“It was the worst of times, it was the best of times…”
Whilst most sound clashes in modern times don’t end in the destruction of the losing team’s equipment, and especially at somewhere as hopefully peaceful as Glastonbury, occasionally there is smoke and there is fire.
PF Events were overseeing the entire Shangri-La area and within this the “Clash” stage. The systems were, somewhat unusually, being run as two sides of a stereo system – there was no effort being made to acoustically match their output levels or tonal quality (as this would have somewhat defeated the soundclash!) – it’s about quantity as well as quality. Some heavyweight electricity generation was anticipated to cater for the gruelling pummelling that both the speakers and amps driving them were going to take over the course of the following nights.
And it was the worst of times again…
About that smoke we mentioned at the start…following a generator accident that managed to produce some impressive explosions and “flames coming out of the monitors!”, the Noise Control side of things was down two amps, destined to be running the bass on the system. Given that Void boys weren’t likely to be offering to halve their bass end drive and pass it to the Noise Control Crew, no bass meant no battle and no battle meant no clash!
Having put together two systems in the true spirit of a soundclash, the eclectic line-up of amplifiers driving the systems came from a variety of brands – QSC, FFA, Lab, and even an E90 from yours truly…
With only hours to go until the festival kicked off properly, losing two of the most important amps in the line-up was looking like a disaster, but luckily this is where we stepped in. Richard Fleming (from XTA and MC2 ) was roaming the fields of Worthy farm, with him XTA’s latest product, the MX36 – a console switcher designed primarily for festival use and making its debut at Glasto this year.
Previous soundclash years had been taken care of by Neuron Pro Audio, and Kyle Marriott, manager of Neuron, was this year handling several other audio areas within Shangri-La – including the Rum Shack and the Temple.
Kyle was set to try out a pair of our biggest 120 Amps at the festival, and Richard had them stowed in the van, after dropping the MX36 off at the Glade where it was on duty for the duration. Two amps dead in the water, two MASSIVE amps waiting in the van – and surely this was as good a test of them as you could want! A phone call later and all was set – the Delta 120 and DNA120 (XTA’s version) where patched in and the system fired up, but this time nothing caught fire!
Richard was keen to point out the immense power available from these dual channel amplifiers – the most powerful MC2 have ever produced.
“The 120s are capable of driving the biggest bass systems with ease – up to just under 7kW a channel into 2 Ohms is not to be messed with! That said, they have such amazing fidelity that they needn’t be resigned to just bass duties – they sound phenomenal right across the spectrum – this battle is becoming one-sided!”
Let’s pull in BJ Muller at this point – working for PF Events and in charge of keeping the clashing under control (as much as this is possible). Richard left him with the amps, some earplugs and, pushing Paddington into place behind the desk, in case he should shake loose with the LF said,
“With great power comes great responsibility. Please look after these amps. Thank you.”
Charles Dickens can have the last word:
“And a beautiful world we live in, when it is possible, and when many other such things are possible, and not only possible, but done…”