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CODA storms the Beersel Castle

Studio Haifax has continued to invest in Coda Audio gear – with the company’s new ViRAY system making its debut at the recent Kasteelfeesten (Castle Festival) in Beersel.

For the last couple of years, Studio Haifax, together with Benelux distributor Apex Audio, has been putting the Coda brand on the map in Belgium and the Netherlands, propelled by Zornik’s highly successful Less>More 30-date tour, powered by a Coda Airline LA8 system.

Pieter Begard, founder of Studio Haifax, built on this by investing in Coda Audio’s ViRAY system, consolidating the company’s growth over the last two years. Demo sessions both at Coda Audio’s Hannover headquarters and at distributor Apex Audio’s demo hall paved the way for the new investment: Studio Haifax worked with Apex Audio for both the Coda Airline kit and the company’s multiple DiGiCo consoles (SD8, SD9 and SD11).
In June, Studio Haifax took delivery of the new ViRAY system, consisting of 24 Coda ViRAY tops, 12 Coda SCV-F 18” subwoofer cabinets, four Coda SCP (2 x 18”) subwoofer cabinets, four Coda RC20T amplifier touring racks, four FR-VR fly-frames and one Apex Audio Intelli-X48 processor. “This configuration seamlessly matches our current Coda Audio inventory, but the ViRAY system offers a number of advantages over the LA8,” says audio engineer Yves Van Moerbeke.

“The ViRAY’s integrated and magnetised rigging system allows swift and quick installation, and the option to either fly or stack the ViRAY while making full use of the line-array principle. The censor-controlled subwoofers translate the audio signal perfectly and the sub cabinets can be flown according the ViRAY system’s curve – leaving the choice for a cardioid sub layout or not.”
Van Moerbeke says the combination of the ViRAY system with the Intelli-X series processor results in a powerful system allowing adequate sound reinforcement both in theatres (thanks to the compact size and adaptable directivity of the high frequencies) as well as on bigger festival stages, by combining the array speakers with flown SCV-F sub-arrays. “The most important asset of the ViRAY system lies in its high quality and transparent sound,” he enthuses. “You really get to hear the harmonics, but at the same time the system has sufficient headroom, making it work very relaxed, sounding not so ‘straight-in-the-face’…”
FOH and system engineer Guido Olischlager was among the first to work with the new ViRAY system at the Castle Festival in June. A dedicated user of Coda Audio’s LA8 and LA4 configurations, he is really enthusiastic about the ViRAY. “The powerful sub sound, the crystal-clear mid-high and the easy to handle rigging/stacking system are characteristics that are poised to make the ViRAY one of the most wanted systems on the touring market,” he enthuses.
“Pieter Begard, owner of Studio Haifax, has a long working experience with Coda Audio, and wanted to go a step further with ViRAY,” says Tim Augustynen, product manager live and install at Apex Audio. “We have invested in a Coda Audio ViRAY kit ourselves, to serve as demo configuration – the brand is making hot fuzz in the Benelux and people who worked with the system are very enthusiastic about it. The preset-angle rigging system and the flexibility of the array, offering a pristine sound quality are crucial assets.”
“In addition to band tours, like with Zornik, Black Box Revelation and Soul Brothers, Studio Haifax is now entering the bigger festival segment,” comments Van Moerbeke. “When a festival is booking Zornik, they have the option to take Studio Haifax along for the FOH system, which boosts our festival job agenda considerably. With the new ViRAY system we aim to get access to even bigger festivals next year.”
Studio Haifax’s rental agenda is booked up solid, with two or three jobs every day – Van Moerbeke says that most of the regular band tours work with a plug-and-play setup whereby Haifax supplies a van, a FOH and monitor desk, microphones, cables and two system techs. The main FOH system is then provided by a local rental company. If not, Studio Haifax supplies a Coda Airline LA8 line array system (16 cabinets) with eight Coda Airline LA8 subs and four Coda SCP (2×18”) subwoofer enclosures.
At press time, Van Moerbeke told PSNEurope that Studio Haifax is considering doubling its ViRAY inventory before the end of the summer festival season.