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JBL Professional VerTec Series Speakers Deliver Sound for BNS Drive-in Concerts

Hosted by pop duo Bathiya and Santhush, the BNS Drive-In Concert series productions featured JBL Professional, Crown audio and Soundcraft products.

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Universal Sound Productions equipped the recent series of BNS Drive-in Concerts with a HARMAN Professional audio solution that includes an array of JBL Professional VerTec Series loudspeakers.

Treating fans to their first live music experiences since the COVID-19 outbreak, the BNS Drive-in Concerts were the first ever drive-in concerts in Sri Lanka and the first in South Asia since the lockdown.

The events, which were put together by the Sri Lankan entertainment television station, TV Derana, in addition to Bathiya and Santhush, were recently held at the Colombo International Airport.

Affiliated with the Restart Sri Lanka intiative, the concerts were designed to motivate the community and serve as symbols that the Sri Lankan entertainment industry is recovering from the effects of COVID-19.

The concerts enforced strict health and security guidelines, while the proceeds from ticket sales were donated to the Itukama Healthcare and Social Security Fund.

“Since these were held at an airport, the venue had many challenges to overcome,” said Malinda Lowe of Universal Sound Productions in the announcement.

“The stage was directly facing massive aircraft hangers and many of them were made of metal structures, so we had to work with JBL Line Array Calculator (LAC) to get rid of all the slap back with accurate measurement,” she said.

“We were also not in a position to deploy towers, as they would obstruct the view, so we managed to deliver the required vertical coverage despite the heavy surrounding wind,” she said.

BNS Drive-In Concerts

More About BNS Drive-In Concerts

With a talent lineup that featured artists including Umaria, Wasthi, Yohani De Silva as well as Infinity, the concerts drew more than 6,000 fans in more than 1,200 vehicles each night.

To ensure safety for everybody in attendance, guests were not allowed to leave their cars, so the audio was broadcased on a special FM high-definition radio station in addition to the venue’s loudspeakers.

Instead of clapping or cheering, fans honked and flashed their headlights to show their appreciation during the performances.

“The other challenge was to match the PA feed with the broadcast feed, as BNS wanted the audio to be synchronized perfectly,” Lowe said. “The JBL Performance Manger software and Soundcraft ViSi Remote app played major roles in accomplishing this task.

“By measuring a few vehicles running pinknosie through the radio feed at different locations, we managed to match the radio broadcast with the PA and outer fills,” she said.

Universal Sound Productions deployed 40 JBL VT4888 3-way high-directivity loudspeakers. Both the left and right arrays comprised of 12 speakers, while the remaining 16 were equally divded and positioned in four ground stacks.

Universal also positioned 24 VTX G28 dual 18” subwoofers across the front stage and eight VT4882 midsize subwoofers on the sides. The system also featured eight SRX712M 12” two-way stage monitors and one PRX618S 18” self-powered subwoofer.

To power the complex solution, Universal Sound Productions relied on 9 Crown VRack 4X3500 HD amplifer racks as well as 20 Macro-Tech i Series and six XTi 6002 power amplifiers.

JBL LAC was essential in designing and configuring the system to achieve ideal coverage and SPL, while Performance Manger helped Universal Sound Productions tune the system.

The show was mixed through a Soundcraft Vi3000 digital console, while a Soundcraft Realtime Rack and two dbx DriveRack 4800 loudspeaker managerment systems ensured peak sound quality throughout the concerts.

“As usual, the sound system delivered pristine audio with the clarity and punch we desired,” said Bathiya Jayakody of BNS.

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