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Author Topic: Showco Prism speakers  (Read 22687 times)

phil reigh

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Re: Showco Prism speakers
« Reply #30 on: April 14, 2006, 03:52:55 pm »

I get out to concerts whenever I can.  I've heard the Prism system sound phenomenal {ZZ Top, Recycler tour) and I have heard it sound not so good.  I blame the FOH engineer, usually, or else the artist has told the FOH engineer he wants it a certain way.  I have also heard the Clair I4 system, same deal, usually great, sometimes so-so.  FYI, originally Showco started Vari-Lite.  Vari-lite grew and took over Showco, as I understood it.  Then Vari-Lite was sold to Leviton, the electrical manufacturer, who wanted nothing to do with the sound business, and Clair had a chance to buy Showco.  Some of the clients wanted Prism instead of the faithful S4 series II or the I4 rig.  Clair said "We can do that", and made a very smart business decision to buy Showco when they had the chance.

Too Tall (Curtis H. List)

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Re: Showco Prism speakers
« Reply #31 on: April 16, 2006, 01:18:16 pm »

[quote title=Andy Peters wrote on Mon, 10 April 2006 22:41]
Tim McCulloch wrote on Mon, 10 April 2006 19:08


Was the system clamped down on the support bands?

That's the usual reason for support band engineers running the console into the red ... there's nothing coming out of the PA.

(Yeah, I know that running the console into clip doesn't make the PA get any louder, so it's still a BE problem, but you get my point.)


Been there done that.
This was warming up for Night Ranger.

It is a “two step” approach.

First while setting up the headliner management comes to me and lets me know they are going to limit my volume. I say, yes I understand.

The warm up band I am working for gets its own small mixer so I ask their manger and the head guy that brought the PA to help me set a level so I have my board outputs kicking around “0” when I hit the threshold on their compressor.

So during sound check with my band we get the gain structure right and we are ready to go.

Show time, I un-mute the mains and…there does not seem to be very much volume.

I go over to their drive rack and there is smiley the manager guarding the compressor which he has set even lower then we agreed on so I’m seeing as much as 12dB gain reduction with my main outputs kicking around “0”.

Nothing to do but go back and deal with it.

It so happens in this particular instance they screwed themselves.

For one thing my band did not have a vocalist. Just guitar, bass and drums

So the drums took the biggests hit, but I could really compress them without totally destroying their sound. It no longer sounded natural, more like a drum machine, but it worked.
The lead guitar was not a problem since he could make a stab at covering the remodeled movie theater with his stage amp.

The bass guitar stage rig had to cover more then I liked, but he did too many runs up in the mid range to get away with clamping him much and gain anything.

When I was done I had two visitors.

The head guy from the sound company apologized and told me he would not have allowed the manager from Night Ranger screw us so bad if he had known how good the warm up band was. I guess he figured he might have blown potential jobs in the future.

The BE for Night Ranger who happened to be a studio guy came by. He complimented me on the mix and assured me he had nothing to do with my volume problems.

As he was soon to find out they actually did me a favor.

The ancient, nasty, rotten speakers brought were owned by what was widely acknowledged as the worst sound company of its size in business in the state.

My experience is the worst drivers made can sound ok AS LONG AS YOU DON’T PUSH THEM VERY LOUD!!!

He had maybe 6dB over what I was allowed to push the system and he tried for another 12dB and more.

When leaving I told him “Good luck. You’re gonna need it” and walked out just as the PA was starting to sound REALLY painful.

Too Tall
        Curtis H. List    
             Bridgeport, Mich.   
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Independent Live Sound Engineer (and I'm Tall Too!)

David Buehler

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Re: Showco Prism speakers
« Reply #32 on: April 17, 2006, 10:21:40 pm »


For what its worth, Varilite was split into 2 parts during the sale.

Varilite production services was sold and aquired by PRG giving them the largest lighting inventory in the world.

Genlyte Thomas Group acquired all assets of Vari-Lite's manufacturing and sales division including the Vari-Lite name, brand and all patents associated with the VARI*LITE products.

Leviton Lighting Management Systems was built from aquiring NSI, Macro, and Colortran. Varilite has never been in their control.
David Buehler
Production & Systems Manager
Audio Excellence
New Mexico's Premire Event Production Company
Audio - Video - Backline - Lighting - Staging & Roofs - Barricade - Crewing - Production Management & Design

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Re: Showco Prism speakers
« Reply #32 on: April 17, 2006, 10:21:40 pm »

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