Crash of the Crown Tour 2021

The summer of 2021 was when concerts came back to the USA, and they came back fast and in full force! Creative Audio was the chosen vendor for the legendary band STYX when they started their latest tour promoting the new release of the Crash of the Crown album. Since COVID safety protocols were still in flux in much of the country, amphitheaters and outdoor venues were the safest option for everyone on the tour, as well as the thousands of fans eager to get out of the house and see live music again. A large, scalable, and most importantly fast deploying audio and lighting system was what the artists crew envisioned, and the inventory and staff at Creative Audio was the perfect compliment.

STYX Crash of the Crown Tour 2021 with Creative Audio
STYX Crash of the Crown Tour 2021 with Creative Audio

For those that don’t know, the production staff for STYX is some of the best in the industry, and such an iconic group doesn’t deserve any less. The STYX FOH Engineer and Lighting Designer both strive relentlessly for perfection, day in and day out, regardless of isolated challenges or the occasional delays that pop up while on tour. Creative Audio provided them with our lead audio technician Vinny Ribando and lead lighting technician James Henriksen. The lead techs were also supplemented on tour with three assistant technicians and two truck drivers. Day to day our staff exceeded the expectations of the tour. Towards the end of the run, our production staff was chasing the tour staff to the trucks during load-outs, and combined recorded a full tour load out with three semi’s of gear in just over 75 minutes.

This was no small feat to accomplish. The audio and lighting systems were both large scale touring rigs. For audio, the tour chose our JBL VTX Line of speakers and Creative Audio carried a full flown system compromised of 48x boxes of VTX V25 line array cabinets, 8x VTX A8 line array cabinets, and 30x VTX S28 subwoofers. Each side of the PA had 16x boxes of V25’s in the main hang, 8x V25 boxes for out fills, and 8x S28 flown subs in a cardioid configuration. 14x S28’s subs were also utilized for additional ground support with the A12’s as front fill speakers.

JBL VTX V25 Line Array
JBL VTX System from Creative Audio

Powering the rig was racks of Crown Itech 4×3500 amplifiers, which were configured to run at 208 volts. Each side of the audio system was split into multiple zones of 2 box circuits. Even with the system running at up to ~110dbA, this configuration is so efficient it barely pulls more than 30 amps per leg on average!

The lighting system consisted of 3 trusses of Tyler GT moving light truss and an additional 50′ of 12″ box trussing for the bands backdrop. The total fixture count when the design was finalized came to 114 fixtures and 8 fixture types. The primary profile fixtures chosen were the Martin Mac Viper Profiles, which are a long standing industry standard. They are reliable, sturdy, and have over 25000 lumens of output. Our lighting techs love them too because they are easy to maintain on the road when the occasional issue does arise. To compliment the profiles on the upstage and midstage trusses was a slew of GLP X4 moving wash fixtures, and Martin Atomic 3000 LED strobes.

Tyler GT Truss from Creative Audio
Truss and Lighting Prep from the Lighting Department at Creative Audio

The downstage truss was a challenge initially because so many of the venues on the tour were outdoors, so Creative Audio recommended as many IP-65 rated fixtures as possible. Chauvet Colorado 3 Solo IP washes, Chauvet Ovation E260WW-IP Lekos, Elation DTW-700 4-cell blinders were the perfect fit, and even during the inevitable rain shower the tour played on night after night!

There is no challenge our team cant overcome! What can Creative Audio provide for your next tour?

The Impractical Jokers

Cranjis McBasketball World Tour

For over two years, Creative Audio has been providing sound, lighting, and video support for The Impractical Jokers. As the shows grew from simple racks and stacks rentals and theater shows into 20,000 seat arenas, we were there with them to help wherever we could. The Cranjis McBasketball tour has been the latest large scale tour featuring large video walls, large speaker hangs, and pre-rigged lighting trusses along with many special effects to give the audience a wow factor they’ll remember. Creative Audio provided two semi-trucks full of equipment, and a crew of 7 technicians, for the most recent run of shows in 2019.

Since the show is very video intensive, it provided the perfect opportunity to put our latest 5mm video panels from Martin through their paces. Our video department put together a huge 32 x 18 foot video wall consisting of 200 Face 5 HB panels, running on dual Martin P3-300 controllers. We also provided 2 large IMAG screens on stage left and right. The large center screen was setup for video playback from stage, with video content controlled through laptops by the artists. This enabled the Jokers to run their show on the fly, and gave them the freedom of performing completely ad-libbed material whenever desired. The IMAG screens were run with a three camera shoot. One FOH camera with a 50x box lense and a fiber backbone provided the primary shot, and two cameras on stage left and right wings were provided for supplemental and audience reactions.

Our audio department had a bit of a different case on their hands however. With venues of various sizes, heights, and audience capacities, it was important to provide a line array box that could produce enough SPL and be flexible enough to scale to the venue of the day. The JBL V20 speaker was the best fit after all was considered and over 50 boxes was provided and used for main LR and out-fill speaker hangs. Our audio engineers ran room dimensions daily and modeled the acoustics with the JBL performance manager software to ensure every seat had the best audio coverage possible. Shure ULX-D microphones and a Midas Pro2 console offered the best fidelity reinforcement available. After hundreds of thousands of happy fans laughed until they cried, the JBL V20 proved itself again as one of Creative Audio’s workhorse speakers.

More to come soon!