Hollywood Bowl profile for "Audio Media" in 1997

Hollywood Bowl

Art and Science of Sound System Design
for this World-Famous Performance Venue

Written in 1997 for MIX magazine by Mel Lambert

Sound system design for live performance can stretch the resources of any individual. Everyone in the audience - not to mention the performers - is a potential critic. And if the primary role of the venue is classical music, satisfying the regular patrons that have often paid a large amount of money to enjoy performances in a live setting can be extremely demanding. These and other factors have, over the years, plagued the many sound designers and consultants that have been involved with the world-famous Hollywood Bowl. But, to give him his due, long-time consultant and sound mixer Joseph Magee, president of Magee Audio Engineering, may have finally cracked the problem, utilizing a liberal amount to science, a high degree of state-of-the-art technology, and the patience of Job.

   Under the best of circumstances, the Hollywood Bowl Sound can be described as a "challenging" environment. Set within the world's largest natural amphitheater high in the hills above Los Angeles, without sound reinforcement the venue might well be suited to small, intimate concerts - provided that traffic from the nearby freeway, not to mention private aircraft, don't detract from an audience's enjoyment. But The Hollywood Bowl, despite its very good natural acoustics, has a current seating capacity of close to 18,000, which means that compromise is definitely the order of the day.

   In essence, the high-paying patrons down in the front - whose boxes cost upwards of several thousand dollars per year for an orchestra-close seating location - want to hear music as they would in an indoor concert hall. But the remainder of the audience, stretching way up back to the $1.00 seats, several hundred feet away from the stage, will need some form of PA system if they are to hear the performance. And to appeal to younger audiences, the Bowl's organizers offer a wide range of musical genres throughout the Summer performance season.

Joseph Magee   Design and operation of the Hollywood Bowl's current $2.5-million sound reinforcement system, and the outstanding work of Joseph Magee (pictured left) and his colleagues, has resulted in a system that, for the first time, is receiving critical applause from both the participants down front, as well as the loyal audience that attends a large number of concerts throughout the summer season.
   Indeed, the current system, comprising a mixture of three arrays located left, center and right above the shell, with a number of carefully arranged fill-in and remote stacks, fulfills a long-held dream. Now, for the first time in five decades, both the close-in and distant sections of the audience can enjoy the same, high-quality sound that, to many pundits, closely mimics that of a conventional concert hall - except that we are enveloped in the sound of classical music within a large natural amphitheater. Quite an achievement by any account, but a dream that has taken a long time to reach reality.
   One of the world's leading audio engineers, Joseph Magee specializes in music recording/mixing for film and producing/engineering classical, jazz and pop music. Recent projects include scores for "Sister Act," "Leap of Faith," "What's Love Got To Do With It," "Sister Act 2," "Two If By Sea" and "The Preacher's Wife" and the soon-to-be-released "Quest for Camelot," "Mafia" and "Fantasia Continued," along with recording projects for The Boston Pops, Joe Williams, LA Philharmonic, Barbra Streisand, Ray Brown and Whitney Houston. As producer/engineer, Magee received a 1995 Grammy nomination for Best Album for Children ("Manhattan Transfer Meets Tubby The Tuba"). He also consults for a number of pro-audio firms, including ATC Loudspeakers, PMC Loudspeakers, Panasonic/RAMSA plus Sennheiser and Neumann, and for The Walt Disney Concert Hall and The Colburn School/Zipper Concert Hall currently under construction in Los Angeles.

   As Magee recalls, "The first time I was called in by the Hollywood Bowl as a consultant [in 1994], I was taken aback by the [then current] sound system: a three-way, THX-style theater look alike. To make matters worse, the system was doubled up left, center and right, with the result that the already doubled theatrical-style hard-center channel was now being multiplied by a factor of two. It sounded unusual, to say the least!
   "The bane of my life as a film-music mixer - the other half being the Dolby Surround Sound [4:2:4] matrix - was staring at me. I was at a loss to understand why the previous consultants had specified such an installation, considering what was available with current state-of-the-art for live sound. However, I was sure that too many cooks in the kitchen - translated as the highly political, local environment - had something to do with their choices.

   "And back then, mixing a symphony orchestra, which represents the majority of shows at the Hollywood Bowl, involved very limited miking technique and little matrixing of outputs to different speaker arrays. Any show that became too complicated was farmed out to one of the many local sound companies."


