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What does it take to keep thousands of ravers ecstatically dancing while bathed – literally — in color? In the case of DAYGLOW, the touring EDM Show that calls itself “The World’s Largest Paint Party,” it takes powerful paint cannons, first class lighting and video, aerial acts, stilt-walkers, contortion acts, fire shows, and a PA that can handle the most punishing beats and grooves in a DJ’s arsenal. Presented by Committee Entertainment, the show is intended to “fuse high-energy music, art, dance, and paint into one mind blowing combination.” Sound for DAYGLOW’s 24-show Fall 2011 BLU (beats, love, unity) tour was handled by Audio East of North Chelmsford, Massachusetts, which used an Electro-Voice line array system built around XLC127DVX three-way high-output compact line-array elements.
“Our typical venue was an arena, armory, convention center, or field house with an audience of between 3000-6000 ravers,” says Audio East’s Daniel Bouchard, who served as production manager on the tour. “We flew our XLC system in two hangs of 10-12 boxes each, for a total of 20 to 24 XLCs depending on the venue.” The system also included 16 double 18″ subwoofers and four Electro-Voice ZX3-90 composite 12-inch two-way loudspeakers that were used for in-fill. Powered by eight Electro-Voice P3000 Precision Series power amplifiers for the lows and mids and four CP3000S Compact Precision series Class-H power amplifiers for the highs, the system was controlled by a pair of Electro-Voice Dx46 FIR-Drive loudspeaker processors.
Bouchard says that the Electro-Voice system was “easy to control and monitor thanks to the IRIS-Net software and the custom GUI built for us by EV’s George Georgallis. George was a saint in re-commissioning the rig this last summer when we bought more XLCs.” That system expansion was necessitated by the company’s “ever-growing client list,” Bouchard says. “Our XLC systems were used back-to-back to back all spring and summer long doing over 50 events throughout the Northeast, with national talent such as Indigo Girls, Bela Fleck, Pat Benetar, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Johnny Lang, Wynonna Judd, Moe, Warren Haynes, Girl Talk, and many more.”While the system performed beautifully across all of those various types of live music, Bouchard says that electronic dance music (EDM) presents a different kind of challenge. “This music can throw sweeping sine and square waves at you,” he says. “I’ve used other systems for this type of event and found that you have trouble discerning the difference between the frequencies on the higher end of the spectrum. If your rig can’t handle it, it will sound like a pile of blown components.”
The XLC system, in contrast, “works really well for EDM,” Bouchard says. “The XLC array articulates the mid and high frequencies so well that the sound remains musical, even warm, while still punching you in the face with low mids. It’s defined without being annoying. After touring with the XLC system for over two months, we are more convinced than ever that XLCs are the right choice for this type of event.”