The B.M.B.: What really happened out there…

Posted by | September 08, 2015 | | No Comments

I think we can safely say Richard wasn’t prepared for the level of dirt, sand and wind that was to meet him in the desert. If you saw the picture on Facebook posted yesterday in preparation for this final instalment, you’ll have an idea of the all-pervasive nature of the dust and how it can spell the end of humans and machines alike.

Amazingly, it still worked.  We will see if that's happening three weeks from now but it survived the trip.  So did the laptop.

Amazingly, it still worked. We will see if that’s happening three weeks from now but it survived the trip. So did the laptop.

As we’ve covered the journey to get to the B.M. in quite exhaustive detail let’s just jump ahead to a few photos of the set-up and how things all went together. After the three hour drive along the desert edge, there was then the 6 hour queue to endure before getting on-site – this stretched for several miles and was four vehicles wide…

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Following Richard and Oz was the gear truck, with the racks of APA ready for action. Here’s the plan view of the Ooligan Alley site – with the cockpit right in the centre below the road. The camp site is at the top of the plan formed by the rectangle of trucks with all the yurts accommodating up to 100 people.

Olligan Alley Site Plan.

Olligan Alley Site Plan.

And so the long process of assembling the yurts, moving speakers into place, wiring up the system and testing began. The new “control tower” – in reality a lighting tower – was built at the back of the site. It’s the hexagonal structure at the bottom of the plan.

Subs unloaded, cockpit and parts of control tower in the background...

Subs unloaded, cockpit and parts of control tower in the background…

Craning the control tower together.

Craning the control tower together.

View from the cockpit towards the completed control tower.  And beyond into the desert!

View from the cockpit towards the completed control tower. And beyond into the desert!

The main system was all powered by APA and compared to last year (which you may have seen photos of here) the number of top cabinets was reduced due to the superior level and coverage available with the new Funktion One Evo7 boxes. Where there were six Res4s a side in 2014, this was now handled by four Evo7s a side in 2015.
The sub line-up was the same – six F221 cabinets a side (so totalling 24 x 21″ drivers).

This system was powered by nine APA, which were housed in one of the 20 foot containers (shown on the plan flanking the cockpit). There was one spare APA in case of any emergency, and some MC2 E Series on DJ monitor duties (Res2s).

Richard commented about the air conditioner that was in the container: “I thought it was a cool (sic) idea that it was in there, but honestly, I don’t think it made any difference! The container was painted quite a light colour which helped reflect some of the heat of the sun during the day, but at night, when the amps were working, it was pretty toasty in there…”

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He continued – “As it turned out, we needn’t have worried – I was able to keep an eye on the temperatures and nothing was getting stressed, even at the height of each night’s events – we were operating at about 60% of maximum top line.”

On the dusty screen - the APA channel temperatures and mains supply behaviour in real time...

On the dusty screen – the APA channel temperatures and mains supply behaviour in real time…

Oz Jeffries, the founder and M.D. of Audiofeed, had only good things to say about this new, leaner set-up:
“We took fewer cabinets and fewer amplifiers than ever before and yet had a more powerful and even better sounding system! What we didn’t take was a chance with APA – the results and reports so far from all users have been that it sounds amazing and it didn’t let the side down in the desert.”

Early morning with the DJ cockpit in place, flanked by Evo7 and F221s.

Early morning with the DJ cockpit in place, flanked by Evo7 and F221s.

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And so the B.M.B. reaches its conclusion for 2015 – APA helped to make it special for all who danced the night away in the Nevada desert, and made it through what many would see as the ultimate endurance test. Richard made it back without even catching a tan (as you’ll see from the laptop photo up above!). We’ll post up some pictures of the amps when they return and see how brown their air filters have gone!

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