Club Red

Club Red PA System Round Three: The story of Front Fill and the Happy Crowd.

A Band’s best fans love to crowd up next to the stage. But at all too many venues, the sound right next to the stage is lousy. Why on earth would a venue have the worst sound where the best fans are concentrated? Well, it’s not on purpose.

Here’s what happens: the Mains (the EAW LA 460s here at Club Red) are focused on the middle of the room, where the sound board is located, so as to provide sound to the entire room. So the Mains are firing, for the most part, right over the heads of the fans crowded up at the stage. So what are the fans up front hearing? Often they are hearing the Stage Sound which the sound from the artists own gear on stage and from the stage monitors. But the stage monitors fire towards the band (away from the fans in front) and even worse, the sound from the stage monitors can bounce off the back wall and then head back towards the front fans.

Now it gets a bit technical, but bear with me. You can end up with as many as three sound waves, all out of sync, for the fans up front. Sound wave one is the direct stage sound from the bands own gear combined with direct sound from stage monitors, sound wave two is stage monitor sound bouncing off the back stage and sound wave three is from the Mains mostly firing over the heads of the crowd but with still some sound hitting those up front fans.

Wow, no wonder at some places the closer you get to the band, the worse the sound can get!

At Club Red, you will notice a pair of JBL JRX125 (double 15″ cabs) speakers: one each on the far right and far left of the stage, facing the crowd. Those speakers have been added specifically to enhance “Front Fill” so that the sound that the fans up front really sounds good. Those JBLs don’t throw far, but they do a great job of providing quality sound on the left and right sides near the stage.

But stop, we do more! The JBLs fill the left and right sides of the front area with great sound, but what about the fans right in front of the stage in the middle? Look up right over your head and you will see not one, but two, TOA line array speakers. The TOA HX-5B Line Arrays are a technical miracle and we use them to make sure that those fans up in front next to the middle of the stage get great sound!

It’s technically complicated to provide great sound right next to the stage. In many ways, it’s the hardest place in the entire venue to provide good sound. We are proud of how good we can make bands sound to their best fans, the ones that crowd in right next to the stage.

KAIZEN, my friends.

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