Daft Punk recently premiered their newest album, Random Access Memories, at the Wee Waa Showground in Wee Waa, Australia.
The Wee Waa Showground is situated in the rural town of Wee Waa, population 2,100, approximately 350 miles northwest of Sydney. The annual 3-day festival headlined the premiere.
Norwest Productions, headquartered in Sydney, was tasked with designing and implementing a sound reinforcement system that would surround a circular LED dance floor located in the middle of the showground show ring. The dance floor – constructed for the event – was approximately 85 feet in diameter and subsequently dubbed the largest outdoor dance floor in Australia.
"The idea was that the audio on the dance floor would sound like a nightclub with four hangs of PA outside each quadrant of the dance floor," explains Scott Harrison, Norwest Productions FOH engineer and system designer. "We knew the Adamson Energia E15 system was perfect for the job."
Each of the four arrays consisted of eight Energia E15s with six T21 subwoofers. The line arrays were flown from inside of towers constructed of scaffolding located in the four corners of the dance floor. The T21s were ground stacked (2x3) in front of each tower.
"Since the towers were only 7 feet deep, the rigging system on the E15 made flying the PA a breeze – another big plus for the system," Harrison adds.
The E15 is a 3-way system loaded with two 15-inch and 7-inch Kevlar® cone drivers, and two 4-inch Adamson NH4 compression drivers. The T-21 subwoofer boasts an Adamson Symmetrical Drive multilayer 21-inch Kevlar® driver providing a maximum SPL (continuous) of 140.5 dB.
"I was confident in using the E15s because the boxes have tremendous clarity and fantastic sound quality," Harrison continues. "We wanted to ensure the most faithful representation of Daft Punk's creation as possible.
"The system gave tons of headroom. I had no problem turning the volume up, knowing that the E15 still had room to move. The subs provided the low frequency energy to make listening to the album a body-shaking experience."
The arrays were powered by a total of 40 Lab.gruppen fP 6400 and eight FP 10000Q amplifiers. Processing consisted for 9 Lake DLP and 2 LM26 digital audio processors.
Norwest Productions deployed a DiGiCo SD 8 at FOH to bring in both the main and backup replay machines on MADI, the backup CD in AES3 and also have analog backups for each of those devices.
On the night of the show, right after the last firework went off approximately 3,200 people converged on the dance floor. The LED dance floor lit up, lights were directed at a large rotating disco ball hanging above the crowd and the music began.
"Daft Punk's final track from the album, "Contact", contains a sweep from around 80hz all the way through to 15k or so," Harrison concludes. "To hear that sound, hear it smoothly make its way through that entire range, without becoming harsh or sharp or overwhelming, really is a beautiful thing. The Adamson system was amazing."