News

7 Sep 2021

A Tale of Two Systems – Adamson and Monitor City

by Jason Allen

Melbourne’s Monitor City rely on Adamson loudspeakers, whether it’s a simple cranking left-right for an outdoor country music festival, or a complicated distributed system run indoors over AVB for a high-end corporate event.

The Complicated Corporate Gig – Adamson CS Series

Monitor City’s director’s Adrian Barnard and Matt Dufty are no strangers to running complex distributed PA systems for major events, including The Australian Open. They take the same considered and design-focused approach to their corporate work as well, which served them well with their recent work for Japanese auto giant Toyota.

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With the occasion being Toyota’s National Dealer’s conference and the launch of their new model Kluger SUV, the marque brought in dealers from around Australia to experience a hybrid event. The first part saw 480 guests in a dedicated room at The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre featuring huge LED screens and a sizeable PA. The next stage of proceedings had the guests bussed to Toyota’s Centre of Excellence in Altona (formerly their factory) and broken into groups for tailored experiences, a concept car reveal, and speeches.

“The event was just one room at the MCEC,” relates Matt Dufty, “but there was no carpet, and huge LED screens we needed to keep clear of. It took a lot of design work in both Vectorworks and Adamson’s Blueprint prediction software to arrive at a design that worked, while we worked closely with the lighting designer and video techs to stay out of their way.”

Monitor City’s solution hinged on their recently acquired Adamson CS Series powered and networked loudspeakers, specifically the CS7p dual 7” mid-high box and CS118 subs. All fitted natively with AVB for simple networked audio signal distribution, and running their own DSP and amp, the granular control afforded by CS Series meant that they could be rigged and placed just about anywhere, and tuned with surgical precision.

“It was a localised design with lots of CS7ps, and all of the subs flown,” continues Matt. “The result was that our operator said that the audio in the audience and seating area was crystal clear, while two metres away out of the intended coverage area, it was the expected jumble that the room would cause, which is exactly what we were after.”

After the introductory proceedings, the event moved to Altona. “The Toyota Centre of Excellence is a very impressive space,” enthuses Adrian. “They’ve done an absolutely beautiful job renovating the old engine plant. We were working in one massive space made of steel and glass where we had to localise sound. There were three stages in the main space, but the whole system had to work as both one stage and three separate stages for speech, BGM, and video content. Then there were another three separate locations that each needed a stand-alone system. The whole system was complicated, and showed off Adamson’s CS Series in all its glory.”

“Altona was all about the cars,” adds Matt. “We had a lot of conversations in pre-production about what would look good. We don’t want any cables visible, for example. A lot of time was spent ensuring that every part of the tech build was hidden, to the point that all of our control was behind a moving wall and cable was run additional distance to get there. This is where Adamson’s CS Series shined. While you’ve got total control, all you need to do is send it power and signal, which is quite easy to hide.”

It wasn’t just visible cabling that Monitor City had to take into account. “Toyota had shipped a concept car to Altona for the event,” recounts Adrian. “We were told ‘don’t go near it, don’t even breathe on it’; it was really precious. So, anything we could do in terms of rigging and prep before that car turned up, we did. We rigged our CS7ps in the roof and ran power and signal all before the car came in, at a good distance from it. In the main display room, we had CS7ps up on trusses above the cars, and that worked well. Rigging all these CS7ps was easy, as they’re quite light, and two people with ladders can place and cable to them with ease.”

“We did have a quite large amount of loudspeakers in the main room,” admits Matt. “But we had a Kubuki drop on the main truss to account for, a domed roof, and MCs wearing lapel mics who can and did wander everywhere. It was a difficult environment, but we got good results everywhere. It also helped having great operators who understand localisation and what they can do to mitigate any issues.”

The Meat and Potatoes Left-Right – Adamson E, S, and CS Series

In late April 2021, in a merciful hiatus between Victorian lockdowns, 5,000 fans converged on Gippsland’s Berry Creek for the Lee Kernaghan headlined Gippsland Country Music Festival. Organised by Gippsland locals Red Hill Entertainment, who were also responsible for festivals The Hills Are Alive and NYE on the Hill, the gig took place in Mossvale Park, which Adrian describes as “a beautiful site.”

“It was really a great little gig,” recalls Matt. “We hung Adamson’s flagship E Series line array eight a side, with Adamson’s S Series eight a side as sidefill. We supplemented this with Adamson E Series subs, CS Series CS10 dual 10”s as main front fill, and CS7ps as outfills, as it was quite a wide site. This was a meat and potatoes job, but a joy to hear after being away from big PAs for so long.”

“Brian ‘Hendo’ Henderson, who looks after FOH sound for Kernaghan, loved it, and had a great time,” relays Adrian. “The coverage for the 5,000 punters was great, and could have easily covered another 2,500. Our system tech Dan measured the rig at just over 100db at 3 min Leq, which was not even tickling it, as it still had 25dB headroom.”

With three different series of loudspeaker combined into one system, Adrian confirms that there’s no issues with tonality. “It’s the Adamson family voicing,” he puns unintentionally. “There’s no issue making hybrid systems using E, S, and CS. There’s also no issues getting any of it in the air. I really like the ease of rigging across all three series. Both CS and S are not very heavy, so with two people on set-up, no-one’s at risk. E is heavier, but easy and stable. We flew the E Series arrays off the downstage edge and at no point was any of it unsafe. It all goes up quick and comes down real fast. In addition to that, the amp racks don’t take up much room, our Blueprint prediction was accurate even though it was a new site, and the acts were really happy, as was the client. It was a ripper gig.”

Adamson loudspeakers are distributed and supported in Australia by CMI Music and Audio: https://cmi.com.au/adamson-cs-series

www.monitorcity.com.au

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