Professional Sound - August 2017 - Page 27

When

popular Canadian rock band Billy Talent took to the stage at Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton , ON , on June 3 rd , it was a significant sign that the city was finally turning a corner . It was a step toward fulfilling its promise of becoming a more music-friendly city following a half-century ban on stadium concerts .
All the locals know the story of the infamous Pink Floyd riot of 1975 . It was the final show of the band ’ s Wish You Were Here Tour , which saw 55,000 people pack into the old Ivor Wynne Stadium . The band ’ s pyrotechnics literally burned down the scoreboard and the unruly crowd spilled over into the surrounding area . Hundreds of neighbours complained of public drunkenness and drug use , public sex , concert-goers passed out or urinating on lawns , and , of course , lots of noise . One St . John ’ s Ambulance first aid attendant told city council in 1999 that around 125 people were brought to hospital and dozens more were treated on site . Needless to say , the city government wasn ’ t impressed and council voted to ban stadium concerts .
There have been a couple of exceptions since then , such as a Rush concert in 1979 and Blue Rodeo playing a short set after a Tiger Cats game in 2001 , and a few other shows have been approved but did not materialize . But for the most part , the ban stood for decades . But now , with a new stadium , Tim Hortons Field , replacing the decrepit Ivor Wynne in 2014 and the city government embracing music like never before – including the opening of the Hamilton Music & Film Office and the city council approving a Music City Strategy – those crusty folks in city hall are not just tolerating large-scale open-air concerts , but actually welcoming them .
Billy Talent ’ s show at Tim Hortons Field – which featured support acts Danko Jones , Teenage Head , and Rules – was a true community effort that involved many people and entities . Officially called Home Field , the show , it ’ s hoped , will be the first of a series of concerts billed as co-productions of the CFL ’ s Hamilton Tiger Cats football team , which calls the stadium home , and the Supercrawl festival . Of course , staging large music events isn ’ t anything new for Supercrawl , which stages the city ’ s signature outdoor indie music and arts festival . Since launching in 2009 , Supercrawl has grown to encompass dozens of city blocks for three days each September with art installations and multiple stages that host big name bands that newcomers are surprised to find at a free event , such as Broken Social Scene , Passion Pit , Owen Pallett , Spoon , K ’ naan , Monster Truck , The Strumbellas , and more .
The Home Field concert wasn ’ t a fullscale stadium show , but instead was the inaugural event for “ West Side Studio at Tim Hortons Field ,” which sees the stage set up at centre field facing the west-side stands for a more intimate , 7,000-capcity “ venue within a venue ” that mixes a general admission area on the field and lower bowl seating . The result is a short and wide coverage area .
To handle the sound for the show , Supercrawl founder Tim Potocic turned to his long-time friend and partner Brian Bates of Hamilton-based Bates Audio Productions . The two men have been working together since Bates mixed Potocic ’ s old band , Tristan Psionic , in the 1990s . Since then , Bates has led the audio team for every Supercrawl festival . Additionally , when the indie record label Potocic co-owns , Sonic Unyon Records , opened its own venue called Mills Hardware , Potocic of course turned to Bates for that as well . “ He mixed our band in 1994 and I liked him ; it ’ s as simple as that , really . Isn ’ t that where it all starts , a guy doing a show for dudes in rock bands ?” says Potocic . “ We ’ re loyal people and when we find people that we like to work with , we like to build together . So that ’ s basically been the bulk of our relationship is just building things together and he enjoys it as much as me . We have fun and it ’ s good times .”
“ I ’ m not a preferred supplier ; I ’ m it ,” laughs Bates . “ There is no bidding on a job . Tim says , ‘ Hey Brian , this is what we ’ re doing ,’ and he ’ ll say , ‘ Make it nice .’” To make it nice for Billy Talent , Bates teamed up with distributor GerrAudio , which sourced the largest Outline GTO system ever used in Canada .
As Bates says , his first impression of the Outline GTO boxes left him fully confident that they could work for this project . It was during the 2015 Pan AM Games soccer tournament at Tim Hortons Field . “ They literally said , ‘ Hey , we ’ ve got a little bit of money left so let ’ s throw a couple of bands on in between the men ’ s and women ’ s gold medal soccer games ,’” Bates recalls , noting those bands were Monster Truck and The Sheepdogs . With the organizers wanting something small and easy to deploy , Bates ’ simple solution was to ground stack three GTO C-12s per side on a mobile stage in the end zone with a popup FOH tent . “ The guy who was hiring me was like , ‘ If you make some noise , great , but we don ’ t expect full coverage ,’ and we ’ re turning it on and head down to the goal line and have to yell at each other . All the TV production guys are up on the seventh floor and they ’ ve got the windows open and they ’ re coming down afterwards and they ’ re going , ‘ Oh my god , what is that stuff ?’… It really did goal line to seventh floor and , I mean , much to our surprise and amazement ! So it really over-performed .”
