International superstar DJ Armin Van Buuren recently thrilled a record-breaking audience in Ho Chi Minh City, beginning the Asian leg of his acclaimed world tour with a sold out headline performance. Taking place in a special outdoor venue erected in the city’s Sala residential district, the Dutch DJ’s performance required a suitably powerful audio system to cover the sprawling, larger than expected audience. Ensuring that no beat was missed was a truly massive TW AUDiO sound reinforcement solution.
Having been voted the world’s number one DJ a record five times, Armin Van Buuren has amassed a wealth of international hits and achievements over a two decade career. As the host of A State of Trance, the hugely influential radio show broadcast to more than 37 million listeners weekly, he has helped to propel trance music to international acclaim, whilst becoming one of the genre’s most prolific and popular artists. In the United States alone, he holds the record for the most entries (21) on the Billboard Dance/Electronic Albums chart, while in his native Netherlands the Grammy-nominated artist is so deeply respected that in 2011 he was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Orange Nassau for his services to music.
In Asia, meanwhile, Van Buuren commands the devotion of a legion of fans, as demonstrated by the enormous turnout for his Ho Chi Minh City performance. The company charged with providing the technical production for the show was leading Vietnamese supplier Phuc Tinh Co. Ltd, who in turn called in additional equipment from TW AUDiO’s local distributor Filmstar. Alongside the sheer size of the event, the shape of the venue proved challenging.
“The show was even bigger than expected!” explains Augustine Edward, TW AUDiO’s Technical Support Manager for Asia, who assisted with the design and set-up of the front of house system. “We had a really wide audience area, particularly with the VIP raised areas to the left and right of the stage. Most importantly, this show had to be special, so we needed more loudspeakers. We brought in extra in-fills, out-fills, and subwoofers, as well as more Vera cabinets from our local partner company, Maxso Co. Ltd. But it wasn’t just the size of the system, it was how we used it – we had to be creative in how we positioned the loudspeakers to make sure that we covered the whole of the audience.”
The final system configuration was made up of an impressive six line array hangs. Providing the main front of house sound were left and right flown arrays of 18 per-side VERA36 dual-10” three-way line array cabinets, plus left and right out-fills of 12 per-side VERA36. The two VIP areas – positioned to the extreme left and right of the stage – were served by side-fill hangs of six VERA36 each, with low-end extension by four BSX and eight B18 subs per side. The all-important low-end thump for the massed crowd was delivered courtesy of a remarkable 21 BSX dual-21” subwoofers plus 20 S33 subs which were positioned in a line across the front of the stage. “The subwoofers were placed in a straight line with a delay strategy which meant you could feel the low frequencies across the audience area in a very smooth way,” adds Edward.
In addition to the main rig, four delay towers were erected, each comprising six VERA10 line array elements, combinations of L24 and T24N cabinets, and no fewer than 14 B18 subwoofers. On stage, Van Buuren’s own monitor rig was equally hard-hitting, with two arrays of three per-side VERA36 accompanied by two per-side B30 subwoofers.
Power for the vast system was delivered by Powersoft K3 and X4 DSP amplifiers plus Lab.gruppen PLM and FP series amps, with processing by Lake LMS26.