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Summer Catch-up!

Apologies for the delay in blog posts. This Summer has been exceptionally busy, partly down to the small matter of moving house, and then doing a lot of work on said house. It's all pretty much there now, though.

So, on to the news!

First up, I can't say much at the moment, but Powersoft has been busy making some new amplifiers which are fantastic in a lot of ways, and last week was the first demonstration of them through the Grimshaw Audio PA system. A huge thank-you to CUK-Audio for bringing the amplifiers along. For obvious reasons, we couldn't take any photos, but the amps look sleek and beautifully made.

Next up, we have some new vocal mics! Sennheiser's Evolution sale moved around to their e935 model, which is their top-of-the-line dynamic vocal mic. The cardioid pattern is easy to work with, and they still sound fine if the singer moves to one side or away from the mic (guitarists, I'm looking at you).

The older EV mics have served many singers well, but the time has come for them to retire. The e935s are smoother in the upper-midrange, less fussy about mic technique, and they look very classy.

They share a similar sound characteristic to the e904s. That is - smooth and neutral. These mics sound like the thing they're in front of. Nothing added or taken away.

Finally, here are some pictures of some of the events that have happened this Summer.

For Peakender 2018, a larger company was asked to provide sound and lighting for the main stage, which meant I could focus my efforts elsewhere, resulting in a total of four Grimshaw Audio PA systems being deployed for the festival:

1x Reggae-style stack for the bar tent.

2x Talk tents with a couple of mics and a small PA system each

1x Background music in the lounge tent (not pictured)

The festival was a huge success, and I'm expecting to be called back next year.

There was also Tramlines at the Red Deer in Sheffield. This year, the stage was outdoors in a slightly-awkward position. There was a little bit of experimenting with the position of the main PA system before the optimal result was found, which resulted in all four subwoofers being stacked to one side of the stage. The advantage there is that the bass is fairly evenly distributed in the horizontal plane, especially in comparison to the usual approach of subwoofers each side of the stage. That approach results in a strong "power alley" down the middle, with relatively little bass off to the sides as the subwoofers start to interfere and cancel each other out.

You can see the 5th photo shows the subs-each-side approach, but it was changed as it meant most of the bass was being thrown straight at a wall!

Another gig worth writing about was at Sheffield's City Hall, which is a lovely venue, and the staff were very helpful with finding an appropriate power source for the PA system. This gig was a tribute to Glenn Campbell, featuring Adrian Paris and some excellent musicians which I'd met at previous gigs.

The room was the Memorial Hall, which is a bit of a challenge for live music - there's a high balcony which was almost sold-out, as well as a very wide floor area to cover. See pictures below to see what I mean.

The ground-floor seating went all the way around to the wall next to the stage.

First, I set up the 2x10" main PA speakers to see what they'd do in that room. Even with the stands cranked up nice and high, they didn't sound great up on the balcony. They're designed for fairly narrow vertical dispersion, which means they sound great in most venues - they don't have sound splashing off the ceiling, but the Memorial Hall was a challenge.

So, I brought the speakers back down from their height, and added a tilter. These are normally meant for aiming speakers downwards towards the crowd, so they're not firing straight over everyone's heads. This time, I aimed the speakers upwards, and at quite an angle. After a bit of fiddling with the horizontal angles, the balcony was sounding great all the way across.

But what to do about the ground-floor seating? Some of the seats were behind the main PA speakers, with the expected result in sound quality.

Cue the 6.5" PA speakers. They're small, pack a punch, and have a nice wide dispersion pattern. Properly aimed, they covered the ground floor perfectly, even right out to the sides. Perfect.

The gig was a huge success - people were coming down from the balcony to tell me how great the sound was, and Adrian and the band were also were pleased with the feedback they received from the audience. I hope to be working with them again soon.

I'll leave you with some more photos of other events that went on this Summer:

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