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In a tough business like live sound, where talent, dedication, planning,  and plain old luck can all influence results, success isn’t something  you can credit to just one cause. Madison, Wisconsin’s Intellasound  Productions, for example, has worked its way up to being a region-wide  provider of event services primarily through years of paying dues and  building a reputation for doing the job right. But the 11-person  company, which handles sound, lighting, backline, barricade, and  staging, has also benefited from some smart choices in building its  equipment inventory. Emphasizing quality, performance, and  upgradeability, the company’s brand of choice for loudspeakers,  amplifiers, and controllers is Electro-Voice.

“We do festivals, theatres, one-offs, maybe some five- or six-day runs  rather than lengthy tours,” says Tim Woodworth, who co-founded the  company with business partner David Maier in 1997. Among the events at  which Intellasound provides sound services are concerts ranging from  Jason Aldean to X, with artists in between including Lil Wayne, John  Mayer, and Taylor Swift. The company also handles speaking appearances  from luminaries such as the Dalai Lama and President Obama, as well as  corporate events.

“In a cold-climate market,” Maier says, “some sound companies find that  it’s a challenge to stay busy in the winter. But we do pretty well with  work at the University and at various Madison-area venues, as well as  in the Milwaukee market. Our core employees — a great staff that’s  really knowledgeable — has been very stable over the last half-dozen  years, and both the number and size of the jobs we’re getting continues  to grow. In the summers we’re now doing festivals for audiences of 15 to  20 thousand.”

Intellasound’s first major investment in Electro-Voice came after  Woodworth’s 2004 MuzikMafia tour as the FOH engineer. “The tour used an  X-Line system from Dale Morris Leasing,” he recalls. “Intellasound had  been on the fence about buying a line array system, but after working  with this rig I was thinking that EV had put together a pretty sweet  system. So we looked into what it would take to go down that road, and  we started buying EV.”

The first Electro-Voice boxes Intellasound bought were XLC127+ compact  line-array elements. “Within a year of buying the XLCs, EV came out with  the DVX upgrade kits,” Woodworth says. “So we converted all of our  boxes. That was absolutely a worthwhile investment. It was a huge  difference. It made the 127s sound more like a large format box,  allowing us to do larger events than before. Since then we’ve been  telling people we know who have the older XLC127s that they should  definitely do the upgrade, and they’ve all been very happy.”

Intellasound currently owns 32 XLC127DVXs, as well as four XLC118  subwoofers that can fly at the top of the XLC arrays for low-end balcony  fill. The company’s primary subwoofers are Xsub dual-18 boxes. “We  really love our Xsubs,” Woodworth says. “We do some pretty heavy-hitting  shows outdoors for 15,000 heavy metal fans with 12 Xsubs on each side,  and we don’t see any type of clip or limit on any of the amps. So we’re  pretty excited about them.”

Around the same time that Intellasound started collecting Electro-Voice  loudspeakers it also began buying Electro-Voice amplifiers,  particularly the TG-7. “We’re extremely happy with the TG-7,” Woodworth  says. “The sonic quality is great, the amount of power it puts out is  remarkable, and the durability out on the road is very good. Plus if  you’re running IRIS-Net on your laptop, you can use the TG-7’s optional  RCM-26 cards to optimize the amp’s output for the specific cabinet it’s  powering.” Intellasound is now up to 50 TG-7s, all equipped with RCM-26  IRIS-Net remote control modules.

“What we’re really ecstatic about,” Maier continues, “is all the system  protection we get with our TG-7s. The peak anticipation limiters and  TEMP limiters really protect our investment in our loudspeakers. And  it’s great to have our amps, speakers, and system control all working  together.”

The TG-7s also interface nicely with Intellasound’s NetMax N8000-1500  audio control processor. “We currently use the NetMax mostly for  festival situations,” Woodworth says. “We typically have multiple  consoles interfacing with our system, and we bring them all in with the  NetMax. We have our NetMax set up with 8 digital inputs and outputs and 8  analog inputs and outputs, so you can really accommodate a lot of  different scenarios. If it’s a digital console, it comes into the  digital ins; if it’s analog, you come in via the analog in and let the  NetMax do the conversion to digital. The audio then stays digital all  the way through the TG-7s. Everyone is pretty excited that their desk is  plugged directly into the system controller and not into a drive desk.  The TG-7s even allow us to have a digital input as the primary and an  analog input as the redundant, and if at any time the amps stop seeing  clock for any issue it will switch over to the analog input without  being noticeable. It’s pretty slick.”

Intellasound recently made another major investment in Electro-Voice  gear, this time in a used X-Line array system. For main-array full-range  loudspeakers, the system includes 24 Xvls (90 degree) and four Xvlt  (120 degree). The new system also includes four Xfils for downfill, as  well as another four Xsubs, bringing Intellasound’s total to 28.

“The size of our events has been growing and growing,” Maier says, “so  we knew we were going to have to cross over from the mid-size array to a  larger system. We wanted to stay with the EV family, and EV’s new FIR  filters for the X-Line have given those boxes a whole new life, making  them comparable to the latest loudspeaker system technology. Also, the  X-Line array works very well with the XLC array if we need them both.  It’s pretty surprising how well they are voiced with each other.”

Woodworth says he has no qualms about staking so much of his company’s  future on products from a single vendor, not simply because of  performance but also in terms of the day-to-day efficiencies designed  into the overall system. “The time savings in setting up and loading out  is pretty dramatic since we switched to the EV arrays,” he says. “Their  integrated rigging hardware is really fast, and you can stack four  cabinets to a cart, whereas with a lot of competing boxes you have to  take one at a time, which is a lot of trips to and from the truck. And  with the new FIR filters, we spend hardly any time at all EQ-ing the rig  once it’s set up. The whole EV package is just smarter.”http://www.intellasound.com/

Intellasound\_Crew.jpg

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