The speakers, installed by Forte Pro Audio, Inc., were used in four different rooms. The convention, which was held over three days, hosted more than 75,000 attendees.
"We originally bid for just one of the four main stages," said Chuck Oliver, executive director and chief engineer of Forte Pro Audio. "When we were called back and told we were given all four stages, we immediately knew the SLS speakers were the main selling factor. We went into this strictly as an SLS provider and knew we had to make a great impression. This is such a huge event and we would not use anything other than SLS for this show."
Every year, the George Lucas Star Wars fan club hosts its annual convention showing the entire series of movies. This year, with the release of the newest film Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith, attendance reached record levels. George Lucas, Rick McCallum (producer) and Jay Lagai'aia (Captain Typho) made a special appearance, joining the cast members from the previous movies who frequent the shows to visit the fans.
On the Jedi Training stage, an area for children, Oliver placed two SLS 112RTs on stands. Another room, which holds over 2,500 people, was home to Star Wars the Musical, a comical 30-minute play of the entire Star Wars script and used an SLS 16 RLA/2 speaker system. The main ballroom, which seats 3,500 people, used 32-line array boxes. Another 16 box system was used for the opening and closing ceremonies in the 5,000-seat room.
The 1,500-seat movie viewing room played an eight minute preview of the newest film with a mock surround sound system. Due to fire safety codes, speakers were not allowed in the back of the room, so Forte Pro Audio used the SLS LS8695 line array column speakers along with an RLA/2 monitoring system. The room was jam-packed every night, with the producer hosting a Q&A after the viewing.
"One of the challenges we faced was hiding the speakers," added Oliver. "We needed to position them in some difficult spaces. We used SLS' Line Array Simulation Software (LASS) program by punching in the location of the stage, where the speakers needed to be placed, the height of the room and it mapped out all of the angles perfectly. Fulfilling the unique needs of the client was interesting. It was a big challenge, but SLS gave us all the support we needed and more."
Show producers also wanted clear audible sound from front to back without letting the low-end (music) make it past the half way point of the room, which posed another challenge for Forte Pro Audio. This concept was created so that everyone in the first half of the room could hear the rock n' roll, while preventing that noise in the back where cast members were signing autographs. With these unique requests, Forte Pro Audio was able to use the LASS program to coordinate how it should arrange the speakers so the low end would fade out.
"We were very excited to be part of this event," commented Rod Falconer, national sales manager for SLS International. "It was a very challenging job and we gave it all of the technical support and assistance that was needed. The producers had special requirements, but we knew our systems would be the perfect fit."
Based in Springfield, Mo., SLS International, Inc. is a 30-year-old manufacturer and developer of new patent-pending ultra-high fidelity Ribbon Driver loudspeakers, Patented Evenstar Digital Amplifiers and sound systems for the commercial, home entertainment, professional and music markets. SLS has perfected the ribbon-driver technology enabling their loudspeakers to achieve exceptional inner detail and accuracy with 20 to 30 percent less the distortion of typical compression driver and dome tweeters. SLS speakers and systems are used in high profile venues such as NBC/MSNBC's 2002 and 2004 Olympics studios -- NBC is a wholly owned subsidiary of General Electric; MSNBC is jointly owned by GE and Microsoft Corporation -- the Recording Academy's Grammy Producers SoundTable events, and for the NAMM winter show, providing sound in the AVID Technology booth.
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Source: SLS International, Inc.