I had my first outside trial run with live sound about a week ago. It was at the Music in the Park series here in Parsons. There is an excellent ampitheater here that has outdoor concerts every Thursday through the summer. We were running 2 RachE 18's, 2 RachE 15's and 4 GC46. Kinda mixed results. The sound quality was excellent, we got many compliments, but did highlight some stuff in the 46's that we knew about, and are addressing. Only us sound guys even knew it was there.
The things that it did do extremely well were dispersion, even coverage and the change in the way these cabs drop off vs normal direct radiators. My measurements indicated the expected (by us anyway) 3db drop like a line array out to about 150ft, instead of the 6db.
What I brought though was barely enough rig for the gig. It was a trial run to see just what we could get frrom a small rig outside. For what the show was, it was enough. An Americana band that didn't require the kind of thump and output that a typical rock band would need.
We'd installed a new network in the 46's to tame a spike in response. About 1/2 way through the show one of the tech's came running up and said "Leland there's smoke coming out of the speakers" I ran up to the stage, and the resistors in the network were practically glowing. It's all external so you don't have open the cab to get to it. Part of the design with the hf section. Anyway, hot glue was melting and running down inside the cavity. Because the network was paralleled to the woofers I just reached in a cut it loose on the fly from all 4 cabs. Doing the math later we estimate there was at least 1800watts into those cabs, to have put that much energy into those resistors. Considering I have them rated at about 1000, that's not a bad margin of safety. I'd have thought the 6" faitals would have jumped right out of the cab at that kind of power.
Part of our learning curve, at least with this model. The other 2, GC25's and WT8's, are ready for prime time right now.
Next time we bring the guns. 6 Wt8 line array cabs per side, at least 4 18's and 4 15's. It's an 80's tribute band, and they'll need the noise. July 11th. Make a road trip to Parsons, it will be worth hearing. A rig similar to what we are going to run has only been deployed once before. With excellent results.