With that in mind , Bates was eager to use a full-scale and properly configured Outline GTO system for Billy Talent and co . With system design help from Michael Belluz , Bates Audio set up a system comprised of 24 Outline GTO C-12 boxes for main hangs , plus two GTO-DFs for down fill and 24 Outline Mantas boxes for out fill to reach the outer section-and-a-half of stands on either side .
The design featured 12 GTO C-12 line elements per side with one matching GTO DF ( down fill ) cabinet at the bottom . The C-12 was ideal for the audience area because of its 90-degree horizontal dispersion while the GTO DF provides up to 120 degrees at the bottom . The down fill cabinet covered the first 30 ft . of audience with ample power in a wide pattern so there was no need for large deck fills under and near the main PA . Smaller Outline EIDOS 265 speakers were used as lip fills near the centre of the stage to cover the fans who were front and centre .
For low end , there were 16 Outline DBS 18-2 subwoofers stacked in a straight line , two high and eight wide , below the front of the stage . The spacing for these speakers was calculated and set to 5 ft . on centre to eliminate destructive interference between them . Different delayed signals were then fed to each sub pair moving out from the centre , creating a virtual arc that mimics a physical arc and delivers three benefits . It eliminates low frequency cancellation zones across the audience area while matching the LF dispersion to the main PA . At the same time , the natural buildup of low frequencies right down the centre , the so-called “ power alley effect ” that commonly occurs at many concerts , is also eliminated . The goal is to have very even overall coverage from low frequencies to high frequencies across the intended audience area with no dead zones or hot spots .
Under the stage , there were 18 Outline T11 amplifiers driving the main hangs at 4,000 W per channel at 4 ohms . Everything else – subs , out fills , down fills , monitor wedges – was driven by four Powersoft X8s , which each fit eight mono channels in a 2 U space . “ Pretty small amp racks for such a big PA , that ’ s for sure ,” adds Max Stewart of Bates Audio , who was system tech for the show . He notes with a bit of amazement that the entire audio package fit onto one 26-ft . truck , “ which on a stage that size is nuts ; we ’ ve done smaller stages with many more trucks .”
PROFESSIONAL SOUND 27
When popular Canadian rock band Billy Talent took to the stage at Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton, ON, on June 3 rd , it was a signifi- cant sign that the city was finally turning a corner. It was a step toward fulfilling its promise of becoming a more music-friend- ly city following a half-century ban on sta- dium concerts. All the locals know the story of the infamous Pink Floyd riot of 1975. It was the final show of the band’s Wish You Were Here Tour, which saw 55,000 people pack into the old Ivor Wynne Stadium. The band’s pyrotechnics literally burned down the scoreboard and the unruly crowd spilled over into the surrounding area. Hundreds of neighbours complained of public drunkenness and drug use, public sex, concert-goers passed out or urinating on lawns, and, of course, lots of noise. One St. John’s Ambulance first aid attendant told city council in 1999 that around 125 people were brought to hospital and dozens more were treated on site. Needless to say, the city government wasn’t impressed and council voted to ban stadium concerts. There have been a couple of excep- tions since then, such as a Rush concert in 1979 and Blue Rodeo playing a short set after a Tiger Cats game in 2001, and a few other shows have been approved but did not materialize. But for the most part, the ban stood for decades. But now, with a new stadium, Tim Hortons Field, replacing the decrepit Ivor Wynne in 2014 and the city government embracing music like nev- er before – including the opening of the Hamilton Music & Film Office and the city council approving a Music City Strategy – those crusty folks in city hall are not just tolerating large-scale open-air concerts, but actually welcoming them. Billy Talent’s show at Tim Hortons Field – which featured support acts Danko Jones, Teenage Head, and Rules – was a true community effort that involved many people and entities. Officially called Home Field, the show, it’s hoped, will be the first of a series of concerts billed as co-produc- tions of the CFL’s Hamilton Tiger Cats foot- ball team, which calls the stadium home, and the Supercrawl festival. Of course, staging large music events isn’t anything new for Supercrawl, which stages the city’s signature outdoor indie music and arts festival. Since launching in 2009, Super- crawl has grown to encompass dozens of city blocks for three days each September with art installations and multiple stages that host big name bands that newcomers are surprised to find at a free event, such as Broken Social Scene, Passion Pit, Owen Pallett, Spoon, K’naan, Monster Truck, The Strumbellas, and more. The Home Field concert wasn’t a full- scale stadium show, but instead was the inaugural event for “West Side Studio at Tim Hortons Field,” which sees the stage set up at centre field facing the west-side stands for a more intimate, 7,000-capcity “venue within a venue” that mixes a general admission area on the field and lower bowl seating. 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