From its modest beginnings at the OppiKoppi farm in 1994, this diverse festival has now celebrated its 21st anniversary by welcoming one hundred and sixty two artists to perform over three days on seven stages, to around twenty thousand revellers. Located in Northam, Limpopo province, north east of Pretoria, this South African festival boasts an unrivalled reputation as the live music event of the season. So it is, perhaps, of little surprise that OppiKoppi 2015 welcomed the opportunity to embrace the latest software technology in the form of ArrayProcessing, from d&b audiotechnik.
This revolutionary function within the d&b ArrayCalc simulation software allows users to optimize the listening experience across an entire audience. By applying a combination of FIR and IIR filters to each individual loudspeaker within a d&b line array, ArrayProcessing achieves a common tonality and consistent sonic result over the listening area defined by the vertical coverage.
Blue Array Productions from Pretoria supplied the audio equipment on all but one of the stages; The James Phillips Stage and the Skellum Stage were both rigged with a d&b Q-Series system, while the Bruilof Stage was kitted out with V-Series L/R. On the Main Stage, it was J-Series, comprising J8s and J12s, supplemented by a meaty number of J SUBs both ground stacked and flown behind the main arrays. It was here, on the Main Stage, that Blue Array chose to implement ArrayProcessing.
Managing Director, Kobus van Rensburg explains in detail: “Not having used ArrayProcessing before, I was intrigued to experience both the process and the result. We designed the system in the d&b ArrayCalc software to give us the best front to back coverage as we would normally do. Then we applied the ArrayProcessing algorithm to the main array to give us a 2dB drop in SPL from front to back, which was over 80m away. This whole process only took about five minutes from design to implementing and loading the parameters into the amplifiers.
Van Rensburg is in no doubt about the value of ArrayProcessing: “We received constant compliments and commendations from audience members, promoters, and other sound technicians and engineers attending the festival. I have to thank d&b for breathing new life into their already amazing systems which remain the easiest and most effortless PA to design, deploy, tune and mix on. These are just a few of the things that define what makes an incredible sounding show. Success every time. You can’t go wrong with that.”