We joined Grammy award-winning recording artist and singer-songwriter Jason Mraz on tour in Redmond, Washington to talk to members of his crew to find out why they love using HARMAN audio and lighting solutions to support Jason’s shows.
In interviewing the crew members, we were able to capture why they are passionate about the choices they make to ensure great shows every night. This includes their thoughts on JBL VTX A12 Line Array Speakers, Crown I-Tech12000HD Amplifiers, JBL Performance Manager software, the JBL Line Array Calculator, and Martin MAC Aura fixtures and Martin MAC Viper fixtures.
Why do you like working with JBL VTX A12 Line Arrays and JBL Monitors?
- “The PA being used on Jason Mraz’s tour is the JBL A12 line array system and it’s really sweet, it’s awesome,” said Jacob Lamb, Sound Technician – Sound Image. “Working with the A12, is super easy. If I have one other guy with me on stage I can fly an entire array of 12 boxes in about 10 or 15 minutes just because of how easy their rigging is to use. And that includes getting the beam on, getting the angle set, getting all the cable and cable strain reliefed, getting it up in the air and positioned and angled. It’s the easiest rigging I’ve ever used.”
- “So for over 40 years now I’ve been working with HARMAN products. JBL speakers are pretty much in everything, they’re really good and have always been bulletproof,” said Ettore “E.T.” Dedivitiis, Front of House Manager – Sound Image. “I always try to pick gear that works well and that can handle the abuse of the road because there are 20 different people handling our equipment every day and JBL just handles well and I love it.”
What features do you most appreciate and why do you trust the Martin MAC Aura and MAC Viper fixtures to light Jason’s shows?
- “The MAC Aura is kind of the industry standard for a small wash light now. They’re really easy to get and they’re really easy to work on. And the MAC Viper is sort of the same for a spotlight – they’re really easy to get and really reliable,” Chris Coyle, Lighting Technician – Upstaging, Inc.
- “I’m usually the one who’s dealing with the stagehands to hang the Viper. I do appreciate the handle on the bottom of the yolk. That is something that Martin has that I have not seen on a lot of other fixtures and for those of us who are not so vertically inclined, it is nice to be able to have the second handle to get it out,” said Holly Lloyd, Lighting Technician – Upstaging, Inc. “The Mac Aura specifically has PowerCon passthroughs, which a lot of the other LED fixtures that were designed to compete with them, don’t have, which is a very nice feature for such a low-power consumption fixture.”
- “On the Martin MAC Aura and Martin Mac Viper, I like their color mixing and I like the features on the Martin Mac Viper, which is the spot unit. I like the way the prism works – it’s just my workhorse light,” said Joel Reiff, Lighting Director – Jason Mraz Tour. “Auras are my main wash fixture. Vipers are my main spot fixture so most of the workload goes to them to carry the show. There are a lot of lights out there that have color mixing that I don’t like. For some people that doesn’t make a difference, for me it does.”
What are some of the benefits of being able to configure JBL and Crown products with tools like JBL Performance Manager and JBL Line Array Calculator software?
- “I like the combination of being able to use JBL speakers with Crown amplifiers and HARMAN software. Nowadays the sound is just getting better and better and better, said Satoshi (Son) Nisimura, Front of House System Tech – Sound Image.
- “The cool thing is that once Son is done setting all the angles in the software, a little QR code pops up and I can just walk up with my phone and scan it. If you have the JBL Line Array Calculator app on your phone, you can scan it and have all the specific angles, box heights, and rigging points so it tells you everything you need to know so you don’t have to waste a bunch of paper writing it out like we used to have to,” said Jacob Lamb, Sound Technician – Sound Image Technician.
For more on these discussions, check out the three case study videos that dive deeper into the gear that veteran sound and lighting professionals depend on out on the road with Jason Mraz.