Meeting Services Inc. Relies On JBL Loudspeakers To Transform Exhibit Hall Into Cinema At Comic-Con
The company deployed an arsenal of JBL loudspeakers, including 24 JBL VERTEC® VT4889 fullsize line array elements, 24 VT4888 midsize line array elements, and eight VT4880 fullsize arrayable subwoofers. Fill speakers, delay arrays and secondary room systems included CBT Series column speakers, VRX932LA compact constant curvature array loudspeakers and JBL EON powered portable loudspeakers. Crown XTi, MAi and I-Tech amplifiers powered the sound rig. The system was configured with Harman HiQnet™ System Architect™ software for remote control and monitoring.
Unique from past years was Meeting Services’ deployment of CBT column speakers to create a surround sound system in the makeshift theater. “The room is shaped like a triangle, which isn’t ideal, but with the CBT speakers, we were able to angle them in a way that gave us more freedom with the main VERTEC line arrays,” Freeman said. “We used the directivity of the CBT speakers to our advantage. They’re also extremely light so I didn’t have to put in any extra rigging points. In the end, I saved more money on the CBT speakers than what I actually spent on the speakers themselves.”
The JBL CBT Series passive line array columns feature JBL’s Constant Beamwidth Technology™ circuitry, a breakthrough in pattern control that provides remarkably consistent constant directivity coverage and superb audio clarity, even in difficult acoustical environments. The coverage pattern of the CBT models can be adjusted—with a simple switch—between Broad Mode (designed for mid-throw situations) and Narrow Mode (for long-throw applications). This versatility allows the CBT’s to meet the requirements of a broad range of applications.
Founded in 1970, Comic-Con is the annual international preview event for all that is science fiction, fantasy and popular culture. Entertainment industry executives, producers, directors, writers, stars and their thousands of fans flock to California every summer to get a first glimpse of comics, movies, television shows and toys due out that year.
“The entire Comic-Con convention has a very loyal following, so the most important issue was to make sure the sound coming from the movies and stage was powerful, epic and most of all, entertaining,” said Ken Freeman, Technical Director of San Diego, California-based Meeting Services. “Our JBL system has been so successful in Comic-Con’s history, that producers and directors are actually cutting customized trailer mixes to sync with our solutions, offering the perfect sound to the audience.”
With most average movie theaters housing 400 seats, a patron is usually no further than 60 feet from the closest speaker, left or right. At Comic-Con, fans could be up to 200 feet from the nearest speaker, which was a major concern of Meeting Services. Freeman and his team utilized the power of the VERTEC arrays to ‘trick’ the ear into thinking it was much closer, offering ideal sound in any position throughout the venue.
“Comic-Con previews have a huge impact on the success or failure of the movie, so the expectation level for our systems is at ‘can’t fail,’” Freeman said. “The intense, all-encompassing sound is what makes the difference between a family staying home to watch a movie online or actually going out of the house to see the newest release. This event is a chance to show off the depth of sound that cinema theaters offer.”
“Meeting Services is now in its 10th year of owning the VT4889’s and there still is not a product on the scene that offers the same top-tier quality,” continued Freeman. “With the help of JBL products and support staff, we continue to make this world-renowned event a completely unforgettable experience for all participants.
HARMAN designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of audio and infotainment solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets – supported by 15 leading brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon® and Mark Levinson®. The Company is admired by audiophiles across multiple generations and supports leading professional entertainers and the venues where they perform. More than 20 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of about 11,000 people across the Americas, Europe and Asia, and reported sales of $3.2 billion for the last twelve months ended March 31, 2010. The Company’s shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol NYSE:HAR.
Harman HiQnet™ is the world's first connectivity and control protocol that integrates all product categories in the signal chain for professional audio systems of all types, size, and applications. Harman HiQnet no longer requires the user to manage multiple disparate operating systems or be responsible for programming individual signal processors, speaker controllers, wireless microphone systems, and mixing consoles. HiQnet was developed by engineers from across Harman’s Professional Division and is coordinated by the System Development and Integration Group (SDIG), a team of dedicated systems specialists based in Salt Lake City, Utah.