Carlson Audio continues to support Bumbershoot Festival with d&b

Carlson Audio continues to support Bumbershoot Festival with d&b

New Rising Sun and Seattle Center announce a collaborative effort to sustain Bumbershoot Arts & Music Festival long into the future and marks 52 years returning this year post-pandemic. The event producers say that great diversity held within the Seattle creative community serves to amplify and honor the artists from all walks of life that call the Pacific Northwest home, celebrating what it means to be an artist.

“Bumbershoot at its apex was once called "The mother of all festivals" by Rolling Stone Magazine,” states Joe (Pags) Pagnelli, Bumbershoot Festival producer. Originally free, the festival evolved into a celebration of Northwest, regional and national talent. By the 90's and mid-2000's, the festival sold 35,000 tickets per day for 3 days.”

Carlson Audio (Seattle) provided two d&b J-Series loudspeaker systems for the Fountain and Fisher stages. “Our client requested two identical systems, so that no one stage would be more important than the other,” states Mark Carlson, President, Carlson Audio Systems. “For the most part, rider acceptability was key.”

Acts on the Fountain and Fisher stages included Travis Trautt, Michael Jacobson, Sleater-Kinney, Band of Horses, Revivalists, Durand Jones, The Dip, A-Trak, and Brittany Howard, to name a few.

Carlson used d&b NoizCalc software based on the need to mediate excessive volume to surrounding neighborhoods since the festival takes place in a Seattle park. “We needed to supply a heat map with NoizCalc (attached),” says Carlson. We have been trusted throughout the years to provide sound packages and work with the city to control excessive volume within the neighborhood of the Seattle Center grounds park.”

“NoizCalc has been an indispensable tool for me,” adds Morgan Hodge, Director of Personnel for Carlson Audio. “I use it to generate coverage maps for our clients detailing how different deployments of PA can affect surrounding areas.  These coverage maps are also valuable exhibits used in public hearings to help our clients get reasonable but workable noise variances for their events. They are easy to read and easy to explain.  

There were no complaints filed against the festival.  The use of NoizCalc for design and proper deployment (with an assist from a 95dB speed limit and respectful engineers) made for a quiet weekend for the city but pleasing for the people in the crowd.”

NoizCalc was used at Bumbershoot to predict far field noise emissions.  The venue has historically been difficult to the North because of adjacent neighborhoods. Carlson Audio has been doing this festival for decades and has used both NoizCalc, ArrayProcessing and cardioid subwoofer setups to help mitigate noise issues since 2014.

In addition to the neighborhood, Hodge notes that for Bumbershoot specifically there were challenges in having two large stages in proximity. “NoizCalc helped me to fine tune coverage and help keep audio “spill” into the surrounding area to an absolute minimum for our client.  Also, using NoizCalc as an extension of ArrayCalc has helped me in designing better outdoor systems; fine control in ArrayCalc with a broader look at real-world coverage in NoizCalc. I’m typically working in both simultaneously as I near the end of a system design phase.”      

Hodge stated that d&b loudspeakers have made their lives easier at Carlson Audio Systems.  
“The predictable nature of d&b loudspeaker directivity makes covering the areas we want while avoiding the areas we don’t want, a simple and manageable task. With the accuracy of ArrayCalc and NoizCalc, no changes or corrections had to made once the PA was up. Thanks to having the right tools and a great team, we most certainly feel it was mission accomplished.”

The Fountain and Fisher Stages system configurations were for front of house 8 x J8 over 2 x J12 per side, with ArrayProcessing. 12 x B2-SUBs in sub array configuration, 8 x T10 Front Fills on custom stacking plates, all D80 amplifiers. For the monitor systems: 12 x M4 Monitors, B6-SUB drum sub, and all D12 amplifiers. A DiGiCo SD10 is at both front of house positions with Avid S6L at monitor positions.

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