SAE Audio’s VP Line Array system were the chosen sound reinforcement systems for Melbourne’s New Year’s Eve 2013-2014 “night live sites” which was organized by the City of Melbourne Town Hall. The event took place in “entertainment nests” located around four different locations – Treasury Gardens, Kings Domain, Flagstaff Gardens and Docklands – with each entertainment nest having DJs mixing music, visuals and pyrotechnic effects.
In total the SAE Audio system for this project (all four nests) employed: 64 x V2208P, 16 x V1212P, 16 x V1218P subs, 4 x LP26 speaker processors, 4 x SAE Audio 1048 signal distributors, and 4 x SAE Audio 2008 power sequencers.
Greg O’Neill from Event Towers – the company who designed, constructed and supplied the event systems to Melbourne’s town hall – first saw the VP system at Prolight+Sound Shanghai with the goal of finding a line array supplier for their project. It was at the Concert Sound Arena where they heard demonstrations from the Chinese and International brands, when they decided to go for the VP active line array system as O’Neill comments: “It is a compact and lightweight system, so it’s suitable to fit in the most constrained spaces and two persons can easily rig the system. We must consider the structure Event Towers designed folded itself inside a small container, so there was not space for a big system. Also, for Melbourne’s NYE, all four towers had to be set up by the same staff in four different locations in the city, so it was necessary to be a light enough system to make it easy and fast.”
Being active also made it simpler to set-up and tear-down and saves space in the power racks. O’Neill was also impressed with it’s power and didn’t expect all that sound to come out from such a compact system. They were looking for a compact system, but they wanted it to be able to go loud as well. The VP reaches it thanks to the Mid/High section cabinet design and the high sensitivity drivers used in all the system. Definitely there were louder line arrays at the Chinese side of Shanghai’s Concert Sound Arena, but all those were much bigger systems.
“Obviously sound quality is always a factor of your decision when buying pro-audio. At the Shanghai show we could make an A/B test with all the main manufacturers, and we could verify SAE’s sound was ahead of any other Chinese made system – really clear highs, precise punch and powerful subs. The European designed Class-D power modules used on the VP play a really important role in here,” added O’Neill.
The system for Melbourne’s NYE was specifically used for music. The PA installa- tion was done by Event Towers themselves, along with the all the structure installation. Optical Audio from Australia supplied, installed, and rented to the Melbourne Town Hall all the DJ equipment, monitors, main mixer, recording equipment, etc. “I went to Melbourne myself to support Event Towers and to make sure the system was properly installed and tuned,” said Josep Maria Sans of SAE Audio.