RCF HDL6-A Outdoors

RCF HDL6-A Outdoors

This past weekend, I mixed an outdoor concert with RCF as the PA sponsor.

My colleague has been planning on investing in a new compact-format array system for a while, and this event proved the perfect occasion to do a test drive. A trim height of 17.5 feet on an SL100 and a coverage area going back about 200 is a tall order for such small boxes. My plan was three two-box composites (2 @ 1°, 2 @ 2°, 2 @ 5°) which is a bit of an oversplay down front and still left a significant coverage gap for front fills, but after playing with a few iterations it seems like the best solution, as my priority was reducing level variance all the way to the back of the area.

My original prediction didn’t take into account a rather large tent erected about 60 feet from the stage which would acoustically shadow the HF over the remaining 120 or so feet of coverage area.

What I decided to do was move the pinpoint further back on the rigging point, which would tip the entire array down a few more degrees, and allow me to focus coverage on the area from the tent forward. As hung:

My concern here was the lower HF lobe, which I didn’t want splashing onto the stage, which is why I originally designed in a gap for front fills. Although this act had a very clean quiet stage (all amps direct, all artists on IEMs), gain before feedback can be a bit of an issue with the lead vocal channel so I prefer to keep the energy off the stage when possible.

Usually I would drive this type of array in zones so I could shade, but as it was a demo, I told the TD “I’m not going to zone this. Let’s just see what it can do.”

Imagine my surprise when the rig measured about +/- 3 dB above 300 Hz for the entire coverage area. Red trace = average of near, mid, far. 

If I had zoned it, I might have touched up the HF (only about 8 kHz) with a dB or two of hi-shelf, but as hung it sounded great. I only ended up using a single filter to pull back the 3.2 kHz by 1.5 dB, and when the band started their sound check, I threw the faders up and everything sounded exactly like it should right out of the gate.

Stay tuned to next month’s Live Sound International magazine for much more on this event.

Big thanks to Tarik and the gang at RCF for taking care of us.

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