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Batley, Worrall and more

Another busy week, but there's always time for a blog post.

After the fortnightly Open Mic on Wednesday at the Red Deer in Sheffield, I was up early to take the PA system up to Batley Bulldogs Rugby Stadium, where there was to be a gathering of pupils and teachers from 23 local schools for the anniversary of Jo Cox's death.

Sometimes, you only get an idea of the scale of a venue once you're there, and this was one of those times. A full-sized rugby pitch, and the organisers wanted to be heard clearly from one side of the pitch to the other.

Once everything was up and running (which meant a lot of running back and forth on the stands!), it was time to push the faders up. If the main PA wasn't enough, it would've been easy enough to add delay lines to provide more level at the far side.

Here's a quick video of the main PA system up and running. The only speakers active are the dark boxes you can see about 1/3rd of the way up the seating. The SPL meter was reading 85dB C-weighted, slow response, at a distance of about 80m (262 feet). At that volume, the limiters were just about starting to kick in, lighting up on occasion when the music had a particularly loud bit.

The video was shot with an iPhone, but it's fairly representative of how it sounded on the day.

No need for delay lines, then.

An EV N/D967 was used for the speeches and announcements. Since the mic was to be in front of the PA system, the narrow pickup pattern was desirable to keep feedback to a minimum. Indeed, once everything was dialled in, there wasn't any feedback at all during the event. A selection of other EV mics covered other duties throughout the day, including micing a samba band and some speeches by pupils.

Later in the day, the BBC showed up and shot this video which was streamed on social media. Their mic placement isn't ideal (well outside the coverage pattern of the main PA), so the sound isn't clear as it could be, but you can still tell what's happening.

It was great to work with some of the BBC crew so I could supply them an audio feed directly from the desk, although understandably they used their own mic for the streaming.

On Saturday, we went up to Worrall Festival. Knowing it would be an outdoor setup, I decided on the full complement of the four new 15" subwoofers, and pair of main speakers. Four small monitors and one large one (for the drummers) took care of the musicians. After getting everything set up, it was decided that an outfill for those sitting outside the marquee would be useful, so one of the monitors was reassigned to improve clarity for the audience sitting in the sun.

I'm still waiting on a review for both of those, and will update this post once they arrive.

That's all for now.

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