Burnsville, MN (November 2016): Based in the ski town of Park City, Utah, Mountain Town Music is a not-for-profit promoter that owns its own systems. Its mission is to promote free live music – a huge summertime draw to the ski community. To accommodate the organization's growth and cater to national touring artists, Mountain Town Music has invested in the Electro-Voice X-Line Advance line array loudspeaker system.
Senior engineer Dave Hallock was one of the driving forces behind the purchase. "With the growth of the area's free music initiative, we needed a sound system suitable for major artists in our larger venues, and had a few obvious choices in mind," he explains. "Electro-Voice was definitely on my radar, but wasn't necessarily my first choice. But when I had a chance to hear the X-Line Advance at an EV Road Show in Dallas, I was blown away. It sounded at least as good as the big-dollar systems from other companies out there, and at a significantly better price. Suddenly I realized ‘they've really got something here.'"
Investigating further, Hallock was impressed with the premium features of the X-Line Advance system, including its digital networking and control, its ability to handle long throws for large open-air venues and its state-of-the-art rigging design. Another positive was the system's driver protection technology.
"As a not-for-profit, Mountain Town Music has a limited budget, so having an over-enthusiastic client overload the system and blow the high-end compression drivers is always a concern," says Hallock. "But the system is very robust in that area, with multiple types of limiting and optimized speaker settings with FIR (Finite Impulse Response) filters."
Mountain Town Music made the decision to purchase X-Line Advance in January 2016, taking delivery in March. The system includes dual 12-box arrays of the X2-212/90, a biamplified loudspeaker with 90-degree dispersion, weighing only 93 pounds. The mains are augmented by a dozen X12-128 subwoofers, an extremely powerful dual 18-inch design. All loudspeakers are powered by Electro-Voice Tour Grade TG7 amplifiers with RCM-28 networking modules supporting Dante audio networking, OCA (Open Control Architecture) control and multiple levels of signal redundancy using standard network hardware.
The entire system is networked together with an Electro-Voice N8000 digital matrix controller. All loudspeakers and amplifiers are fully accessible, both individually and in groups, via the IRIS-Net software interface, allowing the system engineer to address everything from individual component adjustments to full system routing, configuration, dynamics and monitoring from a single screen.
In its first season with Mountain Town Music, the X-Line Advance system has been used regularly, earning enthusiastic response from engineers for visiting artists including Michael Franti and Spearhead, Big Gigantic, Sublime, The Wailers and Thievery Corporation. The system is used primarily at the Hill Stage at The Canyons, a Park City resort venue at 7,800 feet, along with several other outdoor venues.
"Getting tour engineers to work with something new and not on their rider can be a challenge, but everyone who has worked with the new system has been blown away by it," says Hallock. "When you see the engineer put on the system-check music and walk the venue, and then go back to the console and turn it off with zero adjustment, you know the system is sounding great. And that's been the case, artist after artist, all summer long. It's certainly made me confident that we made the right choice."
As senior engineer for Mountain Town Music, Hallock has also experienced mixing on X-Line Advance personally. "I've probably mixed 15 bands on it at this point, plus I've done a festival, and it's been excellent for every type of music," he reports. "Not only is it super-articulate with great linearity, it's also got the muscle to deliver huge low end when you need it, as with some of the reggae artists we've had this summer."
Hallock is also a big fan of the rigging system on X-Line Advance. "The hardware is well-designed – very intuitive," he says. "I love the fact that you can use either a compressed array or static array technique, which is not the case in some other systems I've used. Doing a compression rig, I can fly a 12-box array in 20 minutes, no problem. And that's with just two guys. You can't beat that!"
This summer, Mountain Town Music produced a total of 245 music events in and around Park City, and the projection is for further growth next year. X-Line Advance has helped raise the level of performance for their biggest shows, making Dave Hallock very happy with their purchase decision.
"What's amazing to me is what Electro-Voice gives you in terms of value," he concludes. "X-Line Advance gives us all the performance our artists demand, but at a price point that a not-for-profit can embrace. Yet there are no compromises anywhere in the system. Great sound, great technology, great reliability and all at a great price. We couldn't be happier."