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St. Maarten Heineken Regatta Sets Sail with D.A.S. Audio

FOH Staff • News • April 22, 2008

ST. MAARTEN – Home to one of the Caribbean's most exciting vacation destinations, Sint Maarten also has the distinction of being the site of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, one of the biggest sailing events of the Americas and second only to the America’s Cup. This year’s regatta was larger than ever — with over 280 ships participating in the race. For each event, D.A.S. Audio systems provided sound reinforcement—with the final night’s concert being a massive affair that featured Jamaican American reggae artist Shaggy.

Sint Maarten-based Sound 2000, a rental company that handles sound, staging, lighting, and video for a wide range of live concerts, corporate industrials, and special events, was contracted to provide sound reinforcement for the parties. According to Earl York, Sound 2000’s chief engineer and owner, “Every day, the regatta finished at a different location and each evening there was a Heineken sponsored party. The biggest night occurred at the conclusion of the race. This last event was a combination beach party/concert featuring Shaggy as the headlining artist. The party ran from 4 PM until 2 AM and attracted nearly 15,000 people. This was a huge effort that required an enormous sound system.”

The sound system York and his crew deployed was 100% D.A.S. Audio — consisting primarily of enclosures from the company’s Aero catalog. Flown at a height of 25 feet, the left-right main FOH line arrays each consisted of nine D.A.S. Audio Aero 38A 3-way, self-powered medium format line array elements coupled with an additional three Aero 28A 2-way, self-powered line array elements that were hung beneath the Aero 38As for front fill purposes. Beneath each flown cluster were four D.A.S. Audio Compact 218 2K self-powered subwoofers.

To ensure plenty of low frequency performance, the Sound 2000 crew placed an additional sixteen D.A.S. Audio ST-218 non-powered subwoofers across the front of the stage area. The ST-218 uses a horn loaded band pass configuration with dual 18-inch transducers. At the front lip of the stage area, two additional Aero 28A enclosures were placed for additional front fill. For the two side fills, York’s crew flew three Aero 215A self-powered subwoofers and three Aero 28A line array elements per side.

The setups for stage monitoring and drum fills were equally ambitious. The artists had a combination of nine D.A.S. Audio SM-12A powered stage monitors plus six SML-12A low profile powered stage monitors. The drum fills consisted of two D.A.S. Audio Compact 18 Sub single 18-inch self-powered subwoofers paired with two SML-15A powered stage monitors. Mixing chores were handled by a pair of Yamaha M7CL-48 digital live sound consoles at FOH (front of house) and MON (monitor) respectively.

According to York, “The biggest challenge for us was the fact that there was a concert in a different location on each of the four evenings, so we had a tremendous amount of moving, setup, and teardown to handle. By the time Sunday evening rolled round, the entire crew was beat, but thanks to the easy-to-use, captive rigging hardware and the self powered nature of all but the ST-218 subs, we were able to erect the system and get everything up and running with a minimal amount of time and effort compared to most competing equipment on the market. The only stand-alone power amps we had to haul were the four amps that drove the ST subs. With the overwhelming majority of the gear being self powered, cabling was much easier than with non-powered systems and there was no need to haul a lot of heavy power amps.”

When queried how it all turned out, York gave an enthusiastic thumbs up. “This was our 10th year working the Heineken Regatta,” said York. “The manager from Heineken Sint Maartin was extremely pleased with the system and told us this was the best sounding concert he ever experienced. Shaggy’s engineer was equally impressed. This was his first exposure to D.A.S., and he repeatedly commented about how natural and clear the sound was. I’ve always been impressed with the fact that D.A.S. Audio equipment gets plenty loud, yet it doesn’t fatigue the ears the way many other systems do.”


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