All-night electronic dance music (EDM) festival Gold Rush required a sound system able to deliver prolonged bass energy for artistes such as Deadmau5 and Steve Aoki, according to Chris White, of audio provider Sound Image Phoenix (SIP).
The four-stage, 10,000-capacity event, held at the Rawhide Western Town Events Complex outside Phoenix in Arizona, also needed clarity and volume at the higher frequencies.
“With this type of music, it’s all about the bass,” says White. “There’s a lot of energy below 50Hz and it’s important to maintain its impact across the entire outdoor dance area. High frequency is also really important. Delivering at these levels, while keeping that energy going well into the early hours, is essential to pulling off an EDM festival like this.”
SIP deployed al-12 line arrays by manufacturer VUE, with left and right hangs of 14 elements each. Four stacks of two medium format al-8 elements were positioned in front of the stage, above the subs for front fill. Rack-mount VUEDrive V3 Series Systems Engines provided the power and processing for the arrays.
For the low frequency, 28 VUE hs-221 ACM subwoofers were ranged in 14 stacks of two across the front of the main stage. Using SystemVUE software, the subwoofers delayed output by a few milliseconds to ensure maximum impact. Consoles were a VENUE Venue Profile at front-of-house, with DiGiCo SD9 covering monitors.
“The high ambient temperatures and sound pressure level [SPL] requirements created brutal conditions for any PA,” says White. “The VUE system just kept going with no degradation in sound quality at all, even after over eight hours of continuous play at some pretty crazy volumes.”