ROSSCO'S WAVEFRONT TRIUMPH AT RHYTHMS OF THE WORLD
Now in its 15th year, the two-day Rhythms of the World Festival takes place over two days in the beautiful old town centre of Hitchin in Herts.
Promoted by Bob Mardon, the event has grown so quickly that 160 performances now take place over 10 stages, making it the largest free festival of world music in the UK. Last year it was estimated that more than 40,000 people thronged into the town.
All of which puts increasing pressure on local PA/rental company Rossco (and their Martin Audio PA fleet), who have been involved with the event for the past six years.
Run by Ross Sharples and Mark Donovan, Rossco were again responsible for equipping the six main stages with no fewer than 72 Martin Audio enclosures - including the premier stages in the Town Square and Portmill Lane. These witnessed classic performances by Osibisa and the huge kodo drums of Dulsori, a dynamic traditional Korean percussion group, practicising the ancient art form of Madangnori - a real test of the PA's versatility.
Sharples himself is something of a local hero, and his own band, Blues Agents (pictured), performed an hour long set, drawing one of the best receptions of the day. Foldback was provided by multiples of Martin Audio's classic LE400 floor monitors.
At Portmill Sharples fielded the company's W8LM Mini Line Array with WSX subs, and was delighted with the results. The Town Square saw two W8C's per side, matched with W8S subs.
'I was nervous because I hadn't heard the W8LM until it was fired up, but in front of 3,000 people the sound was unbelievable and threw effortlessly to the back,' he reports.
This justified his decision to groundstack five W8LM's and a single W8LMD per side on a flightcase, using Martin Audio's proprietary ViewPoint™ software to optimise the system. 'I knew the land fell away 2ft and pumped this into the predictive software; ViewPoint was able to make the necessary allowances and the measurements were entirely accurate. At 50 metres it felt great and this has given me the confidence to further sell the system.'
There had been no compromise whatsoever in groundstacking the arrays (the lowest box was 7ft off the ground) and Sharples added that the result had been achieved by the use of XTA system processing and his purchase of the extra-long stacking bars from Martin Audio to achieve the perfect splay angles.
Elsewhere Rossco fielded Martin Audio Wavefront W2's, run three-way in conjunction with W2S subs, along with multiples of W0.5's for smaller soundfields (such as the Bancroft Gardens bandstand pictured) and delays.
'Because this is a community, town centre event we had to work within noise management restrictions - but our technicians were fully compliant,' he said. Rossco used no compression other than some limiting on the DJ Urban Picnic Sounds in the Park in Bancroft Gardens.
The company's 15-strong crew consisted of four techs (including one floating) two further stage crew and some casuals. Ross Portway was responsible for enforcing the noise restrictions.
Further information from:
Maureen Hayes, Martin Audio
Tel: +44 (0)1494 535312
Fax: +44 (0)1494 438669
Jerry Gilbert, JGP Public Relations
Tel: +44 (0)1707 258525
Fax: +44 (0)1707 267140