The new dbx DriveRack 4800 System Processor made its realworld debut on January 20, when Toby Keith kicked off his Big Throwdown II tour in Portland, Oregon. Chosen by Keiths FOH mixer, Dirk Durham, in a criticallistening comparison test at Sound Image in San Diego (the PA provider for the tour), the new DriveRack 4800, as part of an integrated HiQnet system, not only gave the tour a huge new sonic boost but also made the task of mixing a huge arena tour much easier.
Durham is running a complex system, covering a full 270 degrees from the stage back video wall. He has divided the sound into five distinct areas: three main zones (a forward left/right and two side left/right zones) as well as two banks of 10 Vertec subs each sideone flown, the other on the deck, with the latter also feeding front fill boxes for the first few rows. Each area has its own DriveRack 4800 controlling it. And as good as its ergonomics from either the front panel or the software have been, Durham has found the DriveRack 4800's sonic capabilities to be even more amazing. "I knew it was going to sound great as soon as we tested it the first time," he says enthusiastically, recalling a challenge to identify A/B signals passing directly to the Crown I-Tech amplifiers or through the 4800.
The dbx DriveRack 4800 features all the familiar processing functions and a host of new algorithms-including selectable DSP inserts on the inputs and outputs, a wealth of parametric and graphic EQ, delay, classic dbx compression and limiting, bandpass and crossover filtersthe DriveRack 4800 supplies the front-of-house engineer, monitor engineer and/or system technician with all the necessary processing tools for any live sound reinforcement situation. The unit's 96 kHz 40 bit processing engine and standard digital I/O further extends frequency response and reduces latency. The 4800 incorporates Harman Professional's HiQnet protocol, providing the ability to monitor and control signal routing as well as the processing of multiple DriveRack 4800 units and other HiQnet products from various locations via standard Ethernet equipment including routers and wireless access points.