The sound system installed in the Colombian music festival had to respond under conditions of sound pressure, intelligibility and coverage.


The 24th edition of the Rock al Parque music festival took place from the 18 to the 20 in August, in the Simón Bolívar Metropolitan Park of the Colombian capital. Famous for being the most important free festival in Latin America, it is organized by the Mayor of Bogotá and the District Institute of Arts (Idartes).

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On this occasion, the Colombian lighting company Jaime Dussan, responsible for offering all the services of audiovisual production for Rock to the 2018 Park, decided to use the system of linear array ShowMatch DeltaQ speakers from Bose Professional, of its property, to sound the Lago Stage. .

During the three days of the festival, the Lago Stage received 18 bands that presented the best of their music, with genres as diverse as metal, ska, hard rock, acid jazz or reggae. Satisfying the demands of this variety of artists and their sound engineers was a major challenge for the lighting technical team Jaime Dussan and his PA Sound Colombia partners, who took charge of the operation of this particular scenario.

When reviewing the space, a wide esplanade near the lake of the Simón Bolívar Metropolitan Park, and the particular style of the bands, Pablo Mateus, Head of Engineering of PA Sound Colombia, and who was responsible for the operation of the team at the Bogota festival , found that the system would be put to the test in terms of sound pressure, intelligibility and coverage.

So he decided to install a configuration with a couple of arrays of 17 ShowMatch DeltaQ modules, of different models, on the sides of the stage and six more modules for the front fill. He also used 32 SMS118 subwoofers; 16 in front, located on the floor and 16 more hanging, distributed on both sides. In addition, at a few 70 meters from the stage, a delay system was installed with two linear arrays of seven modules in the side towers. The system was managed through a ControlSpace processor, the Dante Controller software and the Harmony module to control the equalization and levels of the DeltaQ ShowMatch system, as well as the operation of the PowerSoft amplifiers connected to the network.

"This configuration is the result of many tests in which we seek to find the best form of the system. We have worked with ShowMatch in many concerts and festivals throughout the recent months and have always performed satisfactorily, "said engineer Juan Camilo Fernández, who collaborated in the design and support for the PA Sound and Lighting team Jaime Dussan. "During Rock to the Park the system handled very high levels of sound pressure, it was very demanded, but it gave excellent results, always above in the relation of the noise generated by the public that filled the venue and with a very good dynamic range", added the Colombian engineer.

From the Bogota metal to the Congolese rock
The diversity that characterizes Rock to the Park is not only noticed in an audience of all ages and the most extreme personal profiles. This variety is also found in the constant changes of temperature: a cold morning breeze to make the sound, heat and bright sun tests at the beginning of the musical day and cold wind during the closing of the concerts. The same plurality that is discovered when knowing the opinion of the sound engineers of the Colombian, Argentine, North American, German and Congolese bands that acted in the Lago Stage.

"I had used the system for the first time at a recent festival in Neiva (Colombia) and I was surprised by its power, pressure and the color of the sound, which made my job a lot easier on that occasion. The subwoofers do a job of great response, despite its small size, "said Fernando Cabrera Sánchez, engineer of the Colombian band Rocka. "Today I mixed a heavy rock band (Rocka) and, as we say here, I gave the team a bit of a leg, and responded well to technical needs. He is very versatile and it is nice to work with him, "said Fernando.

"Expectations were met. The system behaved very well and has a very cool headroom. I did not have to equalize much, only some corrections that came from the amplifiers. Really all the sound was there, warm and rich, "explained the renowned Colombian engineer Nicolás Romero, responsible for mixing the sound of the American bands Cattle Decapitation and Suffocation.

Suffocation, the band that closed the metal day on Saturday, called a 15 thousand fans for its presentation. Audience similar in quantity, but very different in taste, to which he listened to the music of the Congolese Jupiter & Okwess and the Argentines of Dancing Mood during the night of Sunday.

For Pachi Lazbal, experienced Argentine engineer of the instrumental band Dancing Mood, the first experience with the ShowMatch DeltaQ system was satisfactory. "I am more than happy with the sound pressure and definition of the Bose team. It has pressure and a long shot more than sure and precise, but it does not distort in the highs. You hear uniform from the front of the audience to the back ... it's super reliable, "said Pachi.

The series of Festivals to the Park has three more dates during 2018: Jazz to the Park, in addition to Hip-Hop to the Park and Sauce to the Park. Three opportunities for lighting technicians Jaime Dussan and PA Sound Colombia to bring the ShowMatch DeltaQ system from Bose Professional to new limits and levels of demand in terms of clarity, power, sound pressure and coverage.

"Our job is to serve and assist the engineers of each band, review the values ​​and performance of each instrument. The fact of sounding good and checking that the audience receives a good sound, a good final product, is definitely a medal that we can carry with great satisfaction ", concluded Pablo Mateus from PA Sound Colombia.

For his part, Jaime Dussan, General Director of Lighting Jaime Dussan, commented "Rock al Parque was a major test for the team (ShowMatch), because the power required was very large. The team has responded so surprisingly well, that we are very happy. We never thought it would sound so good, I think even the same people from Bose who visited us are surprised! "

Richard Santa, RAVT
Author: Richard Santa, RAVT
Journalist from the University of Antioquia (2010), with experience in technology and economics. Editor of the magazines TVyVideo + Radio and AVI Latin America. Academic Coordinator of TecnoTelevisión & Radio.


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