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Grenada's Spicemas Carnival Steps It Up

FOH Staff • News • September 13, 2006

ST GEORGE, GRENADA–Music, festival and dance are at the heart of Grenada's cultural heritage, and the spice island's annual "Spicemas" Carnival, a world-renowned celebration featuring the finest soca, reggae and calypso music, sounded better than ever this year, thanks to the EV, Midas and Klark Teknik sound system, operated by Judah Sound System of St. George's, Grenada. After many years spent contracting sound companies with proprietary systems for concerts organized under the banner of parent company Sunshine Promotions, Ian (Judah) St. Bernard (Director/Owner), Petroc Bernard (Engineer) and Steve Duncan (Q-West Promotion) formulated a purchasing strategy to find a single system to meet their high specifications.

"First we researched the specs on the world's top four industry standard line array systems," reported Judah St. Bernard, "and attended several concerts to hear them all in action. Jim Baron (Sam Ash, New York), Petroc Bernard and myself then cross-referenced speaker cabinets from each manufacturer down to the decibel, paying close attention to their performance with various industry standard amps and limiting/EQ filters in the process." After this meticulous testing, the team chose X-Line, along with Klark Teknik DN series processors and EV P-Series and CP-Series amplifiers.

"We then passed on our system spec to the pro's at EV to solidify the design and verify the component selection, amplifier calibration and processor programming, in order to meet the demands of our tropical work environment and venue specifications here in Grenada. This high level of hands-on manufacturer support was important to us–an immediate return on our investment."

After the X-Line system arrived in Grenada, they had a little over a month to become acquainted with it and complete the EV Dx38 processing for our first big show. In addition to the X-Line Xvls, Xlvt, X-sub and Dx38 units, they took delivery on P3000, CP3000S and CP2200 amplifiers, QRx112/75, QRx212/75, QRx115/75 and QRx218/75 boxes for monitors, fills and auxiliary subs. At mix position, they have Klark Teknik DN370 EQs and DN9848 processing. They also appreciate that their new Midas Verona delivers the 'Midas Sound' in a relatively compact and inexpensive package.

"Our first engagement was with Sizzla and the Firehouse Band, high-energy dance hall reggae with thunderous low end and aggressive vocal melodies. The show sounded fantastic: Sizzla told us afterwards that this was the first system he'd worked with through which he could hear himself clearly over the main mix without asking his engineer to crank up the monitors. Other patrons congratulated us on the clarity of the system, and also for bringing such an impressive PA to the Caribbean. That was great to hear! This show really marked a new era in concert production here in Grenada, and things went from strength to strength from there."

At the Spicemas Carnival, headlined by Marshal Montano and Xtatik, Xtatik's engineer Shawn was equally pleased with the pure sound and masses of headroom he had to play with when dialing in Xtatik's signature sound.

"Every time we set this rig up, the praise comes flooding in," St. Bernard added. "During his soundcheck, reggae royalty Morgan Heritage told us that this system should be standard issue across the Caribbean, and his road manager agreed that the X-Line was the best rig he'd heard while touring the Caribbean for the last six months!"

St. Bernard also had praise for the solid engineering on the system.

"I've worked with the EV X-Line flown, stacked, indoors, outdoors, as a mobile system on a flat bed truck, in a tropical depression, in wind, rain and sun. I've never had any problems with this PA. We drive it close to the limit for these electrifying reggae and soca shows, but not one component has failed since we took delivery."

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