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From country music crossover to cult movie magic with d&b Y-Series for John Henry's Ltd

From country music crossover to cult movie magic with d&b Y-Series for John Henry\'s Ltd

UK - It seems an unlikely collision, the UK's Central School of Speech and Drama (CSSD), the American multi-instrumental phenomenon Hunter Hayes, and a totally re-invented soundtrack for the 2011 cult movie Drive, but then CSSD has always had something of the unexpected about it.

"It began innocently enough," said Pepin Clout of John Henry's Audio Division (JH Audio). "We attended a demo of the new d&b audiotechnik Y-Series at CSSD in late October. The point source versions tickled our fancy, the Y10P in particular."

The Y-Series features both point source and line array cabinets; the feature of the Y10P that caught Clout's ear was the constant directivity of 110° x 40° (h x v) down to 500Hz. "The demand for a wide dispersion is not unique for cabinets that are designed to be deployed pole mounted on a sub, but the outstanding sonic performance and low-end control coupled with the cabinets extreme light weight made it very attractive. It was a short hop from there to Derek Blair at The Warehouse providing us with a try out system."

Blair said: "We have been providing John Henry's with d&b M4 monitor wedges which they use on TV shows such as 'Later with Jools' for some time. In recent years monitor engineers have been migrating to M4 and M2 wedges as the default standard. We know JH Audio well enough to recognise that whatever they invest in, it has to perform to the highest standards day in day out. They provide service to what seems a never-ending whirlwind of one off events in and around London. That puts very high performance demands on the equipment, but when we lent the Y-Series to Pepin we knew it would deliver."

Clout continued: "We put the Y10Ps with Y-SUBs driven by D80s straight out on a Warner showcase with cross-over country artist Hunter Hayes. He is extremely talented, a brilliant multi-instrumentalist, so the system had a good work out across a broad dynamic range.

"The gig was a small club and Hayes' FoH engineer is a regular d&b user so he was thrilled to discover he'd be using one of the first Y-Series systems in the UK. That said, he was a little bit disconcerted when he saw how small they are, however he soon warmed to the system and had plenty of level with headroom to spare so was very happy.

"Having experienced the demo at the Central School of Speech and Drama and following the success with the boxes at the Hunter Hayes show I knew they would be perfect for a show that we were contracted for by Andy Rogers at BBC Radio 1." Clout continued: "It was a special event at the Platform Theatre, Central St Martin's University in Kings Cross, called 'Radio 1 Rescores Drive'. It was to promote Zane Lowe's totally re-invented soundtrack for the movie Drive starring Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan. Lowe had chosen to use all UK artists on the soundtrack, and for the event one of those bands, Bastille, would perform live.

"As with Hayes earlier in the week, the system comprised left/right Y-SUBs with pole mounted Y10Ps on top flanking the 56 foot wide stage. In addition another Y10P was placed in each back corner at the top row of the raked seating. Paul Cooper mixed for Bastille on an Avid Profile with MADI card to feed straight to broadcast.

"The JH Audio engineer Mike Excell, with assistance from Chris Roberts, supervised the system setup and the surround sound track feed from a Mac, as well as the 'talking heads' panel event that preceded the music performance. Considering those two events now, that was a fair try out for the loudspeakers in a matter of days and we were not disappointed.

"Needless to say, we completed the purchase immediately thereafter."

20th January 2015

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