CTS AVL Sends Off Vanderbilt University’s Class of 2023 With Help From HARMAN Professional Solutions

September 08, 2023

NASHVILLE—To provide this year’s Commencement celebration at Vanderbilt University with reliable and versatile audio even in the face of inclement weather, CTS AVL, a Nashville-based live production and AVL integration company, deployed several rigs featuring JBL Professional VTX Series solutions.

Held in Spring 2023, Vanderbilt University celebrated the Class of 2023 with a wide array of events and smaller gatherings ahead of the main Commencement Ceremony. While the Undergraduate Commencement was scheduled to take place on the campus’ Alumni Lawn, poor weather conditions forced the ceremony to be moved to Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena less than 24 hours before the event. This change meant that the CTS team had to install an indoor audio rig on short notice after already assembling rigs for the Alumni and Commons Lawns. Thankfully, JBL VTX Series speakers provided the team with the versatility, power, and ease-of-use needed to smoothly transition the ceremony to its new venue.

“This was our third year in a row that we've done the graduation ceremonies for Vanderbilt,” said Mike Taylor, Vice President at CTS AVL. “We have typically done this in their football stadium and in their basketball gym, but both of those venues were not available this year because they're both under construction. So the university planned to host the ceremonies in Alumni Lawn and the Commons Lawn. And, well, weather happens—when the weather was coming down the pike as a potential problem for the day of the Undergrad Commencement, we started to functionally work on a plan a few days out, but the university did not want to make the call to move locations until the morning before. Sure enough, they made the call the day before at 10:00 AM. The graduation started at 8:00 AM the following day, so we had to basically put together a third system at Bridgestone Arena in 22 hours.”

For the main Commencement ceremony, both the audio rig for Bridgestone Arena and original rig at the Alumni Lawn primarily utilized JBL VTX V20 line array elements as the main PA, wing and delay speakers. Built as a compact version of the industry standard V25, the VTX V20 features a high power density three-way system and horizontal coverage up to 105 degrees in a compact and lightweight enclosure. Additionally, like the rest of the VTX Series, the V20 utilizes a specially designed suspension and rigging system for easy assembly and take-down—a particularly useful feature for the CTS team to meet the ceremony’s tight turnaround.

“The V20 has been really successful for us overall,” said Taylor. “When it first came out, we adopted it early and bought over 140 of the boxes. We think the mid-sized box is better tuned for vocals, which is a lot of what we do as a company. Vocal clarity is more important to us than loudness, but the V20 luckily has both. It’s basically a staple of all of our installs at this point.”

Other speakers in the rig included JBL VTX G28 subwoofers, which provided extra low end and impact for videos and music cues without causing excessive distortion or muddiness. JBL VTX F12 multipurpose speakers, equipped with a D2430K D2 Dual Diaphragm Dual Driver and a bi-amplified two-way system for maximum flexibility, served as wedges for clear and consistent onstage sound, while JBL VRX932 line arrays completed the front fill sections.

“There wasn’t a lot in the ceremony that needed a ton of low-end out in the arena,” added Taylor. “It was just for some walkup music and things of that nature when you just need a little extra low-end. The G28 is great because I could take six of them where I might need eight to ten of another type of sub. As for the F12, it’s got the same high-end dual differential drive as the V20, so they’re voiced the same. It creates a nice, seamless transition when you're moving from mains to wedges.”

The Commons Lawn, which was used for Graduates Day festivities the day before the Commencement ceremony, utilized a smaller but similar rig that included JBL VTX F12 and G28 speakers. The main difference was the use of the JBL VTX A8 line arrays, which provides optimal output and horizontal coverage up to 110 degrees in a compact enclosure. Equipped with two 8-inch woofers, four 3.5-inch midrange drivers, and two 2-inch high-frequency drivers in a single low-profile cabinet, the A8 provides an impressive frequency spectrum compared to similar-sized speakers, making it ideal for a wide variety of events and locations.

“The Commons Lawn was a little bit smaller of an area, with probably about a 2,000-person capacity,” explained Taylor. “The A8 makes sense for this kind of setup since weight was a big concern. We couldn't put very much weight on the rig and V20s were going to push it over the limit, so the A8 proved really useful.”

Despite the weather, the Vanderbilt Commencement successfully sent off the Class of 2023 with a memorable ceremony powered by JBL speakers. With CTS being an early adopter of VTX speakers, Taylor thanked JBL and HARMAN for their continued support and assistance over the years.

“Through the years of working with HARMAN, we've always had wonderful support,” said Taylor. “We've always had a direct line to anyone we needed to call. They have a great network of users in case we need to find a product to match with a certain installation, in case we need to go deeper into our inventory. And our customers have always been very happy to let us use the tools we want to use to achieve the goal they need. HARMAN just lines up very well with that.”

