London-based sound hire specialist Podd Sound, using a QSC WideLine-8 PA with associated Shure UHF-R and ULX-D wireless microphone systems, provided PA and commentary facilities for Sony Music’s first UK playback of the new Michael Jackson album, Xscape.
Held in the main ballroom at the Bulgari Hotel in Knightsbridge, London, on 31 March, the exclusive playback was attended by international media and assorted celebrities, supplemented by video messages from album producers LA Reid and Timbaland and hosted by Radio 1 Xtra’s Trevor Nelson.
“This job was a little different to some of the other playbacks I’ve done recently,” explains Podd Sound founder Mat Podd. “The ballroom was slightly egg-shaped, so I chose WideLine to give me an even coverage without the need for any fill-ins. I was asked to use ground stacks in the ballroom, but the media were all due to be seated during the playback, so I had to make sure that the dispersion was right and that the music didn’t disappear over their heads.
“Fortunately, the WL212-sw subs have a mounting provision in their suspension system that allows WideLine 3082 units to be mounted on top of the subs at up to 10°, even when the subs are ground-stacked. It was almost as though the array was hung, so during the playback, the music was aimed right at the seated audience.”
Xscape will be released by Sony Music worldwide during the week commencing 12 May.