JBL by HARMAN VTX A12 Powers a Legendary Lineup of Jazz and Pop Artists at Umbria Jazz Festival

November 03, 2017

PERUGIA, ITALY—Leading Technologies recently deployed a JBL by HARMAN VTX A12 tour sound solution at Umbria Jazz Festival.

Held annually in Perugia and surrounding cities in the Umbria region of Italy, Umbria Jazz Festival is one of the most important jazz festivals in the world. Since 1973, Umbria Jazz Festival has hosted some of the biggest names in jazz and pop, including Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Chick Corea, Prince, Alicia Keys, Santana, Elton John and many more.

Continuing the tradition of excellence, the 2017 Umbria Jazz Festival hosted performances by Kraftwerk, Brian Wilson, Christian McBride, Wayne Shorter and many others. In order to ensure excellent sound quality for the diverse line-up of artists on the main stage, Italian audio provider Leading Technologies deployed a complete JBL VTX A12 tour sound system.

“This is the first time we’ve deployed the new VTX A12 line arrays at the Umbria Jazz Festival,” said Giovanni Bugari, Manager, Leading Technologies. “The festival’s technical manager specifically requested the A12 line arrays for the main stage after hearing them at a recent trade show. Everyone at the festival was very pleased with the VTX system’s performance, including the organizers, artists and guest engineers. We received many compliments on the sound quality, particularly about the smooth mid-range and incredibly clean high frequencies of the A12 arrays, as well as the power and punch provided by the S28 and S25 subs. I will not be surprised when he requests the same system for next year’s festival.”  

The system Leading Technologies deployed included two main arrays of 12 VTX A12 loudspeakers, a cluster of six VTX V20 loudspeakers for down fills, eight VTX V20 for front fills, 21 VTX S28 and eight VTX S25 subwoofers in a cardioid arc array. The entire system was powered by Crown I-Tech HD Series amplifiers. In addition to Bugari, the live sound team at Umbria Jazz included Leading Technologies Senior Product Manager Danilo Meroni, as well as external audio consultants Paolo Calza and Claudio Scavazza.

The configuration and innovative design of the VTX system allowed Leading Technologies to overcome numerous challenges during setup, including a coverage deficiency caused by the width of the stage.

“With a cluster of more than 12 boxes, it’s natural to have a strong center beam on the low-mid frequencies,” explained Bulgari. “The system was divided into four separate circuits, so we applied all-pass filter at 350hz   on all of the amps and adjusted the frequencies to spread the beam and expand coverage. Additionally, the width of the stage caused a coverage gap between the main arrays, so we deployed a center cluster of six V20 boxes to cover the front of the stage. The technical manager was very pleased with the coverage we were able to achieve with the A12 system.”  

Time was at a premium during setup, and the Leading Technologies team needed to deploy the system quickly to leave time for tuning the VTX A12 system. Innovative rigging system enabled them to hang the system with unprecedented speed and efficiency.

“We were on a very tight schedule for setup, and we didn’t have a lot of time to deploy the main stage front-of-house system,” concluded Bugari. “The A12’s rigging system makes it one of the easiest line arrays we’ve ever deployed. The main hangs were up in no time, which gave us more time to tune the system and achieve optimum coverage.”

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