Gateway Theater Revamps Its Performance Spaces  with JBL Professional

Gateway Theater Revamps Its Performance Spaces with JBL Professional

July 14, 2023

Singapore—To equip Gateway Theater with impactful sound, Electronics & Engineering Pte Ltd (E&E) and HARMAN Professional Solutions selected and installed next-generation JBL Professional loudspeakers and Crown amplification.

Located at the heart of Bukit Merah Central in Singapore, Gateway Theater is a multi-theatre venue that serves as a creative arts space promoting made-in-Singapore works and talents of all cultures. The theater features several performance spaces, including a 922-seat auditorium, 207-seat black box studio, 100-seat sky garden and other multi-purpose studios.

With the vision to enhance the theater’s production value and experience, Gateway Theatre engaged E&E to bring about a comprehensive and creative cutting-edge audio system. Being a popular venue within Singapore’s art scene and with ongoing bookings within the venue, Electronics & Engineering Pte Ltd and HARMAN Professional needed to conduct installations without disrupting any existing venue bookings—all while navigating the COVID-19 pandemic. With these challenges in mind, the installation team selected streamlined yet powerful JBL Professional and Crown audio solutions.

Designed to excel in high-end fixed installations, the JBL VTX A-Series proved invaluable for the main theater. With a compact design and 100-degree dispersion, the JBL VTX A8 delivers optimal sound for the audience thanks to its high-quality transducers and innovative waveguide technology. Paired with the extended low end of the JBL VTX B18 subwoofer, the new audio system outputs wider dynamic range for the theater.

Additionally, the team installed an array of JBL VRX928LA 8-inch, two-way loudspeakers. Compact and lightweight, the VRX928LA is a line array speaker system that offers outstanding coverage and sonic clarity for the theater’s front fill.

The sky garden received JBL CBT1000 column speaker and CBT1000E speaker extension for improved vertical coverage. When connected, the combined pair provides increased bass response, pattern control, and sound output levels. The combined array system also utilizes a horizontal waveguide so the audience can hear balanced sound from every seat in the sky garden.

For professional-grade amplification, the Crown I-Tech 4x3500HD provides up to 7000W of uncompromising power. Driven by its patented Class-I technology, the 4x3500HD provides ample output and responsive control for any performance or event.

“Sound is a key element in a staged production. In our theatre and art spaces, it plays a critical role in defining the mood of any performance,” says Boon Bing, Technical Manager of Gateway Theatre. “We are pleased that E&E was able to understand that and deliver expert advice and recommendations with JBL’s product range. At Gateway Theatre, we strive to provide consistently stunning world-class sound, elevating performances here through our carefully calibrated audio system and bringing immersive experiences to our audiences".

Having been involved in the original installation, we are pleased to be back to update the speaker system in the various venues to better meet the needs of Gateway Theatre and their clients,” said Gary Goh, CEO, Electronics & Engineering Pte Ltd. "We are hugely grateful for the trust that the Management of Gateway Theater have placed in us over the years, paving the way for these improvements.”

“Gateway Theater can now deliver impactful audio experiences,” said Amar Subash, VP & GM, HARMAN Professional Solutions of APAC. “We would like to thank our partner, Electronics & Engineering Pte Ltd for their trust and confidence in HARMAN’s products as we pride ourselves in providing end-to-end solutions, superior sound quality and remarkable coverage for the entertainment industry.”

AMX Debuts New Line of CE Series Universal Control Extenders Expanding Control to Third-Party Devices

AMX Debuts New Line of CE Series Universal Control Extenders Expanding Control to Third-Party Devices

June 14, 2023

InfoComm (Booth 4443) - ORLANDO — HARMAN Professional Solutions, the global leader in audio, video, lighting and control, today introduced the CE Series, a new family of professional-grade Universal Control Extenders. The new line delivers AMX-quality hardware control to any system that supports IP connectivity, making these units ideal for corporate spaces, colleges and universities, and government facilities.

AMX debuted four models, including CE-IO4 with 4 I/O Ports, CE-IRS4 with 4 IR/S Ports, CE-REL8 with 8 Relays, and CE-COM2 with 2 Serial Ports.

An open control API makes it simple to integrate CE Extenders with any IP control systems or apps and the integrated web interface enables configuration without specialized applications. HARMAN’s HControl protocol enables auto-discovery by next generation AMX control processors and other HARMAN Professional products. PoE power and a compact footprint simplify installation and concealment.

