JBL HiQnet Performance Manager™ Makes Live Sound Setup More Efficient Than Ever for CTS Audio

The National Catholic Youth Convention in Indianapolis at Lucas Oil Stadium, which drew an audience of 30,000 people

CTS Audio, based in Franklin, Tennessee, specializes in live and installed sound, mobile staging and sales, with a strong focus on tour sound for Christian performers and in designing systems for houses of worship. CTS has provided live sound for Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, the Women of Faith tour, the National Catholic Youth Convention, Hootie and the Blowfish, Tony Bennett and many others.

HARMAN’s JBL VerTec® line arrays and Crown Audio I-Tech HD and XTi Series amps are the backbone of the company’s live sound rigs – and the adoption of JBL HiQnet Performance Manager™ audio system design software has made CTS Audio’s job a lot easier on the last few tours.

“Our company philosophy is to build on the experience of our history, but not be limited by it and to create our future through innovation,” said Mike Taylor, vice president of CTS Audio. “Like most sound contractors, we are always looking for better ways to do things. When we heard about JBL HiQnet Performance Manager we decided to become an official beta tester. It has dramatically reduced setup time and improved system performance.”


“Before Performance Manager, our crews had to use three separate applications to access the processors, amplifiers and PA system to do the system tuning,” continued Taylor. “I would have to use BSS® HiQnet London Architect™ to time-align and EQ the PA and do any array correction. In order to bandpass-check the loudspeakers, I would either have to use HiQnet System Architect™ or the Powered by Crown iPhone/iPad app. With JBL HiQnet Performance Manager, I can accomplish all these tasks and then some.”

Taylor became aware of Performance Manager after purchasing a new inventory of Crown I-Tech 12000HD amps and talking to Eric Friedlander of Crown about how to get the most out of them and the newer V5 preset tunings for VerTec loudspeakers. “Eric suggested I become a beta tester,” Taylor said. “The Performance Manager software is a match made in heaven with the Crown I-Tech HD amplifiers. The amps offer extensive processing and interfacing functionality, and Performance Manager makes it simple to match them precisely to the VerTec’s crossover points and dig deep into the amplifiers’ capabilities, to get maximum power, signal to noise ratio and overall sound quality.”


CTS Audio has deployed JBL HiQnet Performance Manager on the recent Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith 2 Friends, Women of Faith and National Catholic Youth Convention tours. “We implemented it fully as intended as a complete system deployment and optimization tool. Everything from the integrated JBL Line Array Calculator II to the array calculation to the system tuning and monitoring functions was used,” stated Taylor.

“The ability to integrate the Line Array Calculator II software with the array correction functionality is incredible,” Taylor continued. “Having the ability to correct for any low-end buildup in the array before ever firing up an amplifier is huge. The accuracy of the predicted frequency response is superb. In essence, by taking the PA out of the room, you are able to focus on setting up the PA first, then dealing with the interactions of the room, and finally tweaking the system to best accommodate the specific requirements of the show itself.”


“In addition, the bandpass testing and monitoring functions take information and control panels that would otherwise need to be accessed across multiple pages, and integrates them into a unified graphical interface,” Taylor said. “I can live on just one or two pages during the show to make sure that everything is functioning within limits and behaving properly.”

“I will be using JBL HiQnet Performance Manager extensively on future tours. It saves a lot of time and ultimately enables us to deliver better sound to our artists and clients,” concluded Taylor.