eclipse supports Dubai World Cup Gala
UAE: eclipse Staging Services was enlisted to provide audio coverage for the recent Dubai World Cup Gala dinner at Sky Dive Dubai. Drawing on equipment from d&b audiotechnik and Nexo for the Main Stage and B-Stage respectively, eclipse needed to ensure complete coverage of the audience whilst limiting spill for the areas accommodating horse performances.
‘The DWC Welcome Gala dinner was quite challenging due to the time frame,’ recalled eclipse head of audio, John Parkhouse – who was responsible for the system design. ‘From the initial site visit to load in was a mere four days, two days of which were spent agreeing specifics on the sound design. The brief was to keep the entire audience view completely free from any sightline issues.’
The team was tasked with providing a system for the 80m wide by 50m deep temporarily built venue – two thirds of which were audience areas positioned in a U shape. ‘In normal circumstances this would have meant flying a simple PA either side of the stage but due to having a B-Stage 25m in front of this we were going to need to install a B-system,’ explained Mr Parkhouse. ‘It would have been impossible for the bands to perform due to the delay of the main system behind them and the suggestion of IEMs was discounted as an option.
‘It also posed the problem that in this scenario when the bands were playing only part of the venue would be covered,’ he continued. ‘So we agreed a compromise to include various floor based point source speakers to spread the sound throughout the remaining parts of the venue.’
The team specified a d&b system for the Main Stage, comprising 12 V-Series cabinets and eight V-Subs powered by a pair of D80 Touring Racks. Additional reinforcement was provided on the outer edges of the venue via 14 Electro-Voice SX300 loudspeakers. The flown V-Series system took care of the main arena show which included horse performances, a fashion show, a parachutist, drummers, a solo Nai performance, various video playbacks, fireworks and a DJ set.
‘For the V-Series I opted to fly the V-Subs above the V-12 tops, which would result in a phase coherent system across the venue,’ noted Mr Parkhouse. ‘We also included point source speakers on the outer edges to maintain coverage outside of the main hang’s 120-degree dispersion. I placed a large amount of emphasis on the coverage area not encroaching the performance arena below the hangs, we were set to have multiple horse and stallions in the arena and so the lowest possible sound levels here were critical.’
Additional equipment for the main stage included a DiGiCo SD9 console with two D-Racks and a Minirack for mixing. Microphones included three Neumann KSM184s, three Shure KMS 137s and a Shure SM57. Personalised monitoring was provided via four Sennheiser G3 IEMs for the main stage.
Eight Nexo Geo S1210s and four LS18 Subs powered by three NXAmp4x4 amps provided the required reinforcement for the two bands on the B Stage on which eight d&b M4’s handled monitors. The main system was switched back and forth to the B-Stage system for the bands. Microphones used on the B-Stage included Shure B52, B58, B91, B98, SM57, SM58, SM81 models, four DPA 4099s and a pair of AKG 414s.
‘We loaded in over one day with rehearsals the next, followed by a show day of further rehearsals and soundchecks,’ Mr Parkhouse recalled. ‘The SD9 with the two distributed D-racks was utilised to its full potential on what was a pretty full console and a large number of different playbacks, scene recalls and on the fly soft-patch changes on what was a very busy show. Tariq Al-Hassan operating FOH had a particularly long show day but the end result was a show very well delivered, it sounded fantastic and we all felt a sense of achievement when we switched off that night and reflected on a setup we had only begun to properly consider a few days before.’