“We couldn’t be happier to introduce this new line of Universal Control Extenders,” said Nick Czapla, HARMAN Professional Control Solutions Product Manager. “These boxes make it super simple to extend control well beyond typical point-to-point connections to just about any device within reach of the IP network – it really is that easy. The open control API and web interface also make integration quick and painless.”


    An open API makes it possible for any control system or application to control CE Series Universal Control Extenders. Whether part of a larger HARMAN Professional installation or the only AMX product in an install with products from other manufacturers, the open API allows seamless integration.
    The compact form factor of CE Series Universal Control Extenders is not much larger than a deck of playing cards. This small size, combined with the simplicity of being PoE powered, makes for easy mounting and concealment.
    CE Series Universal Control Extenders are perfect for applications that require a low-cost control extension solution with the professional-grade quality and security of an AMX product.
    The included web interface simplifies configuration and provides device control capabilities for testing during commissioning.
    The HControl protocol enables CE Series Universal Control Extenders to be auto-discovered and integrated seamlessly with next generation AMX control processors and other HARMAN Professional products.

Additional Details
For complete product details and specifications, please visit:

AMX Introduces SVSI N4321D Audio Transceivers with Dante and AES67

AMX Introduces SVSI N4321D Audio Transceivers with Dante and AES67

June 14, 2023

InfoComm (Booth 4443) - ORLANDO — HARMAN Professional Solutions, the global leader in audio, video, lighting and control, today announced its new AMX SVSI N4321D Audio Transceivers with Dante and AES67.

These Transceivers are ideal for corporate applications, colleges and universities, casinos, convention and entertainment centers, or anyone needing robust Dante, AES67, or PCM networked audio over IP and analog transcoding at an affordable price point.

The N4321D connects independent IP and analog audio networks and supports balanced and unbalanced analog audio. Whether the project requires converting from PCM to Dante, Dante to analog, analog to AES67, or nearly any other combination of these technologies, these transceivers drastically simplify networked audio integration.

Perfect for point-to-point or point-to-multi-point audio delivery, the N4321D provides audio matrix switching and distribution using the same control options as SVSI's Networked AV video switching and distribution solution. Additionally, an open API makes it compatible with any AMX or third-party controller on the market.

With two auto-sensing gigabit Ethernet ports, units can also be used to bridge low-latency multi-channel audio between separate networks. One Ethernet port is PoE for use with a PoE switch, eliminating the need for an external power supply.

“The N4321D is a product we’ve been working to bring to the market for some time because there are so many applications for powerful audio transcoding and integrated Dante and AES67 support,” said Kyle Barron, Networked AV Product Manager, HARMAN Professional Solutions. “This product also underlines our AMX commitment to simplify interoperability in projects – whether the install includes other AMX products or not, we want our products to be able to first and foremost be an effective independent solution for the need or requirement.”


    Support for Dante, AES67, streaming PCM and analog simplifies interoperability between SVSI and other IP audio networks. Analog audio ports streamline input and output of two-channel balanced or unbalanced audio.
    No matter your application, requirement, or budget, the N4321D will be ideal with the choice of box or card form factors and PoE to ease mounting behind a display, under a table, or in a rack.
    The N4321D is perfect for applications that only require a low-cost audio encoding or decoding solution. Additionally, PoE power requires a single network cable and no additional power supply to maximize cost savings.
    With the onboard web configurator, the N4321D can be configured and managed directly, or with the SVSI SW ecosystem, including N-Able and N-Command.
    An open API makes it possible for any control system or application to control N4321D transceivers. Whether part of a larger HARMAN Professional installation or the only AMX product in an install with products from other manufacturers, the open API allows seamless integration.

Additional Details
For complete product details and specifications, please visit:

JBL Professional Debuts New COL Series Slim Column Loudspeakers Expanding Control Contractor Lineup

JBL Professional Debuts New COL Series Slim Column Loudspeakers Expanding Control Contractor Lineup

June 13, 2023

InfoComm (Booth 4443) - ORLANDO — HARMAN Professional Solutions, the global leader in audio, video, lighting and control, announces the launch of two new JBL Slim Column Loudspeakers, COL600 (24-inch 600 mm) and COL800 (32-inch 800 mm), that are ideal for a variety of applications, including conference and meeting rooms, lecture halls, retail stores, concourses, transit spaces, fill applications and more.

Featuring wide horizontal and narrow vertical coverage with a built-in 10° down-tilt to the aim, both COL Series models deliver optimum coverage for most listening areas while allowing the speaker to be installed flat to the wall. Racetrack woofers provide maximum radiating area in a column form factor. Multi-tap transformers allow for use on either 70V or 100V distributed speaker lines, while the speaker is switchable for direct 8-ohm operation.

