Professional Sound - August 2022 - Page 27

“ We played around with it , listened to some music , moved the horizontals a bunch ,” he says . “ I didn ’ t have Smaart or anything to really do any clinical measurements , but after just listening to the pink noise and doing some adjustments with my ears , I was able to recognize how powerful those horizontals are , in regard to taking this dumpy cinderblock room and eliminating a good 60 % of the reflections by just changing the horizontal . This was the lynchpin in what drove me to use the system ”
What McDermott is referring is the ability of PK ’ s Trinity line source systems to provide multi-axis coverage control via integrated robotics . What that means is both the vertical and horizontal dispersion of each individual cabinet can be remotely adjusted in real time , even after the arrays are flown . According to the company , the flagship large-format Trinity Black and medium-format T10 offer 0.1-degree of resolution in the vertical angles between modules while horizontal directivity is variable from 60-120 degrees in 5-degree increments for symmetric or asymmetric configurations . The point being , this allows for tapered arrays that are tailored to any venue or listening area .
For the Beers on Me Tour , the supplier for the audio package – comprised of Trinity Black and T10 line source modules and the new PK T218 subwoofers – is Logic Systems out of St . Louis , MO . Speaking about that company ’ s decision to place trust in the Canadian manufacturer , CEO Chip Self tells Professional Sound , “ We chose to invest in PK because we believe in the technology and the vision of the company . Concert loudspeaker technology has reached a point where sounding great is the barrier to entry , not the final variable . Most major manufacturers make high-quality systems that I can get what I need out of . What set PK apart in my eyes was the innovation in robotic articulation and waveguide technology . The time saving onsite and overall operational efficiencies of the system make it an ideal choice for many applications ,” he says , also crediting PK for how it welcomes and acts on feedback from end-users , even on small but meaningful features like how a connector shell is oriented .
Because of the diversity of venues on this tour , there is no one-size-fits-all configuration , but the typical setup features main arrays of PK Trinity Black robotic line source modules , sometimes with T10 downfills , outfills of T10 robotic line source modules , and flown left-right T218 sub arrays in a cardioid configuration . Additionally , stacked onstage are columns of three T218s in cardioid configuration .
Self also adds , specific to the Bentley tour , that “ the speed of deployment , and variable aiming once deployed is a perfect fit for a tour like Dierks ’. The tour is traveling with very extensive production elements in all departments ; time and space are all at a premium . The options offered by PK allow the tour audio team to make better decisions and deployments because they ’ re not stuck with the first answer of the day . They can adapt and adjust the deployment ( at the click of a mouse ) in ways never dreamed of by any other system .”
Part of what Self is referring to is an offering that is especially unique to this system — PK ’ s new . dynamics software that ’ s currently in alpha testing , coupled with the mechanical flexibility . It may seem like a bold decision to try out brand new software on a high-profile concert tour , but McDermott isn ’ t worried , especially with a month of shows already under his belt by the time we chat with him .
“ I feel like this is the most stable alpha deployment that I ’ ve seen ,” he says . “ I mean , I used it all week at Essence Fest and we had 117 boxes on the network with very , very few issues . Again , it ’ s alpha , and there ’ s going to be bugs . But at the same time , the only issues I ’ ve encountered have been relatively minor .”
McDermott adds that he is able to run this system completely off of a Wi-Fi access point without any issues . The big selling point of this software , he says , is that historically , he ’ s had a prediction software completely isolated from an online management software .
“ Previously with other systems , there was no reason for prediction and system management to be combined together , because you always had to take prediction , write down the values of what your angles were going to be , and then physically give it to the people that were going to hang the rig ,” he continues to explain . “ And then once the rig was in the air , then you went to your management software . With the robotics , we rely on software to actually
deploy all those values . So , it made sense to have prediction and management all in one cohesive , homogenized piece of software .” Using an example from the previously-mentioned Essence Festival of Culture at Caesars Superdome in New Orleans , a massive football stadium , McDermott outlines some unexpected production challenges they faced onsite , which forced the team to lighten the weight of the flown sub arrays . Because overall production had created too much weight for that section of the Superdome roof , a building engineer asked all departments to lighten their deployments . The crew made a compromise with the venue and agreed to use fewer flown subs than originally planned . McDermott made it clear exactly what the new loads would be and assembled the system before taking the rig online .
“ Just like with any situation , prediction often times meets real life with a variety of complications . So , once the compromise was reached as to the numbers and locations of the different arrays , there was no