||The professional sound reinforcement industry is quickly finding out just how good the new RS.LA system really is. Aside from sounding great, it is also very cost effective, easy to rig and convenient to transport.
PAS checked in with a couple of engineers using RS.LAs out in the field for their candid thoughts on the compact line array system.
Steve Emler, Okie Brothers Sound
Steve Emler of Okie Brothers Sound is spending quite a bit of time with the RS.LA system as chief engineer for the ‘Rock Never Stops’ summer-long tour with Tesla, Vince Neil of Mötley Crüe, Jackyl and Skid Row.
Before the tour began, Emler had to decide on a line array system, taking into consideration many factors, such as sound quality, consistency and flexibility across a variety of venues, as well as ease of rigging and cost of transportation. After looking at several systems, Emler chose the PAS RS.LA.
"There is not even a comparison," he says. "With the RS.LA you can get three times the system for the same money as other systems we considered. We’ve played every type of venue up to 14,000 people and the PAS line array has as good a sound as any. It utilizes a simple straightforward design and we know what we’re going to get out of it. All the engineers on the tour agree that it’s more consistent sounding than other boxes we have used. When we have to use other systems, we notice a huge difference. The other engineers on the tour, from Skid Row and Vince Neil, they both love the system as much as I do."
Emler fully appreciates the sound, but what he likes best is the flexibility to ‘ground stack’ the boxes. "In some places, we’re just not able to fly the system, but we’ve actually devised a way to line array it standing on the ground. It’s the only line array that I know of that will do both. The sound is amazing when we get it up in the air, but it works very well on the ground too, and that’s important."
Great sound and consistent performance across a variety of venues has really impressed Steve, but the icing on the cake was the low initial investment, the savings in transporting and the ease of rigging the system.
"We took a small system with us and it’s very smooth, accommodating the large variety of venues that we’ve encountered. Because we went with the PAS line array, we’ve been able to fit the entire system, including lighting, into one 53-foot truck, which saves us an amazing amount of money. Normally a tour this size would require three trucks. The small boxes are easy to handle. It flies fast and easy."
Bob Behm, Tri-Media Sound, Inc.
Bob Behm of Tri-Media Sound, a regional sound company in southern California providing rental, sales and installation, has also put the system to the test and been very pleased with the results.
Behm provides sound reinforcement for a variety of local and regional events, and, for him, the tremendous coverage that the RS.LA provides really makes a difference.
"I need to make sure I’m going to get the coverage I need,"
says Behm. "
A lot of times we’re doing speech and we just need intelligibility, but we also do music events through the system and get great coverage."
Tri-Media recently used the line array to provide sound for a couple of high school commencement ceremonies as well as a Fourth of July celebration. These events were both held on a football field. "
The PAS line array covered the whole field plus the stage and stands. We had excellent coverage from one end of the field to the other. In the past, we have had to use multiple speakers on either side, plus multiple delays along the edge of the track to accomplish the same thing. We eliminated eight boxes this year from last and setup was much easier. We didn’t have to set up scaffold; we just set up the ‘Genie’ towers and raised the speakers up into position. Ease of setup is one of the really great benefits."
The same held true for the Forth of July event. "
This was a big one. The field was over 400 feet wide and 700 feet long. We originally used some delay stacks, but after setting them up and doing some tests, we realized we didn’t need them because the ‘throw’ was there and it was plenty loud."
The 2003 Miramar Air Show also provided a covergage challange. "The RS.LA system did the job with definition and intelligibility".
The PAS RS.LA not only provides great coverage, eliminating extra work and equipment, but it also offers many other benefits for companies like Tri-Media. "
One of the problems is flying a system,"
Behm adds. "
If you go into a hotel and have to fly or rig your system, you’re paying rigging points for a rigger to come in. With the RS.LA you simply use the ‘Genie’ towers. You can just raise the boxes up and you don’t have to pay for fly points, which saves money.
Also, one of the unique features of this setup is that you can actually put a drape in front of the ‘Genie’ tower and the speakers look like they are suspended in air. This makes for a much cleaner installation and it really looks sharp. Another thing that I was really surprised by was the amount of power it takes to run the system. Excluding the subwoofers, you can use a 20-amp circuit per side, whereas before we had to use a 50-amp circuit per side. I was amazed."
Reduced sound coming from behind the boxes and the proprietary PAS TOC Signal Processor are also key benefits for Behm. "
You don’t have a lot of energy coming off the back of the boxes. The sound really drops when you get behind the speakers. Typically, on a lot of boxes, you get quite a bit of sound radiating off the back of the box. You don’t have all the sound on stage that you normally have. It’s amazing how much is going out front. There is also no crossover to set up because the system has a processor where all the parameters are adjusted. You don’t have to select crossover frequencies and that type of thing. Equalization and time correction is built in."
Aside from all of these great benefits, one shouldn’t overlook the most basic fact: the RS.LA system sounds great. "
We’re pleased with the quality and performance. It really sounds good,"
It’s been a pleasure dealing with PAS; they are easy to work with. You’re dealing directly with the manufacturer and their support is excellent. I’ve even been able to talk directly with the engineers and you can’t do that with a lot of companies."