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the first woodstock PA

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kedwardsleisure View Drop Down
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    Posted: 19 August 2019 at 9:28pm
Can't see it anywhere else on the forum so here's a link


the first woodstock
K. Edwards Electronics Engineers

North Staffordshire

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jazomir View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jazomir Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 August 2019 at 10:20pm
There was a documentary on BBC at the weekend that focused on the 'organisation' of the festival. Complete cluster f**k by the organisers although the local council behind the original planned site must take a lot of the blame. The whole thing was saved by the US  military who supplied helicopters and medical teams, the local population - mostly farm folk - who provided food and supplies for free to help feed the masses helped in no small way by the 'security advisors' - The Hog Farm Commune - who also  prepared the  donated food for everyone as well as helping with pretty much everything on site. Probably it was all helped by  the amount of drugs taken that stopped people caring about things too much!  I've read the Hanley article before - it was amazing that anyone could hear what was being played and could only have worked due to the shape of the site and the decision to lift the PA well above the ground. Wedding DJs pay heed - peoples knees don't have ears!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote woody2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 August 2019 at 9:54am
went years ago, the site is a massive bowl, wouldn't of worked otherwise
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jazomir View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jazomir Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 August 2019 at 2:11pm
So, stepping back a few years and almost certainly repeating the question on this forum - if you had to supply the sound for the festival today, with same time/access restrictions  that existed back then and the various  other problems that pesented themselves at the time, what would be your choice of system to give the best sound for the 400,000 crowd? The restrictions would probably mean no delay towers (IIRC there  were supposed to be delay stacks in 1969 but the tape delay driving them wouldn't work) and I would imagine that everything would need to be mounted on scaffold or flown using cranes.
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madboffin View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote madboffin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 August 2019 at 11:00pm
People's expectations have changed a lot since then, and that needs to be taken into account. I wonder just how well that system really worked. No consideration seems to have been given to the drastic changes in sound propagation that occur as the air temperature gradients change during the day / evening. And nothing appears to have been angled downwards enough to cover a large crowd of people, each generating at least 100W of heat to warm up the air above them.

Modern workplace safety standards make scaffolding-mounted systems problematic to rig. Gone are the days when I would (and be allowed to) climb around on PA towers like a monkey in a tree...

Time and access wouldn't be a problem, they had days to build the rig.

Even assuming the site is bowl shaped (like MK, but bigger) it would be tricky to do without delays.

You would have to use something like the system referred to here and the discussion that followed:
https://forum.speakerplans.com/70s-showco-clair-festival-pa_topic85604_post852785.html?#852785

and here:
https://forum.speakerplans.com/can-martin-215-mk3-or-f2b-keep-up-with-es18-or-usb_topic89467_post896832.html?#896832

(Sorry, the pictures have moved, I can set up a new link if anyone's interested.)

But even that rig used delays, and we had to turn them up more when the air cooled down late in the evening. I also had to go up the main PA towers and adjust wood blocks to reduce the downward tilt on the long throw stuff at the top of the arrays. But that was a flat site - propagation would have been more consistent if it had been a bowl shape. But with the adjustments the system coverage was amazingly good and would probably have been OK for a crowd double the 200,000 (or more) that we had.





Edited by madboffin - 20 August 2019 at 11:01pm
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studio45 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote studio45 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 August 2019 at 3:06pm
Well I guess what would actually happen is that you'd get Danley on the job and fly two Jericho from scaff towers. And a few of his other boxes to cover the front of the crowd. 

But me, I know where there are a couple of barns full of Martin Modular rig that was built about five years after Woodstock, so I'd try very hard to deploy that, and I'd be pretty confident of a good result!

I wish there were more "Vintage powered" stages at big festivals. Sure old Martin and Turbo turns up at small things, doing small things. But why can't eg Boomtown have an old-skool rave stage c/w massive 90's Turbo rig turned up to *maximum hoof*... well I'd go to it :)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote madboffin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 August 2019 at 11:54pm
Well yes, if we are to use modern state of the art kit, a call to Mr Danley to design the system would definitely be the best bet.

The reason you don't see giant vintage PA's at festivals is because they didn't come with modern flying hardware. It took a whole day to rig such systems, using large numbers of local crew stacking boxes on scaffolding platforms on the PA wings, which themselves took several days to put up.

As mentioned above, modern safety standards preclude this type of work. A modern line array can be flown very quickly by a very small crew, with no need for working at height. And *if properly done* it works better than most of the old systems did.

But hopefully Mr Danley's work will bring us into a new age of high power point source systems, which is really the proper way to do things.




Edited by madboffin - 22 August 2019 at 12:03am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote woody2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 August 2019 at 10:09am
the first thing i thought when i went to woodstock was how small the site was, just used the measurement device on bing maps and woodstock is about half the size of pyramid stage arena.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jazomir Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 August 2019 at 10:28am
Originally posted by woody2 woody2 wrote:

the first thing i thought when i went to woodstock was how small the site was, just used the measurement device on bing maps and woodstock is about half the size of pyramid stage arena.
I never realised that! It always looks so much bigger than other festivals I've seen.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote woody2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 August 2019 at 2:13pm
Originally posted by jazomir jazomir wrote:

Originally posted by woody2 woody2 wrote:

the first thing i thought when i went to woodstock was how small the site was, just used the measurement device on bing maps and woodstock is about half the size of pyramid stage arena.
I never realised that! It always looks so much bigger than other festivals I've seen.


the site has changed from when i went but it now only holds 30000 people for events.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote godathunder Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 August 2019 at 2:21pm
I'd have to say that glastonburys pyramid stage usually sounded good in the point source days but the last time I was there (I forget the year) the Martin line array sounded spectacular.

However, I would be very surprised if any of the current line arrays could match the sheer spl of the turbo tms system used at donington in 1988
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote studio45 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 August 2019 at 3:27pm
^Every time someone mentions that I curse the fact I was only 6 at the time. It seems unlikely to ever be repeated, except in some post-apocalyptic scenario where we've killed and eaten all the noise police.
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