MONTEVIDEO, URAGUAY--On March 18th, the legendary hard rock band Guns N’ Roses brought their Chinese Democracy tour to the Centenario Stadium. Performing to an enthusiastic crowd estimated at more than 30,000 people, the outdoor concert employed a sophisticated sound reinforcement setup consisting of a large quantity of Aero Series 2 and Aero loudspeaker models from the catalog of D.A.S. Audio.
Three sound service companies united for this massive undertaking: Leggio Sonido (directed by Jorge Leggio), Ariel Marti’s Marti Audio, and Victor Lampariello’s Compañía Uruguaya de Sonido. Together, these three firms pooled a massive amount of equipment together and pulled off one of the most memorable hard rock concerts to hit Montevideo in quite some time.
Jorge Leggio, director of Leggio Sonido, discussed the nature of the setup. “This was an outdoor concert where the crowd was situated on the soccer field, in an area about 100 wide meters by 85 meters long,” he explained. “There was also a second area, which was elevated 20 meters high with an incline of 35 degrees in regard to the ground. The stage was used in a lateral position facing 85 meters across the distance of the second level.”
The main PA system actually consisted of two distinct loudspeaker setups—one for the instruments and a second system dedicated solely to lead vocalist Axel Rose’s voice. The ‘instrument’ system was built using thirty-two D.A.S. Audio Aero 50 large format, 3-way line array modules—flown sixteen elements per side at a height of 12 meters. These loudspeakers were driven by Lab Gruppen FP 10,000Q power amps, with loudspeaker management tasks handled by a Lake processor. The ‘vocal’ system used another sixteen Aero 50’s—flown eight per side at a height of 10 meters. These were accompanied by an additional eight Aero 12A powered, 2-way loudspeaker systems that were positioned over the center of the stage and flown at a height of 12 meters.
For those in search of low end “oomph”, the Guns N’ Roses concert was the place to be. A whopping sixty-four D.A.S. Audio LX-218 high performance subwoofers—each incorporating dual D.A.S. 18LXN long excursion, neodymium transducers in a front loaded, bass reflex configuration—provided low end support. These sub bass enclosures were deployed thirty-two units per side.
In addition to the FOH (front of house) mains, the Guns N’ Roses setup used an impressive delay system, as Victor Lampariello described. “Due to the nature of this setup,” he explained, we decided against using outfills. Instead, we erected four delay towers, which were placed 50 meters from the main PA. Two of these towers were comprised of sixteen D.A.S. Audio Aero 38A powered, 3-way line array elements (eight per side) while the other two side clusters consisted of twelve Aero 38’s (six per side). These side clusters were driven by Crest power amps and were controlled by a Lake Contour processor.”
Ariel Marti, director of Marti Audio, reports there were a number of serious challenges on this project—any one of which could easily have brought the entire event to its knees. “This event was complicated by a variety of technical coordination issues, structural conditions that weren’t anticipated, and heavy rain throughout the setup period, Marti reports. “Everything from stage rigging and alignment issues to having too little time for setup made this one of the most difficult projects I’ve encountered. Thanks to the efficiency, build quality, integrated flyware, and power of the D.A.S. Audio Aero 50’s, the end result was extremely positive and that is, ultimately, what matters. As has happened so many times before, the D.A.S. Audio system was able to overcome the problems frequently encountered in touring sound work.”
Jorge Leggio summarized the Guns N’ Roses project, “As Ariel explained, there were a number of serious obstacles on this job, but thanks to its controlled dispersion characteristics, along with the ease of handling and cabling, the D.A.S. Audio Aero 50 system enabled us to pull everything together in time for a really memorable event. I’d also like to thank Marcelo Lampariello, Gustavo Arévalo, Jorge González, Omar Diaz Blasco, Joan La Roda, and everyone at D.A.S. Audio for their incredible support and assistance. Thanks to the knowledge and experience of everyone involved, the Guns N’ Roses concert was a very special project that none of us will ever forget.”