Sounding out Fantasia’s recent 29-date Sketchbook Tour was an ultra-compact CODA Audio AiRAY system, supplied by Solotech.
Lee Moro, VP, Live Productions USA for Solotech and Production Lead on the Sketchbook Tour, commented: “We were one of a first companies in the North American touring market to recognise from the outset the great advantages offered by CODA systems. We’ve deployed AiRAY very successfully on a number of occasions including Corey Hart’s very well-received comeback arena tour of Canada, last year. FOH Engineer, Gary Stokes, rated the system very highly indeed…”
FOH Engineer for Fantasia, Gordon Mack (Lionel Ritchie, John Legend, Madonna, Justin Bieber) also enjoyed his first experience of using CODA and was very impressed by its performance. He stated: “I must say, when I first saw the hang, I was a bit sceptical that it would have the power and coverage to cover an arena show but boy was I pleasantly surprised! It covered as well as any PA I’ve used and maybe even better than some.”
The system deployed for the Sketchbook Tour, which featured guests Robin Thicke, Tank and Bonfyre, comprised 10 AiRAY over four ViRAY as front hangs (L&R), four AiRAY over eight ViRAY as side hangs (L&R) and six APS for front fills. A total of 16 SCPF subs were used in a horizontal cardioid block centre stage, with the system driven by a total of eight LINUS14D (per side) amplifiers.
Expanding on first impressions, Mack continued: “As for the subs, oh my god. They were punchy, thick and warm, and handled the weight of the super-lows with ease. Again, I was pleasantly surprised. I received quite a bit of positive feedback from concert-goers on what a great sounding show it was. I’d listen to the PA with no processing and I must say, with just a little EQ’ing for the room, it was ready to go.”
This is a recurring theme with engineers who have taken CODA systems to all corners of the globe, as are the notable practical and logistical advantages that it delivers. Gordon Mack offers a clear view of what he sees as the advantages. He said: “To begin with, it’s incredibly light. They’re small boxes so they don’t take up much room in the truck or on the grid, so it’s great for the set designers in terms of sight-lines. Bean counters, PMs, LDs and management will all love this array!”
Luke Jenks, Managing Director of CODA Audio USA reflectedon another success: “We’re really pleased that the Sketchbook tour proved to be a big hit and that AiRAY played its part. As a newcomer to CODA, Gordon Mack’s comments offer some objective and valuable insights into the benefits that our next generation technology brings. Our presence in the US market continues to grow as more and more audio professionals share the CODA Audio experience.”