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Seattle Production Company Makes Strides With NEXO and Yamaha

August 8, 2016

PNTA Puts NEXO M620 and Yamaha QL5 to Work

From their humble beginnings in 1975 as a local Seattle-area supplier of theatrical equipment and consumables, PNTA (also known as Pacific Northwest Theatre Associates) has expanded their capabilities to provide a wealth of services for customers across the country.

The company’s production versatility includes high profile corporate events, in-and-outdoor events, marketing/press events, weddings, and fashion shows. In addition to their thriving Events Services department, PNTA also offers a dedicated Custom Installation team, Drape Shop, Technical Services division, Retail Store, and large E-Commerce presence, including dedicated make-up and power distribution websites in addition to PNTA.com.

PNTA became a Yamaha dealer in 2014 and purchased their first NEXO system in 2016. They currently stock 14 GEO M620 boxes with associated hardware, four LS18 sub woofers, three NXAMP 4x1 amplifiers with Dante cards, and a DTD controller with DTDAmp 4x0.7. In addition, the company owns Yamaha equipment including QL5 and QL1 Digital Audio Consoles, Rio3224-D in/out boxes, a large inventory of small analog boards, powered DXR speakers and DXS subwoofers.

“Earlier this year, I modeled several representative event setups in NEXO NS-1 software when considering our line array purchase,” states Lars Jorgensen, Custom Systems Designer, PNTA. “We then compared varying models of speakers and subwoofers as well as different physical setups in the given spaces which helped instill confidence that the M620 could perform adequately in the wide range of applications regularly encountered in our business.”

The NEXO GEO M620 delivers high output from a very compact box (or entire array), appealing to high standards for event aesthetics as well as audio quality. The flexibility and ease of deployment was paramount in enabling PNTA to respond to diverse implementation requests as dictated by their high-profile clients, who strive to maintain brand appearance. Jorgensen worked closely with PNTA Event Services Project Manager, Max Pagel, who emphasized “purchasing such a compact system demanded less warehouse and truck space, reducing storage and production costs-a special consideration given the high-rent marketplace of Seattle.”

Jorgensen added that there were two events on their immediate radar when making the M620 purchase decision. The first was a series of eight high school graduation ceremonies for Seattle Public Schools, taking place in an outdoor setting at Memorial Stadium at the Seattle Center. Average ceremony attendance was 3000 in the stadium’s grandstands, with roughly 500 field seats. “The GEO M620 was chosen for its versatility and capability of projecting quality audio to the upper-tier bleachers, with the addition of the 120-degree wide flanges and LS18 subwoofers benefiting the near-field seating.”

“The compact size of the M620 speaker stacks in this distributed arrangement allowed the band and choir to become a part of the ceremony setup rather than “behind the scenes” blocked by large array hangs on scaffolding as in past years,” says Pagel. PNTA’s design team proposed this new approach to audio coverage that appealed to the client’s aesthetic aspirations and exceeded expectations for audio coverage and quality.

Two outer L/R ground stacks of three M620s over one LS18, plus two center L/R ground stacks of four M620 over one LS18 each provided coverage of the grandstands. Graduates and faculty were seated on field where coverage was accomplished with four Yamaha DXR12 speakers. Audio was mixed on a Yamaha QL5 console, with inputs/outputs patched through two RIO-3224-D input/output boxes. The QL console, RIOs, and NXAMPS were linked via redundant Dante network.

The second outing for the NEXO system was a high-profile press event celebrating the Boeing Company’s Centennial, hosted by Alaska Airlines, and located outside on the tarmac of an active international airfield and testing facility, adjacent to a major interstate highway. 12 GEO M620s were flown over two LS18s per side. A key component of the event was the live unveiling of a custom livery on a new Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-900ER, which landed and was towed into place behind the stage live during the event. A Yamaha QL1 was used for this event with two Rio3224-D input/output boxes.

“The slim profile of the M620 allowed us to maintain maximum field of view for event attendees and press, without sacrificing audio fidelity and volume in this high-noise floor environment”, notes Pagel. “The power of the LS18s was clearly felt throughout the event space, complementing the crystal clear mid- and high-frequency response of the M620s. We paired our Yamaha and NEXO equipment with Dante-enabled Shure ULX-D Wireless Microphones, allowing us to maintain an all-digital signal chain, reducing latency, and maintaining redundancy highly prized by media partners.”

The Boeing/Alaska Airlines event at Seattle’s Museum of Flight had a schedule that only allowed limited hours to deploy a sound system to cover a large parking area next to a working airfield. “PNTA’s choice of an integrated Yamaha solution made deployment relatively painless with high reliability, said Steve Kennedy-Williams, freelance audio and video engineer. We used the 12 M620 cabinets and two LS18 subs per side. The stage box was a RIO3224-D input/output box connected via DANTE to the Yamaha QL1 mounted in a rack at front of house.”NEXO Amps were DANTE-enabled, as were Shure ULXD receivers over a redundant network. “Using a prebuilt patch, we were up and running quickly,” notes Kennedy-Williams. The NEXO array shipped in their six-box cases, which were smartly built to allow six pre-rigged boxes to be flown right out of the case. Once deployed, the system delivered clean linear response with more than enough headroom for the event. The QL1’s built-in Dan Dugan auto mixer feature as well as its support for head amp control, battery life, and RF status with the ULXD were useful during the gig.” At the end of the day, I was happy with the system and am looking forward to using it again.

Jorgensen concludes, “From our technicians in the warehouse and in the field to our end clients, everyone has been thrilled with the results so far.”

For more information on PNTA, visit www.pnta.com.


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