Burnsville, MN (March 2018): When Juno Award-winning country star Dallas Smith embarked on a Canadian tour from the Maritimes to British Columbia, Winnipeg-based Sound Art was on board, carrying an Electro-Voice X2 line array system. Since his shift from rock to country music in 2012, Smith has been a fixture at the annual Canadian Country Music Awards, taking home Album of the Year for his last two albums, Lifted and Side Effects. It was at the awards show that Smith’s FOH engineer and tour manager Budd Arnold noticed the PA system supplied by Sound Art.
“It was a perfect fit for the tour, and not just for its sound and reliability. The size and weight of the X2 works out great, and the rigging system is fantastic.”
“We had discussed the tour previously, and Budd was keen to check out the new X2 system,” says Sound Art technical project manager Iain Graham. “It was a perfect fit for the tour, and not just for its sound and reliability. The size and weight of the X2 works out great, and the rigging system is fantastic – very quick to get in and up, and even quicker to come down. The audio truck was packed in less than an hour and a half every night.”
Starting with rehearsals in Halifax and ending in Dallas Smith’s hometown of Abbotsford, BC, the six-week, 28-show tour gigged its way across Canada in venues ranging from small theaters to arenas, showcasing the flexibility of X-Line Advance. Sound Art brought 30 X2/212-90 line array loudspeakers, plus six more with 120-degree dispersion. The system was networked via IRIS-Net, courtesy of 12 Electro-Voice TG7 power amplifiers with RCM-26 remote control modules. Bass reinforcement was supplied by 18 Xsub subwoofers, deployed in three-box cardioid configurations spaced across the stage front. The subs system was powered by 12 P3000RL amplifiers, with an Electro-Voice Dx46 FIR-Drive system processor. The tour also carried eight self-powered Electro-Voice ZLX-12P loudspeakers to handle front-fill and out-fill duties.
“The tour went really well for Dallas, and Budd Arnold was super happy with the X2,” says Graham. “Even in the biggest venues like Abbotsford, the sound was still very present and ‘in-your-face.’ We did a couple of casino shows with other rigs, and we were always glad to get back into an arena and put our X2 system up. The low-mids and the vocal sound are just so much better.”
Graham also has high praise for the ZLX-12P he used for utility fill duties in the tour’s varying venues. “I must admit, I love that little speaker,” he confides. “I put them on cases between the sub stacks, and they’re great. I carried a couple extras, just because they’re so flexible. It fits the X2 pretty well sonically as well.”
That sonic performance, demonstrated in several X2 permanent installations by Sound Art, is a big reason the company invested in X-Line Advance as a rental system. “For a regional market like Winnipeg, the X2 is a perfect fit,” says Graham. “It’s got the power to handle festivals and major tours like this, but at home it’s mostly box-truck gigs. The X2 saves in weight and truck space, and it groundstacks great, with the lids of the cart flipping over to act as the feet. That’s great flexibility in a really cost-effective system. Plus the support from Electro-Voice is really good. They look after us, and that means a lot.”