Available in black or white, versatile installation is accommodated by two included L-brackets, which can be installed on either the top or bottom panels. These speakers can be installed indoors or outdoors and feature an IP54 rating (per IEC60529) for protection against ingress of dust or water. The drivers are water-treated, the grille has a water-backing, and a cover is included to protect the input terminals.

“We are extremely pleased to introduce these COL Series loudspeakers that solve so many installed audio needs and are ideal for completing our Control Contractor Series product family expansion,” said Rick Kamlet, HARMAN Professional Solutions Senior Manager, Installed Loudspeakers. “They combine an incredible package of performance and aesthetics and deliver beautiful coverage both vertically and horizontally, we can’t wait to get them out supporting real-world market applications."

Additional Details
Explore complete product details and specifications at:

Andamanda Phuket Waterpark’s JBL Professional Installation Enhances Visitor Experience

Andamanda Phuket Waterpark’s JBL Professional Installation Enhances Visitor Experience

June 07, 2023

PHUKET, Thailand—To provide visitors to the new Andamanda Phuket waterpark with an enhanced and unforgettable experience, Mahajak Development Co., Ltd selected and installed a robust AV system by HARMAN Professional Solutions.

Opened in 2022, Andamanda Phuket is currently one of the largest leisure and entertainment destinations in Thailand. Incorporating the famous Andaman Islands’ natural geography and unique landscapes into its design, the park features numerous family-friendly attractions including a 16,000 square-meter wave pool, 300-meter white sand beach, and Thailand’s longest lazy river ride. To enhance the visitor experience across the park’s many attractions, Proud Real Estate Public Company Limited required a high-quality audio and visual system that was seamless, user-friendly, and built to withstand the area’s wet and humid conditions. Mahajak Development Co., Ltd met those requirements with a carefully curated selection of reliable, water-resistant AV solutions by JBL Professional, BSS and Soundcraft.

The new AV system covered all five key areas in the park; The Pearl Palace, the Emerald Forest, Naga Jungle, the Great Andaman Bay, and Coral World. The Pearl Palace not only welcomes visitors to the park, but it also houses the central computer system that channels music and announcements throughout the park. To optimize the computer’s performance and usability, the Mahajak team installed a BSS BLU-USB link interface to connect the computer to a BSS BLU-100 signal processor for seamless playback and effortless sound configuration. Additionally, a BSS EC-4BV Ethernet controller allows for individual volume control in each zone using an easy-to-use interface design.

For the audio component, JBL Control 14C/T four-inch coaxial ceiling loudspeakers supplied the indoor areas with dynamic and clear audio, while the weatherproof JBL Control 25-1 and 28-1 loudspeakers ensure wide coverage and high-fidelity audio for the outdoor spaces. Both speakers are also equipped with the optional JBL WeatherMax-treated grille cover for maximum, IP55-rated protection against the elements.

For the high-traffic, outdoor corridor spaces, JBL Control 88M landscape speakers utilize a minimalist design and highly durable enclosure to ensure 360-degree coverage and strong output even during peak park hours. The communal spaces like the beach and bar areas utilize a combination of JBL Control 28-1 speakers and JBL AWC129 all-weather compact speakers, the latter of which features a 12-inch woofer with a Kevlar-reinforced cone and a three-inch voice coil for distinct speech intelligibility and extended frequency response for music. Additionally, JBL Control SB2210 subwoofers complement these speakers with warm, punchy low-end sound that is ideal for live performances, events and more.

To host events around the Water Park, the Mahajak team provided a portable sound system featuring JBL EON610 powered speakers, JBL PRX815 floor monitors with built-in Wi-Fi and JBL PRX818XLF compact subwoofers. The team included a Soundcraft Ui16 16-channel digital mixer to ensure premium sound quality with simple and intuitive controls.

A spokesperson for Mahajak reported to HARMAN that working on Andamanda Phuket was a fulfilling project for everyone involved. They also noted their continued faith in HARMAN Professional Solutions’ wide selection of versatile products to consistently meet the client’s needs.

“We would like to congratulate Proud Real Estate Public Company Limited for the successful opening of their outstanding Andamanda Phuket water park,” said Amar Subash, VP & GM, HARMAN Professional Solutions of APAC. “At HARMAN, we pride ourselves in delivering extraordinary experiences and would like to thank Mahajak Development Co., Ltd for working with us on this opportunity.”

2022 Gospel Music Association Dove Awards Celebrates the Power of Faith and Song Using JBL Professional Solutions

2022 Gospel Music Association Dove Awards Celebrates the Power of Faith and Song Using JBL Professional Solutions

June 06, 2023

NASHVILLE—AVL integrator CTS recently collaborated with HARMAN Professional Solutions to equip the 2022 Gospel Music Association Dove Awards with impactful and dynamic live audio from JBL Professional.

