One of the more challenging jobs of 2015 was Skye Live where Blackbox were asked to supply a complete production package from generators and site power, to staging, lighting and sound system and all on one of the most beautiful but also difficult sites in the country. The challenges didn't end there either. Proximity to the local hospital (to the left of the image above) and other noise sensitive areas had caused some concern amongst local residents and had come to the attention of the local authority environmental protection team.
With this in mind, BLACKBOX project manager Dave Town realised that the sound system was going to have to perform in order to keep everyone happy. d&b J-Series was chosen because of it's superior control over dispersion and a design produced using d&b prediction software, "Array Calc" which we have used extensively in order to design well controlled sound systems over the years.
Unlike most other products on the market, J-Subs have directional properties oweing to their use of a 3rd 18" driver used to provide cancellation to the rear of the box. When used with Array calc to design an effective "sub array", it is possible to give those inside a given area the intense bass experience they expect without delivering the same unwanted experience to the surrounding area. Organisers Ali MacIsaac and Niall Munro took this information to a meeting with the local authority and were met with disbelief it is fair to say so it was no surprise that extensive noise propagation tests were to be scheduled for the morning prior to the show.
These tests were thorough and lasted some 2 hours where local environmental protection officers took noise readings both inside the tent and at various points around the surrounding community. After the 2 hours the officer expressed absolute disbelief at the incredible results he had measured and congratulated us on the design of the system. These results were consistently re-measured over the course of the weekend festival and consistently delivered the same results. Where it is fair to say there had been some local concerns about the project, there was now local backing and the festival is now booking for 2016.
Andrew Weatherall: "I've played through a lot of sound systems in my time but this is definitely one of the best"
Delivering good noise results outside the venue is very important but it is of no use if the system doesn't live up to expectations for the paying customers. It did and the audience went wild to artists such as Andrew Weatherall, Donnie Munro, Hot Chip, Peatbog Faeries, Jasper James, Shooglenifty and many others.
BLACKBOX Pro Audio is a trading name of BBPA Ltd Registered in Scotland SC 414527