Ultra Music Festival 08

The largest Electronic music festival in the US


This year's Ultra Music Festival featured over 200 performing artists, DJ's, and producers and was spread across 14 stages. Multiple rental houses and tour supply firms were called to provide sound services, including Miami's High Intensity Sound, Interface Sound & Productions, and Roxy Productions. Together, the three firms ran sound for four of the festival's key stage areas.

Running sound for the NewTimes and Eco Village stages, the High Intensity Sound crew found themselves immersed in the world of the modern DJ. High Intensity Sound owner/operator Eric Luis reports, "These stages were focused on a wide variety of DJ performances. On the NewTimes stage, the emphasis was on the local DJ scene while the Eco Village stage had a combination of national and international artists."

The primary SR system for the NewTimes stage consisted of four D.A.S. Audio Aero 28A self-powered line arrays and four CA-215A self-powered subwoofers per side-all ground stacked, as this area was under a tent. A pair of D.A.S. Aero 182A subwoofers placed in the middle, lower front of the stage area further reinforced the low end. Stage monitoring chores were assigned to a pair of D.A.S. SML-15A low profile, powered staged monitors.

At the Eco Village stage, the High Intensity Sound team flew six D.A.S. Aero 28A's per side and ground stacked four CA-215A subwoofers beneath each cluster. Like the NewTimes setup, a pair of D.A.S. Aero 182A subwoofers further reinforces the low end, while a pair of SML-15A stage monitors was made available to the DJ's.

At the BackBeat stage, Interface Sound & Productions was holding court for a combination of DJ and high-end Electronica artists. The Interface Sound crew flew eight D.A.S. Aero 38A self-powered line arrays per side and placed twenty Aero 218A powered subwoofers across the lower front stage area. Depending upon the type of performance taking place, performers had access to as many as six D.A.S. CA-28A self-powered line array modules for on-stage sidefills and eight SML-15A powered stage monitors.

Along with the excitement, SPL levels also ran high, as Ralph Alvarez, owner of Interface Sound, explained, "With the huge crowds, the decibel readings were practically off the chart. Last year, the readings were in the 114 - 118 dB range. This year, the city of Miami made a conscious effort to get a handle on the situation. Every hour, a Department of Health meter reader came by the stages, monitored the SPL level, and enforced a 105-106 dB maximum."

Roxy Productions owner Ulises Otero agreed with Alvarez. "Sound pressure levels were very high-deafening loud," said Otero, "and yet the crowd loved it that way." Here, the Roxy Production team flew eight D.A.S. Aero 48 line arrays per side and placed thirty-two of the company's newly introduced LX-218 subwoofers across the lower front stage area. Compact 2 loudspeakers were used as sidefills, while six SML-12A stage monitors were available.

Reflecting on the festival after its close, Russell Faibisch, Founder/Director, and Executive Producer for the Ultra Music Festival, offered a closing thought. "This year's festival had a terrific talent lineup and, with upwards of 70,000 music enthusiasts, crowd turnout was everything we had hoped for. I'd like to thank all the people who pitched in to make it come together. They did a great job. It was a lot of hard work, but it was also a lot of fun."

Text by Roger Maycock

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