Held at Lipscomb University’s Allen Arena in Nashville, the GMA Dove Awards annually honors Christian artists and industry figures working in a wide range of genres including rock, country, hip-hop and more. Unlike conventional televised events, every performance across the show’s three-hour run time included a live band performing onstage. Accommodating this format required a flexible audio solution that adapted to every performer’s instrumentation and style, as well as translated to audiences both in-person and at home.

For their eleventh consecutive year as the Dove Awards’ live production partners, CTS knew JBL was the natural choice to accommodate the show’s eclectic lineup and multifaceted production. Specifically, JBL VTX Series speakers provided the dexterity, high performance and ease-of-use needed for a large-scale live event like the Dove Awards. The resulting audio rig included JBL VTX V25-II-CS three-way line arrays, VTX S28 suspendable subwoofers, and VTX F12 front fills, all of which are equipped with Differential Drive technology, D2 Dual Drivers and a unique compression suspension system among other industry-defining features. With CTS’ expertise in high-production live events and JBL’s breakthrough audio solutions working in tandem, the Dove Awards was a successful celebration of Christian music and the artists whose work resonates with millions of people.

To learn more about the event and the HARMAN gear used, please contact Mike Taylor, Vice President of CTS at to connect with the CTS production team.

HARMAN Professional Solutions Delivers Out-Of-This-World Sights and Sounds at Grande Centre Point Space Pattaya

HARMAN Professional Solutions Delivers Out-Of-This-World Sights and Sounds at Grande Centre Point Space Pattaya

June 05, 2023

CHONBURI, Thailand—Mahajak Development Co., Ltd. collaborated with HARMAN Professional Solutions to outfit Grande Centre Point Space Pattaya with comprehensive audio and lighting solutions by JBL Professional, Soundcraft, dbx, Martin, BSS, AMX and Crown.

Located in the seaside city of Chonburi, Grande Centre Point Space Pattaya is Thailand’s first space-themed five-star hotel. The hotel offers a wide range of facilities that combine outer-space-inspired design and innovative amenities, including a 12,000-square meter intergalactic water park—the largest of its kind in the country. To support world-class guest experiences with the latest technology, hotel owners turned to Mahajak Development Co., Ltd. to bring their vision to life with a suite of cutting-edge solutions. Mahajak worked closely with HARMAN Professional Solutions to outfit the complex with a comprehensive audio and lighting installation consisting of JBL Professional speakers, Crown amplifiers, Soundcraft mixing consoles, dbx signal processors, Martin lighting fixtures, BSS network devices and AMX control units.

The Space Convention Centre required versatile AV solutions that could support a variety of functions and room configurations. Mahajak installed JBL Control 18C/T, Control 14C/T and Control 19CS ceiling speakers to provide balanced and even coverage throughout the modular meeting spaces. The team also included Soundcraft Si Impact digital audio consoles, JBL BRX308-LA line array speakers and BRX325SP subwoofers to be used as the main PA and mixing system for events requiring concert-style presentations.

Additionally, the team included JBL PRX Series portable speakers and subwoofers for maximum flexibility when organizing spontaneous events in miscellaneous locations. For the lighting component, Mahajak equipped the space with Martin MAC Quantum Wash fixtures to visually enhance any type of event with professional-grade visuals.

In the Space Water Park, the team installed JBL Control 25-1 speakers fitted with IP55-rated WeatherMax foam grilles to protect against inevitable water splashes. Networked by a BSS Soundweb London BLU-100 signal processor, the Control 25-1 speakers provide immersive background music as well as emergency announcements and fire safety alerts. A JBL CSPM-1 dynamic close-talking microphone completes the paging system. Mahajak also installed an AMX NX3200 Integrated Controller and Modero Series touch panels to give staff intuitive and convenient control over the audio system.

Grande Centre Point Space Pattaya boasts a one-of-a-kind façade design that is permanently projection-mapped with stunning visuals looping on the building itself. The projection mapping content is carried over HDBaseT protocol with AMX DXLink transmitters, which allow the media playback system to remain in a safe location from weather conditions up to 100 meters away. Mahajak also installed a Martin-powered lighting system to enhance and accentuate the projection-mapped façade effects.

To provide a unified audio experience across the building’s entrance and outdoor areas, the team installed AMX7215/95 and JBL ASB7118 two-way loudspeakers treated with WRX weather protection, as well JBL Control 88M mushroom landscape speakers. The entire audio system is powered by Crown amplifiers with digital signal processing provided by dbx DriveRack VENU360 loudspeaker management systems.

