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The Glorious Sound From Singapore's Biggest Clair Brothers System

Originally published at www.avltimes.com
October 14, 2012

GO! the music event that was held on 23rd September at the Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre, was set against the backdrop of the Singapore F1 Grand Prix 2011. Over 2000 partygoers attended the event which featured an illustrious line up of live performances by Ludacris, LMFAO, Sander van Doorn, Benny Bennasi, and many more in a one-ofa- kind experience and provided an insight for thousands of music aficionados to preview the future of Singapore nightlife.

Having being involved with many significant local and regional events, Glorious Singapore Pte Ltd was appointed by the event organiser to propose a design and undertake the engineering of the audio reinforcement. Nicholas Chua, Head of Sound for Glorious had to come up with the design of a “totally loud” sound rig as requested by the organiser under the watchful supervision of Billy Magendran, the event’s AV production chief.

The choice of loudspeakers for the main system was a no-brainer for Nicholas, Glorious having just purchased a 44-cabinet Clair Brothers i-Series Line Array system comprising of i208-M, i212-M line array elements and iS218-M subwoofers. It is every sound engineer’s dream FOH system and the Clair Brothers speakers were the obvious choice for the event’s high decibel night.

The FOH right and left clusters are 25m apart (just over the width of the stage) and are flown 10 deep per side with 8 units of i212-M- 90 (H90° x V10°) elements from the top and 2 units of i212-M-120 (H120° x V10°) elements at the bottom (all the i212′s were the mobile version hence the ‘M’ designation)

Nicholas explains his design, “The bottom of the stacks were the i212-M 120° elements which would cover a larger frontage – where the ‘mosh pit’ area is. And I was told for this show they want it to be very loud!” he continues, “The FOH is going to be 110dB minimum and if you are nearer to the speakers it’s could be 130dB or louder.” Lined-up in front of the stage are eight double stacks of iS1218-M subs. Sitting atop at each end of the sub stack is a i212-M- 120 element which is to act as inner front fills – where the hardcore clubbers are. With a distance of about 80m from the stage to the back of the hall, Nicholas decided on using two (right and left) hangs about 40m from the main arrays. The delay clusters are of 4 units of i208-M-90 (H90° x V10°) elements per side.

Driving all the Clair Brothers speakers are Lab.gruppen power amplifiers. Built-in with Lake Processing, these amps are part of Clair Brothers custom racks which are made in the USA. With the FOH hangs, the array of i212-M elements are all powered by PLM 10000Q amplifiers, including the bottom two i212-M (120°) for each cluster. Powering all the subs are four PLM 20000Q amps which are wired 1-channel to 1-sub (one amp driving four subs). The two front fill speakers atop the subs are powered by a PLM 10000Q.

Apart from the standard onstage monitor support which was handled by 10 units of Nexo PS15R2 cabinets, Nicholas also had to reinforce the stage with two mobile speaker stacks. Sitting on wheel trolleys, each stack has 4 units of i208 and one iS218 sub. Each stack is powered by a PLM 10000Q amp per stack and both subs are driven by a PLM 20000Q amp using only one channel per sub. “The purpose of these movable stacks is to act as the right and left side fills during the live band and when it’s a DJ performing we will move the two stacks behind the DJ to act as ‘monitors’ only because the DJs want it loud. This may seem powerful but these are the specs from the DJs – they want a system like this,” says Nicholas.

Two important requests for the sound reinforcements were VVIP lounge areas consisting of platforms built adjacent to and the same height as the main stage. Because the two VVIP lounges did not have the main system at their direction, Glorious devised a system using 4 units of i208 elements (no subs) which sat firmly on flightcases as the VVIP building restriction licence was only 1.4m only. Each stack is powered by a PLM 10000Q amp per stack. There are also two VIP lounges in front of the VVIP areas however these are adequately covered by the main system

For the record, this event employed 64 units of Clair Brothers line array speakers, the largest number ever used in Singapore. To fulfil the organisers requirements for the full sound reinforcement, Glorious was assisted by Quad Professional Pte Ltd, the distributor for Clair Brothers, which supported Glorious with additional loudspeakers and key technical staff comprising of Dominic Koh, Product & Marketing Manager Quad Pro, who was instrumental in the acquisition of the Clair Brothers system by Glorious, Technical Manager James Tan, and Engineer Khiew Chung Wah. “We are very happy to work with Nicholas. He has a lot of experience in live sound and this helps when we exchange ideas on the setup and configuration. It is good to work with someone with his calibre of experience,” says Khiew.

The imposing figure of line array cabinets was a godsend for FOH Engineer Alex Carrasco being given a large headroom to manoeuvre around with on the FOH console which was a brand new Midas PRO6 mixing console with stage box comprising of DL371 engines and DL351 I/O boxes.

Over at the stage, Monitor Engineer David Kwok was at ease behind his Yamaha M7CL mixing console and SB 168-ES stage boxes. Microphone facility for the event was a mix of different Shure systems including: 4 units of Shure UHF-R PLUS receivers with two channels per unit for the 8 Shure UR2 handheld transmitters, and 2 units of Shure PSM 900 wireless personal monitor system. Eric Ong, Sales & Product Manger for Electronics & Engineering, was on hand to support Glorious at the event.