SR32.4 hard at work in Hudson, Ohio
Long Before he was the Marketing/Training Manager at Audio Technica USA,
Steve Savanyu sharpened his skills as a live sound engineer in almost
every musical genre there is. From big band to big hair, Steve has probably
mic''d it, EQ''d it and generally made it sound good for listeners from
all over the United States.
"I started doing live sound in the mid 1970s, or what I like to call
the era of ''big wood''," said Steve. "By ''big wood'' I mean the best sound
reinforcement technology of the day had not yet evolved beyond 500-pound
sub-bass boxes and 200-pound mid cabinets cobbled together with Hubble
twist-lock connectors and 500-pound amp racks. This was reality then,
but is certainly not reality today."
Steve had the opportunity earlier this summer to engineer sound for the
Cleveland Pops Orchestra at the Hudson Summer Music Festival in Hudson,
Ohio. This time, Steve left the 500-pound amp racks at home and brought
along a complete Mackie Active loudspeaker system.
"We had about 5,500 people on the green in Hudson that day," explained
Steve. "We flew four Mackie SR1530s from scaffolding for front of house
(FOH) and two sets of delay clusters that consisted of four Mackie SRM450s
each. The 1530s sounded awesome. They performed even better than I had
expected. Once we got them up in the air and coupled properly, we discovered
that we probably could have done it with just the 1530s and one set of
delays. The Mackie speakers had plenty of power and just sounded fantastic."
another appearance as the FOH mixer for this event in the form of
a SR32.4. "I really fell in love with this board," commented Steve.
"I''ve used a Mackie 1604 compact mixer many times over the years,
but the 32.4 gave me tremendous flexibility for this type of application.
You can really tell that a lot of thought went into making this
board easy to use. Everything was so straightforward. I particularly
like the EQ, monitoring and soloing functions. Best of all, the
board just sounded great!"
Of course, a
large number of Audio Technica microphones were on hand in Hudson
that day as well. "We maxed-out the mic inputs on the board," explained
Steve. "We had 28 mics plus two wireless systems. The wireless systems
were brought into the line-level channels and two direct boxes were
used for keyboard and electric bass. We used some of the new Artist
Elite AE3300''s for brass and the AT3035''s on percussion. In addition,
AT4041s really brought out the strings and woodwinds while the AT4050/CM5
side address condenser was exceptional on drum overheads. Compared
to what I have used in the past, this combination of mics and board
made mixing the project a breeze."
So how did Savanyu,
a live sound veteran who earned his stripes lugging pachyderm-sized
amp racks and speaker cabinets respond when asked to sum up his
experience with the Mackie Active loudspeakers? "This is my first
large event using active speakers, and I have to say that I hope
to never go back to amp racks again. And, my back is very grateful."
Wood" Sound courtesy of SR1530 and SRM450s