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Philadelphia Sound
(Pennsylvania, USA)



SCHWENKSVILLE, PENNSYLVANIA, USA - September 28, 1998 - One of the nation's longest-running folk music festivals, held in the same area since 1996, made a positive change in sound system support for its acoustic and folk-rock musical program this year. The 37th Annual Philadelphia Folk Festival, a nationally-known event that draws up to 90,000 persons to 5 different stages during the music-packed weekend, relied on Philadelphia Sound Productions' new HLA concert loudspeaker system from JBL Professional, which was fielded on the two larger event stages. Smaller event stages featured other JBL systems, including SR Series II and EON products. More than 150 musical groups, including Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, Koko Taylor and Her Blues Machine, Beausoleil, Arlo Guthrie, and veteran folk artists like Tom Paxton and Josh White, Jr. served up traditional, contemporary, celtic and blues-influenced sets to the family-oriented audience.

"We've worked for decades to make this one of the best family entertainment values in America," noted Mr. David Baskin, Festival Chairman and head of a committed group of more than 2,000 volunteers who handle publicity, booking, logistics, setup and site management of the community-oriented folk festival. "We have a rich heritage here regarding a quest for excellence in live sound. Many of our long-time paying attendees are amateur or professional musicians themselves, and they are a indeed critical audience! This year's sound is undoubtedly the best we've ever had. We've literally received nothing but compliments about the JBL sound system's excellent quality and coverage."

A hard-working team of audio and video engineers and technicians, many of whom have served the Philadelphia Folk Festival for a dozen years or more, raced through 5-minute set changes, manned video cameras and operated soundmixing consoles at a variety of control positions. "The HLA system has amazing clarity and headroom," enthused Phil Nicolo, a Grammy-Award winning Recording Engineer/Producer from Philadelphia's Studio 4. "I'm used to the detail of nearfield monitors in the studio. With HLA, it is hard to believe the mix location is really 125' away from the speaker arrays…when I'm setting a pan pot, or working with high end e.q. on a hi-hat…the accuracy is incredible. From a music mixer's perspective, this is probably the most effective sound reinforcement system I've used yet."

All sound system needs for the event were handled by Philadelphia Sound Productions of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Serving the Middle Atlantic States and Eastern seaboard of the United States for over two decades, the firm specializes in sound reinforcement system design, installation, rental and operations for a variety of musical events, corporate presentations, and other productions ranging from World Wrestling Federation shows to private parties at New York's famous dance club, Studio 54. "We rely on a variety of JBL loudspeaker system products for our business operations," advised owner Walt Mosetter. "JBL's new HLA 4895 three-way and 4897 subwoofer units enable us to offer a flexible, great-sounding rig that can do a rock group like Big Head Todd and The Monsters one night, and a classical music concert with a symphony orchestra the next night. It's one of the best investments I know of for a regional sound rental company. Here at the Philadelphia Folk Festival, HLA has exceeded the expectations of the audio crew…I have a very happy customer."

For the 1998 Philadelphia Folk Festival's Main Stage, Mosetter's crew used 18 mid/high units and 8 subwoofers to provide outdoor sound coverage for audiences in excess of 25,000 persons per show. Technicians flew a 3x3 array of JBL's model 4895 three-way array modules, supported below by 4 of JBL's model 4897 subwoofer units. A Soundcraft Series 5 console was provided for the front of house position. "A lot of customers, from Atlantic City to New York, are wanting to try out this new rig," noted Mosetter. "It's been a great boost for our regional rental business in several different markets.