

Midas XL42 EQ

Klark Teknik DN504 Plus quad compressor

FOH Engineer: Jeff Taylor

Monitor Engineer: Steve Dumont

Headline Performers:

Friday - CJ Chenier & The Red Hot Louisiana Band

Saturday - Taj Mahal

Sunday - Richie Havens

Monday - Mose Allison

Monday - Dirty Dozen Brass Band

CHASE CAMPUS MARTIUS STAGE:

EV XLC 127+ main line arrays

EV X-subs

EV Xi-1122 front fills

EV Xi-1152 side fills

EV CP3000S, P1200, P2000 & P3000 amplifiers

Dx38 processing

Klark Teknik 9340 Helix digital EQ

EV RE20, 408 mics

EV Deltamax DML 1152

Midas XL250 monitor console

FOH Engineer: Jeff Jones

Monitor Engineer: Brandon Merritt

A2: Dan Huffman

Headline Performers:

Friday - The Temptations Revue starring Dennis Edwards

Saturday - Kirk Lightsey’s Detroit Four

Sunday - Joan Osborne

Monday - Dr John

FAMILY JAZZ STAGE:

EV Sx300 mains

EV Sx250 floor monitors

Dynacord PowerMate powered mixer

MUSIC HALL JAM ACADEMY STAGE (high school musician and big band competitions):

EV Xi-1122 mains

EV Sx250 monitors

EV Q66 amplifiers

Klark Teknik DN360 EQ

Assorted EV microphones

Engineer: Paul Townsend

DETROIT PRINCESS (Jazz Cruise Riverboat):

EV SxA250 powered two-way loudspeakers (mains & monitors)

EV RE1000 condenser microphones

Engineer: Mark Gordon

JAZZ TALK TENT (artist meet & greet, Q&A, podcasts)

EV Sx300 mains

EV Sx250 monitors

Dynacord PowerMate powered mixer

Engineer: Beau Williams

MARRIOTT HOTEL (evening jam sessions & rehearsal rooms):

Dynacord M-15 Madras powered two-way loudspeakers

EV SxA250 powered floor monitors

Klark Teknik DN360 EQ

EV RE1000 & RE20 microphones

Engineer: Ron Ayers

###

Guy Low

Public Relations Producer

Telex Communications, Inc.

12000 Portland Ave. South

Burnsville, MN 55337

Phone: 952-736-3935

Fax: 952-736-4582

guy.low@us.telex.com

James Edlund

Public Relations Manager

Telex Communications, Inc.

12000 Portland Ave. South

Burnsville, MN 55337

Phone: 952-736-3901

Fax: 952-736-4582

james.edlund@us.telex.com