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Pioneer’s XY3 comes alive at the Life and Death Festival

Pioneer’s XY3 comes alive at the Life and Death Festival

Pioneer’s XY3 comes alive at the Life and Death Festival


A Pioneer Pro Audio system deployed by Avant Garde powered the Life and Death Festival when it took place at the Jebel Ali Beach Club in Dubai recently. Avant Garde was asked to bid for the project after the organiser experienced its Pioneer setup at Blue Marlin Ibiza last year. The system it deployed for the event was the first time the company had chosen to run the XY3 cabinets from Powersoft’s X4 amplifiers.

‘We are heavily involved in the house and techno scene in the UAE, both as AV suppliers and as a DJ and record label owner,’ explained Avant Garde partner and business development lead Hassan Alwan, who also runs Boogie Box Records. ‘The house and techno community here is closely knit, and when it comes to quality audio there are less than a handful of suppliers who can deliver. I’m happy to say that we are one of those.’

The Life and Death brand is the brainchild of Italian DJ and producer Manfredi Romano, better known as DJ Tennis. Life and Death started off as a record label, showcasing music by DJ Tennis and other talented house and techno producers. In recent years, it started hosting Life and Death events as an extension of the record label. The festival at Jebal Ali Beach Club was organised by The Artist Network, the team behind Groove on the Grass.

‘The organiser briefed us to prepare for a 1,000-person crowd spread over a 800m2 area,’ commented Daniel Ball, Avant Garde founder and technical lead. ‘In order to ensure coverage of the space, we went with our full XY3 system. It’s an arrayable point source system and was actually really great as it helped us create distinct listening areas for the crowd. We were able to create a high energy area in front of the DJ stage, covering around 14m-width to 15m-depth, while also allowing the peripheral areas of the sides of the space to be far less drowned in audio energy.’

This XY3 setup comprised three per-side XY3s deployed in left and right arrays, along with a horizontal sub array line featuring four stacks of dual XY218HS dual 18-inch horn subs. ‘Low frequency response in the main dance area was as to be expected, powerful,’ furthered Mr Ball. ‘The XY3s, with their optimised spacing, created a great horizontal coverage plane and easily transferred SPLs out to the edge of the main crowd area.’

The festival also gave the Avant Garde team an opportunity to deploy Powersoft’s X4 series amplifiers for the first time, which drove the main PA. ‘These are the top of the line DSP amplifiers from Powersoft, and the quality of the DSP engine in these is significantly noticeable over their older K Series product; something we had been using on all previous events for the last 18 months,’ added Mr Ball. ‘The internal components of the XY3 system were also perfect for the event. The music intensity picked up from about 5pm and lasted all the way through to 3am. The system retained output and clarity flawlessly – a testament to the quality of the equipment to manage higher output levels over such a long and sustained time period.’

Unusually for Dubai, bad weather led to the decision to relocate the main stage the night before the event. ‘This required quick action and re-planning of everything,’ explained Mr Ball. ‘Sound, lights, stage, decoration and power, everything moved from the first point and was set up in under four hours. It was a remarkable effort by the team and the decision taken by the promoter turned out to be a wise one as the weather continued to hamper the original space well into the day of the actual event.’

In addition to the full XY3 system at the main stage, Avant Garde deployed a smaller EAW system for the second stage, comprising four 12-inch REDLine series speakers and a pair of 18-inch subwoofers.

‘The sound improvement was surprisingly noticeable by shifting to the new Powersoft amps,’ concluded Mr Alwan. ‘These new amps added depth and clarity to the sound, and what was noticeable was less noise in the system. This, complemented by the venue arrangement, overall led to us to be very happy with the outcome. Shame, the same couldn’t be said of the weather.’

‘Considering the external factors (major sandstorm!), the event was a big success. The people who braved the weather had a great time and the DJs had a blast behind the booth.,’ said Mr Ball. ‘Happy to say that we received very positive feedback from the performing artists, organisers and the audience on the dancefloor, and we were very happy with the performance of our baby – the XY3 system.’

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