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Delmar Loops Around to VUE Audio for The Pageant Audio Upgrade

al-12 line array system anchors audio retrofit in iconic St. Louis concert nightclub

June 14th, 2018 – Escondido, Ca. 

Opened in 2000 as St. Louis’ preeminent concert nightclub, The Pageant has quickly established itself as one of the country’s premier mid-sized venues, attracting touring national acts in pop, indie rock, hip-hop, jazz, blues, and more. So, when it came time to update The Pageant’s aging audio system, FOH and Sr. Audio Engineer Randy Noldge turned to VUE to ensure he got it right.

“Our last audio update was in 2002. Obviously, technology has really progressed since then,” Noldge remarked. “As more and more tours come through with newer boxes we started really thinking about our next step. After we installed the VUE al-8 / al-4 combo array at The Pageant’s sister club Del Mar Hall, we were even more convinced that The Pageant had to be next. A few months later, VUE released their full-sized al-12 array and I knew that was our ticket.”

Designed from the ground-up to ensure a fully immersive and intimate experience, The Pageant’s 2300-capacity concert space features dazzling lights, clutter-free sightlines, and a relatively shallow listening area designed to ensure that every concertgoer is never more than 70-feet from the stage.

The Pageant is extremely wide and shallow room, with about 165-degrees of visibility around the stage, and a balcony at the back with additional standing room underneath. After a quick call to VUE headquarters, a demo al-12 rig was routed directly from its last stop with Kendrick Lamar. VUE’s design team modeled the system using EASE Focus, and within a few hours after arrival, dual 12-element al-12 arrays were flown and ready for action.

“The system went up really fast and coverage was very good with virtually no tweaking required. In other words, pretty much exactly as the EASE model predicted,” remarked Noldge. “That’s surely a testament to VUE’s simple rigging system and the tight integration between the boxes and the VUEDrive processors.

Noldge continued, “From the first moment It sounded simply amazing, right out of the box. Tons of headroom and near limitless SPL on tap. The more I pushed it the more I expected it to break up but it never did. I can give this system all the gas I want and it never falls short.”

For the permanent system, Noldge employed for a few minor alterations. The final design takes full advantage of VUE’s CST™ (Continuous Source Topology), which allows different al-Class elements to be seamlessly combined for optimal coverage without the sonic disruptions associated with conventional mixed element arrays. The left and right hybrid arrays each consist of ten al-12 elements, with two al-8 elements added for near-field coverage. The unique configuration ensures consistent and uninterrupted delivery of VUE’s trademark beryllium voice, near-field coverage across the full width of the stage, and improved sightlines thanks to the smaller elements occupying the lower portion of the main arrays.

“We originally had twelve al-12 elements per side, but the CST technology freed us to get creative,” Noldge elaborated. “By incorporating a couple al-8 elements into the bottom of each array, we successfully tackled a long-standing coverage challenge at the front of a very wide room. The two arrays are literally 50-feet apart, but with the al-12 and al-8 elements working together, we have a complete left-to-right nearfield soundstage. It sounds absolutely amazing.”

Rounding out the rest of the system, Noldge added six VUE a-12 full range systems as supplemental fills for the far left and right of the low headroom under-balcony area. VUE a-8 two-way systems provide support for the VIP boxes. A total of eleven VUEDrive V6 Series Systems Engines deliver all power and processing for the arrays, while a Midas Heritage 1000 handles the mix.

For low-frequency support the existing subwoofers were retained, although Noldge reports that he intends to upgrade to the VUE h-Class ACM subwoofers as soon as the budget allows. “With well over 113dB at FOH and still no limit light, I’m constantly pulling back the VUE system to keep it from completely burying the subs. I’m really looking forward to adding the VUE subs so that we can really open up the PA and let it free.”

Based on early feedback from visiting engineers and concert attendees, it seems Noldge’s mission to place The Pageant on the cutting edge of modern audio performance is a success. With a nod toward his friend and Delmar Hall FOH Engineer, Tiffany Hendren, Noldge sums up the achievement quite modestly: “Tiffany was really the one who brought VUE to my attention. She has an amazing ear. Everyone who’s mixed on our new VUE rig is completely blown away. We have yet to even approach its limits. I think we’re set for many years to come.”

Check out the schedule of upcoming acts such as Ashanti, Janelle Monae, Alkaline Trio, and Sting & Shaggy Here.

 

“The system went up really fast and coverage was very good with virtually no tweaking required. In other words, pretty much exactly as the EASE model predicted. That’s surely a testament to VUE’s simple rigging system and the tight integration between the boxes and the VUEDrive processors.”
-Randy Noldge, FOH and Senior Engineer for The Pageant 

 

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