Mahajak staff pointed out that HARMAN Professional Solutions played a key role in the success of the Grande Centre Point Space Pattaya installation. They also reported relying on HARMAN’s diverse catalog of products to overcome several challenges and deliver a tailored solution that met the hotel’s strict requirements.

“Grande Centre Point Space Pattaya is a show-stopping establishment that we are proud to be associated with,” said Amar Subash, VP & GM, HARMAN Professional Solutions of APAC. “Its distinctive features and unique facilities set new benchmarks for the hospitality industry, and is aligned with our mission to create high-level experiences and inspire excellence through our innovative products.”

Mahajak Development Co., Ltd.

Grande Centre Point Space Pattaya

JBL Professional VTX Series Powers Two Days of Live Electronic Dance Music at CRSSD Festival

JBL Professional VTX Series Powers Two Days of Live Electronic Dance Music at CRSSD Festival

May 31, 2023

SAN DIEGO, Calif.—JBL Professional collaborated with Show Imaging and FNGRS CRSSD to power a weekend of high-energy musical performances with a distributed live sound reinforcement solution consisting of JBL VTX Series line array speakers and subwoofers.

Since its debut in 2015, CRSSD Festival has attracted tens of thousands of electronic and indie rock fans to Waterfront Park in San Diego for two days of live music across three stages. Hosted by FNGRS CRSSD, the 2023 edition boasted performances by chart-topping artists and underground DJs alike, including ODESZA, Polo & Pan, Channel Tres, Neil Frances, Bedouin, Kavinsky, Purple Disco Machine and more. Concert organizers once again turned to San Diego-based Show Imaging, Inc. to outfit The Palms Stage with an audio rig that delivered the impact and clarity required for a world class EDM festival without interfering with the concurrent sets happening on the other two stages.

In the past, Show Imaging president Steve Q. Evans was unsure about how the EDM market would take to the JBL VTX systems however, following a particularly successful implementation of Show Imaging’s JBL VTX rig at a New Year’s Eve event, the team confidently decided to deploy VTX speakers and subs to supercharge The Palms Stage at CRSSD Fest 2023.

“For me, when I started Show Imaging in 2014, JBL VRX Series was one of the first production products that we purchased,” said Evans. “It was a great catch-all box for what we were doing at the time. HARMAN and JBL trusted us, and we trusted them. This trust has remained and grown over the years. We bought A8s, and we were on the fence about investing in A12 speakers because they hadn’t had as much exposure in the EDM market yet. By summer of 2022, we were completely confident that the A12 speakers and B28 subwoofers were the next progression for our production inventory. By that time, we were growing bigger as a company and working on larger and higher profile jobs. CRSSD was a great opportunity for us to prove that VTX systems are phenomenal solutions for the EDM market.”    

To keep stage volume and unnecessary sound bleed to a minimum, the Palms Stage system deployed by Show Imaging consisted of a modest stage left-right hang of eight JBL VTX A12 line array speakers (four speakers per side) and two A12W front fills. Rather than focusing all the firepower in the stage hang, the team elected to distribute energy throughout the audience with a total of 56 VTX A8 compact line array speakers assembled as 14 four-box delays. Additionally, to ensure a powerful bass response in the space, the team deployed a total of 16 VTX B28 dual-subwoofers. This hybrid approach enabled the team to deliver the artists’ music to every audience member with utmost clarity and definition, without creating excess energy that could negatively impact the music happening on the festival’s other two stages.

“This project had very specific needs in terms of coverage and strict limits on allowable SPL levels,” said Darrell Henry, Chief Operating Officer, Show Imaging. “We met these requirements using a distributed system with 16 different hangs in a fairly small space. The boxes are well-behaved acoustically; we can get a full and rich audio experience for the audience where we need it without excess sound bleeding elsewhere. We received nothing but positive feedback about the sound system on the Palms Stage. There was a consistent theme that  VTX A series can stand side by side with any other high level competitor on the market.”

The Show Imaging team noted that the seamless compatibility of VTX A12 and A8 speakers contributed to the success of their distributed delay configuration. They also expressed confidence in the predictive capabilities offered by the VTX Series speakers, ensuring that the final system performed exactly as it was intended to.

“JBL VTX A-Series provides two significant benefits for us when designing and deploying the systems,” said Henry. “The first is the similarity in voicing and performance of the high frequencies between A12 and A8. This allows us to mix and match the boxes in our designs to meet weight limitations and venue-specific challenges. The second benefit is that the boxes are very predictable in their frequency response and coverage, virtually eliminating the need for onsite changes once we’ve calculated our designs.”

