4 Apr 2022

Brisbane Sound Group and Adamson: Own Less, Do More

(Pic L to R: BSG’s Rob Bird, Nigel Line, and James Young)

Brisbane Sound Group have reinvigorated their PA inventory with an eye to the 2022 recovery, diving into Adamson’s self-powered and scalable CS Series in a big way. Already in the warehouse are 16 elements of CS10 line array, 12 CS119 subwoofers, four CS10p and four CS7p point source cabinets, with more stock likely joining soon.

“It’s part of a general inventory refresh, with an eye to brand alignment with what we’re doing in sales and installation,” says Rob Bird, Pro Audio, ICT & Technical Resources at BSG. “It’s also about making our inventory as efficient as possible. One of the things we like about the CS environment is that there’s just one model of subwoofer, regardless of whether you’re 12 deep on a concert stage or one per side as a stick PA. They’re powerful while easy to move around, and powered so there’s no amp racks to lug. It simplifies cabling infrastructure and system design because it’s just about power and signal. Those four boxes will cover any job we have.”

BSG’s new CS line array has already been out earning its keep. “I’ve already taken out the CS10s on a couple of events,” relates James Young, Production Manager at BSG. “The first was out in Middlemount in central QLD for a mining company event. They turned their town hall into a ballroom, and we flew four CS10 and two CS119 a side. The rig was so compact, but with so much grunt. Even flown, I didn’t feel I lost anything not having my subs on the ground.”

James thought he might have overdone it on the powerful rig at first. “The client came walking up to me after the first song and I thought I was going to get told off for being too loud,” admits James. “But she said ‘That was epic and it sounds amazing – leave it there!’ We had Casey Barnes and his band, then a cover band. I mixed for 2 ½ hours straight at a decent volume entire time. I got back to hotel room and… no hiss in my ears. I did not feel fatigued. The level was there and in-your-face the whole time, but I have really noticed the lack of fatigue. That’s the hallmark of an excellent system.”

The CS10s then went out for a week of Christmas shows at the acoustically notorious Southbank Piazza, which James generously describes as “a giant concrete bowl.” Around a giant LED Christmas tree, eight CS10s a side, four CS119s and front fill brought the holiday cheers. “I was really happy with the sound and levels,” says James. “The clarity is just there, particularly in the vocals; you push them up and they just sit. That thing I notice most is the lack of EQ. At Southbank Piazza, it’s normally absolutely carved up, but Rob tuned it and didn’t have to do much. We ran for a week and it sounded great in a really challenging environment.”

“We ran a full simulation in Adamson’s Blueprint software in our proposal for the gig,” elaborates Rob. “We’ve traditionally covered Southbank Piazza with mains and flown outfills, but the CS10’s width means we could do away with them. It was a cleaner look with just a single hang either side. There was a zone on the floor that we knew the array wouldn’t reach, so we put in the CS7p infills to cover that. When we rigged the PA, it covered where Blueprint said it would. There were no surprises, which as a system guy is what you want.”

A secret weapon in the sonic arsenal is the CS10s impressive rear rejection. “The pattern control is so good!” raves James. “The client kept asking me if the boxes were cardioid. I kept saying ‘No’ but they kept questioning me, ‘Are you sure?’ We had to put a monitor speaker at back of house so the cast could hear their cues, which we’ve never had to do before because there’s normally so much slapback and sound echoing off the rear. That level of pattern control in a venue as bad as that means you’re only fighting what’s out the front, instead of problems coming from all sides.”

It’s not just the big line array that gets to hog the limelight. “We’re going to use the CS10ps a lot,” predicts Rob. “Small park festivals for communities, school and church events. Two subs and two top boxes with decent coverage; that’s going to be a rig that will go out constantly. The rear rejection will be great, as on most of those gigs you’re got your back up against a fence, and it will keep the neighbours and council happy. Our biggest problem will be convincing clients that boxes the size of a CS10p will do what they need, which they certainly do!”

BSG are also seeing their production lead translate into regular sales. “A CS10p and CS119 rig is small enough for one person to set up, and can cover up to 600 people,” outlines Rob. “We’ve moved a couple of systems of that spec for exactly that reason. It’s power-to-weight, size, and quality of sound.”

“What I like is that we can keep buying the same four boxes and cover everything from a DJ in a backyard to 10,000 people at Riverstage,” observes James. “We can own less and do more.”

BSG’s Adamson investment is supported by Adamson distributor CMI Music & Audio, represented on the ground in Brisbane by Brian Vayler. “I’ve known Brian for 20 years, and the support he offers is fantastic,” says Rob. “He’s great on keeping us up-to-date with software and training, and if I send him a Blueprint plot, he’ll always have some great input.”


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