When F1 Sound Company Limited were asked to provide a proposal for the Piccadilly Party stage at Leeds Festival in 2012 one of the strict criteria was to design a sound system that minimised the sound propagating beyond the perimeter of the site so that there were no complaints from local residents because of sound generated at this stage after 23:00. A tall order when there are 3,000 party goers in front of the stage after midnight.
Design criteria was strictly containment of sound rather than projection, we needed to serve an outdoor space for 3000 - 4000 people over 40 m wide x 30 m deep area.
We decided we should be focusing on the Funktion One 10" mid as we are liking it a lot in our R3's but needed the ability to focus the output down on the crowd and not overshoot our 30 m deep area whilst maintaining the width. To address this we devised a simple tube and clamp based rigging system that allowed us to ground stack and array the boxes, achieving a greater down angle on the bottom row and maintaining the correct angle for the top row, whilst still focusing downwards and keeping the mid sections together. The result was outstanding, defined and predictable coverage, with a reduction in overall level on the bottom row and a small gain boost on the top HF row we were very happy with how smooth the coverage was. The 118Mk2 cabinets provided ample low mid performance, still tight up to 190Hz.
Image: R3SH array Outdoors for 3000 people.
The sub bass was arrayed horizontally to achieve a level of dispersion control and we were able to provide reduction in overall throw with a controlled widening of the sub frequencies. This design provided a relative smoothness across the sound field albeit with a warming up through the middle that served the hardcore fraternity covered by the R2 front fills. Physical positioning and a small amount of time delay on the outer pairs of an 8 x 121 wide array was used to achieve the design criteria.
We ran the system on matrix outs providing sub, top row, bottom row and front fill outputs; allowing our engineer to constantly scale the size of the system we were running depending on how many people were there.
The results speak for themselves. We had great reports from the DJs who have played this stage every year claiming it was louder than they have ever been allowed to play. The levels were, on average, louder than the previous 2 years with no complaints from local residents attributable to this stage, a first in the last 3 years. We were averaging 96 dB(A) 30 m from the stage, which was 6 to 8 dB louder than the next loudest outdoor stage running past midnight.
Significantly, David Leversedge the lead acoustic consultant in charge of the site sound control, said he was 'impressed with what was achieved'.
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