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Alcons Delivers Smooth Sounds to Stockholm Jazz Festival

10th-12th June 2010 saw the Stockholm Jazz Festival celebrating its 30th anniversary, with performances by artists ranging from heavyweights of the genre like John Scofield, Wayne Shorter and Courtney Pine to those with broader appeal, including Elliot, Kool and the Gang and the Brand New Heavies.

Bringing this remarkable variety of music to the unique Skeppsholmen island venue was an Alcons Audio system.

This was the first year that Bromma-based rental company Electrosound had provided the festival’s audio system, as a part of the complete sound/light/stage production by Live Media Group. Designed by Electrosound’s Brollan Söderström and LMG’s Robert Karlsson, a unique Alcons LR16 rig overcame a significant lack of space without compromising on sound quality.

The festival features two parallel stages which flip flop between artists - so while one has a performance underway, the other one is being set up for the next artist. The Alcons system featured three clusters, that on the left being the left stage’s left hang, the one on the right the right stage’s right hang, while that in the middle functioned as the left stage’s right hang and right stage’s left hang.

“Because the site is constricted, there was no space to fly the LR16B bass cabinets on the side of the LR16s, so we flew them behind the LR16s and time delayed the LR16 arrays back to the LR16Bs,” says Brollan. “Similarly, we had three ground stacks of 2 x 18” subs, each one designed as an ‘end fire’ array, with four boxes in one row and another set of four boxes behind. These were spaced with the distance matching half a wavelength at 55hz and time aligned accordingly.”

Due to the space limitations, Electrosound couldn’t position the PA towers at the ideal position of in line with, or just behind, the stage front. They had to be positioned a few metres forward but, with two clusters of three LR14 enclosures stacked on each stage, nobody at the front lost out on any of the sonic experience.

Despite its billing as a jazz festival, the event caters for broad musical tastes and the Alcons system was more than up to the task of coping with styles ranging from R&B to the most impenetrable jazz improvisation, ensuring that the enthusiastic audience didn’t miss a single note.

“We had Alcons VR8s for FOH nearfills and the engineers had to trust what they heard in them during a quick sound / line check before each act. Thanks to the similarity in the construction of the VR8 and the LR16, the sound in the VR8s matched the main system sound remarkably well, which gave each engineer a very good starting point.”

“Everyone was very happy,” says Brollan. “I was talking a few days later to Kool and The Gang’s FOH engineer, He said that he wished he’d had an Alcons system at the show they did the day after Stockholm Jazz. I think that says a lot!”

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