Ireland’s Sound Design debuts STM Series with Gavin James

Award-winning Irish singer-songwriter Gavin James has played one of the biggest shows of his young life, at the 3 Arena in Dublin. It was also one of the biggest indoor shows of the year for Irish rental company SOUND DESIGN, using its new NEXO STM Series modular line array systems for the first time on an arena-sized live music event.

This was in fact the first deployment of Sound Design’s newly-purchased STM system with M28 omnipurpose cabinets, purchased after a successful pilot event in Croke Park stadium, a multimedia spectacular for the 1916/2016 commemoration, and the RTE Centenary show in the Bord Gais Energy Theatre, Dublin.

With 12,000 people attending Dublin’s 3 Arena, high production values were in place for the Gavin James show. At FOH was well-known live sound engineer Marc Carolan, supported by Eddie O’Brien, one of his regular techs who is also system engineer for Sound Design.

Initial system designs for the production were generated on NEXO’s proprietary NS-1 modelling software by John Vickers and Eddie O’Brien of Sound Design, as well as Val Gilbert from NEXO’s Engineering Support Team. All three reached near-identical conclusions regarding the configuration of NEXO’s versatile STM elements.

The main PA was rigged with 18x STM M28 cabinets per side, with flown STM S118 subs to create a full-range left/right system. On the ground, another 20x subs were used to create a supplementary subbass arc, something of a Marc Carolan trademark.

In the wide auditorium of the 3 Arena, outfill hangs consisted of STM M28 cabinets. And at the rear of the arena, under the balcony, Sound Design placed NEXO’s compact GEO M6 line array modules. “These cabinets were firing in towards the bars, which made a massive difference to the show and the atmosphere,” says John Vickers, MD of Sound Design.

Monitor engineer Paul Moore (“Mini”) also used NEXO for the monitor system: 12x 45°N-12 array monitors on stage, and 2x RS15s on the drum mix. Side fills used a stack per side, each with 1x STM M46, plus 1x STM B112 and 1x STM S118 sub. Power was provided by a total of 4x NEXO NUAR racks.

“Gavin James is a great entertainer, and this was, in my experience, an exceptional show,” confirms VIckers. “It was a combination of the right system, a fine FOH engineer and a damned good engineering team to put it all together. The key was having one source – a full system in the air, including the subs, to provide outstanding overall coverage.”


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