Billboard Live Elevates New Yokohama Location with  JBL Professional and Martin Professional

Billboard Live Elevates New Yokohama Location with JBL Professional and Martin Professional

May 15, 2023

YOKOHAMA, Japan—To provide Billboard Live’s latest venue in Yokohama with a world-class live setup suitable for a wide range of performances, HIBINO and SC Alliance collaborated with HARMAN Professional Solutions to select and implement a range of JBL Professional audio and Martin professional lighting solutions.

In addition to venues in Tokyo and Osaka, Billboard Live recently launched a third location in the up-and-coming Kitanaka area of Yokohama. The venue boasts a gigantic floorspace of approximately 1,000 square meters and a 300-seat capacity. Along with hosting internationally renowned performers and local artists, the venue also provides an unrivaled culinary experience thanks to a carefully curated menu by Japan’s finest chefs. To elevate the overall guest experience with state-of-the-art live sound as well as immersive and impactful lighting, the HIBINO and SC Alliance installation team deployed JBL VTX and VRX Series speakers and Martin ERA Series lights.

For the audio component, the team installed the JBL VTX A8 and B18 high-performance speakers. Equipped with proprietary JBL woofers, custom-designed high-frequency transducers and advanced waveguide technology, the VTX A8 is a compact-yet-powerful line array capable of high, distortion-free output and consistently wide horizontal coverage of up to 110 degrees. When used in conjunction with the VTX B18 subwoofer, which applies the same features and technology as the A8 for reinforced low end, the combined system produces improved linearity, wider dynamic range and an impactful sound that reaches far-away audiences without overwhelming those close to the stage.

In addition to the VTX speakers, the rig also includes JBL VRX928LA two-way line array loudspeakers for the center and balcony fills. Featuring a Constant Curvature Array design and a Dual Angle pole socket, the JBL VRX928LA offers precise aiming and reliable coverage so that every audience member can experience optimal live sound. Finally, JBL VTX M20 monitor speakers offer the onstage performers the same high-quality sound and technology as the audience-facing rig.

“We needed a system that could simultaneously deliver a broad range of genres including jazz, pop, rock and hip hop,” said Kosuke Takahashi, Touring Division at Tokyo Sanko. “We are impressed with how HARMAN Professional Solutions was able to deliver on that request. We have received great compliments from top artists who performed at our venue.”

Along with sound, lighting effects are also critical for any live performance venue that wants to provide guests with a memorable experience. With this point in mind, the installation team selected Martin ERA 600 Performance fixtures and MAC Aura XB wash lights as the venue’s main lighting system. The Martin ERA 600 sports a highly efficient 550W white LED engine that produces bright and sharp image projection up to 6,500K, while MAC Aura XB specializes in color blends thanks to its superior color mixing system and optimized lens design. The resulting lighting rig ensures saturated washes, vibrant effects, striking beams and more.

“We chose Martin lighting fixtures as it is a renowned brand with a comprehensive range of effects, versatile LED profile and limitless design possibilities,” said Keita O-Kado, Booking Manager, Planning and Production Group, Billboard Division at Hashin Contents Link Corporation.

“Billboard Live is a premium live entertainment venue, and we are honored to bring its performances to life with stellar sound and lighting via our suite of world-class products” said Amar Subash, VP & GM, HARMAN Professional Solutions of APAC. “We would like to thank Hibino, SC Alliance and Rewire for entrusting us and we look forward to future collaborations.”

A video about the JBL Professional loudspeaker and Martin lighting fixture integration can be viewed at

Suwannee Hulaween Festival Delivers Four Days of Music and Art Powered by Martin Fixtures

Suwannee Hulaween Festival Delivers Four Days of Music and Art Powered by Martin Fixtures

May 01, 2023

LIVE OAK, Florida—To provide powerful and immersive visual experiences at Suwannee Hulaween 2022, production designers Michael Smalley and Chris Ruppel partnered with Music Matters Productions to deploy an impressive rig featuring a range of Martin lighting fixtures.

Founded in 2013, Suwannee Hulaween is an annual music and camping festival hosted by The String Cheese Incident (SCI) at the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, Florida. Hulaween’s long running tradition is that SCI plays multiple sets on each night of the festival. The 2022 edition of Suwannee Hulaween was held on October 27 – 30 and featured performances by Sylvan Esso, Margo Price, Portugal. The Man, Black Pumas, Rainbow Kitten Surprise, Louis the Child, Fearless Flyers, STS9, the Disco Biscuits and many more.

To ensure a multisensory experience for festival goers and guest artists alike, festival producer Etix turned to SCI’s trusted lighting designers Michael Smalley and Chris Ruppel of PHNTM Labs to create a rig that would be suitable for the headliners and bright enough for the daytime sets, in addition to visually supporting SCI’s multiple performances. With the help of Atlanta-based production company Music Matters Productions, Smalley and Ruppel devised and deployed an impressive stage lighting rig featuring a large quantity of Martin fixtures, including the new MAC Ultra Performance.

“With a festival like Hulaween, we have guest lighting operators with headliners and up-and-coming artists alike,” said Smalley. “I’m a firm believer that if you give someone top-notch tools, it’s going to bring out the best in their work. The audience gets an enriched experience when the operators are inspired by the gear they’re using. The overall goal was to make the lights bright enough to see during the day. It’s easy to make stuff look cool at night, but many acts are playing during the day and we want something that would look equally good at day and at night.”

Built to support the biggest live events, the MAC Ultra Performance is a high output LED moving head profile fixture based on Martin’s all new 1150 W, 6000 K proprietary LED light engine, and pushes an incredible 46,500 lumens in projection. The fixture’s benchmark output across the entire zoom range helped Smalley and Ruppel achieve their goal of creating a lighting rig powerful enough to provide stunning visual experiences at the festival even during the daytime performances.

“This was my first time using the Ultra Performance fixtures,” said Smalley. “I was impressed when I saw a demonstration of them, but I never really trust a light until I get to run it myself in real world conditions. We used MAC Ultra Performances where I would usually put a spot fixture. The MAC Ultra Performance is super bright and punchy, even when running rainbow effects and other things that generally decrease your output. With lights that bright, you don’t even need haze to get the full experience, even during the daytime sets. To be able to see the Ultra beams during the day was completely amazing. Ten out of ten, will do again.”

To complement the MAC Ultra Performance’s unmatched brightness, the lighting team rounded out the rig with MAC Axiom Hybrid and MAC Viper Profile fixtures providing beautiful washes and creative eye candy. The MAC Axiom Hybrid is a true all-in-one fixture, combining beam and spot into one compact unit that also offers diffused wash functionality. This versatility helped Smalley deliver unique looks that disrupt a traditional wash approach with more defined beam and visible coverage patterns. Smalley also praised the Viper Profile’s vibrant color mixing and linear CTO design, helping to deliver a superior palette of colors including authentic tungsten, true reds, rich ambers, primary green and deep blues.

“We used the MAC Axiom Hybrid fixtures in a more supportive role,” said Smalley. “Like what a wash would do, without the washiness. I like to see a tighter beam come down. The Axioms can get nice and right beams. The Viper Profiles were our downstage wash fixture, one for each band member. I’m relying on LED stuff less and less. I don’t like LED lights that look like LED lights. Switching over to the Viper gave me that lamp feel I like. I get the full spectrum. I have whole looks that are very warm, with amber and tungsten feels, and then I have hyper cool looks, like midnight blue. All of the lights in the rig need that kind of flexibility. That’s why I like lamp-based fixtures like the Viper. It’s a real lamp with CTO in front of it, instead of using LED color corrections and doing advanced math just to get a warm color.”

Smalley and Ruppel both expressed a longtime confidence in using Martin fixtures for their productions. They noted reliability and consistency in Martin fixtures’ performance, programmability and ease of maintenance, in addition to Martin’s commitment to quality customer support.


“When I get to use a new Martin fixture for the first time, I can plug it into the console right out of the box and it works,” said Ruppel. “Maintenance on Martin fixtures is phenomenal. They actually really thought about how to pull a module out, repair it and put it back. Other manufacturers don’t even think about that kind of stuff. Martin’s technical support is always great. I have two reps I can call at any time and they always make sure we have what we need as lighting professionals. We even asked them to add a control channel for an upcoming show and they got it to us in time.”

“Ruppel and I have been heavy Martin loyalists for a long time,” added Smalley. “Martin puts mindfulness into how a programmer and designer is going to utilize these lights. The way they set up their DMX channels is intuitive. The less time we have to spend learning the ins and outs of a new fixture, the faster we can get to work on the artistic side and make magic. On a personal level, Martin was busting out hit after hit when I was coming up. For me, there’s a deep aspirational quality about getting to use Martin gear. I’m always rooting for them to make something new for me to get super excited about—and that’s the MAC Ultra Performance right now.”

Smalley also related his enthusiastic appreciation of the role played by Music Matters Productions in ensuring a successful festival experience for everyone involved. Music Matter Productions supplied and deployed the audio, video and lighting rigs at Suwannee Hulaween 2022.

“The Hulaween rig was provided by Music Matters Productions out of Atlanta,” said Smalley. “They did all the lighting, video, rigging, audio, and they have fantastic in-house operators. We made the drawings, handed it over and they smashed it. People really enjoyed the lighting rig. We’re always trying to do something unique. People appreciated that there was an overall aesthetic that tied the festival together. The overall look and feel of the theme came across really well.”