Public Expectations: Fact and Reality at The Hollywood Bowl
At the heart of the sound-reinforcement dilemma, Magee considers, was the fact that audiences attending concerts at The Bowl were convinced that classical shows were acoustical, with no sound reinforcement. "Quite an odd task," he reflects, "considering the difference in ambient sound pressure level, with all of the Bowl's air conditioners, refrigeration units, concessions, local freeway, helicopters, military fly-by, police pursuits and car alarms. I was in agreement with them on the concept, but they must have been thinking about the Twenties: a glorious time for quiet, classical concerts in a reflective shell with sound waves gliding across the water pool in front of the stage."

   Luckily for Magee, several audiophiles were closely involved with the Bowl and its sonic performance. "Both Ernest Fleischmann [then Executive VP and Managing Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic] and [General Manager] Anne Parsons knew there was a way to offer great audio [to the audience], but did not know how or who to trust. Their benchmark came from daily hearing great classical artists in concert halls around the world."
   But first things first, Magee reasoned. "For me, it was a two-stage challenge. First, I needed to develop a series of microphone techniques and matrix arrays that would let me secure a highly accurate image of the sound of an orchestra on stage at The Bowl. Then I would design, with input from a number of consultants and personal friends, a sound system that could relay that highly-accurate 'signature' to the audience using a series of direct and delayed-response loudspeaker arrays via a sophisticated matrix.

   "During the past three years, in a piecemeal fashion, we have been developing a new miking system for the orchestra, and a full-blown concert sound system with delays. It has been a frustrating process for everyone, most importantly, the people of the City of Los Angeles, but we progressed only as funds became available. From reaction we received during the 1997 Season - including some highly favorable reviews from the local music press and the 'LA Times' - we feel that the long hours have been well worth the effort."

Hollywood Bow mix position   The current mixing systems, located in a custom-designed bunker some 225 feet from the performance stage, comprises an ATI Paragon console - pictured left, with Michael Cooper, Hollywood Bowl's Head of Audio/Video Department - and outboard Yamaha 03D submixer, both of which feed a Level Control Systems SuperNova digitally-controlled console and matrix.

   "The Paragon's stereo mix," Magee explains, "is a front-of-house-only, headphone reference tool for the mixer to create multi-group mixes that are distributed into the system via the LCS matrix." Outputs from the matrix are equalized and routed to various sections of the Bowl's sound main multi-channel system, plus delay and distributed loudspeaker arrays. A series of BSS Omnidrives outfitted with temperature and humidity probes help Magee and his crew adjust to optimum settings despite weather conditions that can rapidly and rather dramatically change at the venue. Additional inputs and reverb returns are handled by an outboard Yamaha 03D digital console. Outboard electronics include 40 channels of Millennia mic pre-amps, plus 10 Avalon and four Tube Tech mic pre-amps on stage.

   The main loudspeaker array is made up of 22 Sound Image Series V/WG four-way cabinets flown approximately 60 feet above the stage in a left (eight cabinets), left-center (three cabinets), right-center (three cabinets) and right configurations (eight cabinets) atop temporary scaffold structures. (These rigs will be replaced once the new proposed super-truss and shell is constructed in a few years time.) The use of separate left-center and right-center cabinets ensures a stereo image throughout their coverage pattern. Each Series V/WG cabinet is fitted with dual 15-inch woofers, dual 12-inch woofers, dual mid/high waveguides with a two-inch, horn-driven compression driver, and tweeters; all components, with the exception of SI's waveguides, are from JBL.

   Four Sound Image Series LT High Packs - one each for the primary arrays - were custom designed to boost MF and HF output to the furthest audience areas. Extended low frequencies are handled by 10 Sound Image Series V subwoofers flown at the bottom of each left and right array.

   Located at several positions throughout the Bowl, a total of 106 QSC EX Series amplifiers power the system, and are capable of delivering in excess of 140 kW. To minimize cable runs, amp racks dedicated to the main loudspeaker arrays, for example, are positioned immediately beneath the arrays.

   "Last year we completed our design," Magee says, "by adding a Distributed System along the various promenades at the Hollywood Bowl." A total of 122 Sound Image G1 nearfield loudspeakers are concealed by hedges. In addition, Main, Deck, Front-fill and Delay subsystems were set up and fed as individual zones from the LCS SuperNova console. The custom-designed Deck System covers the front section of the audience, and is comprised of a pair of Sound Image Series V/WG loudspeakers stacked atop two Sound Image Series V and two Meyer Sound Labs subwoofers, each located under the left and right arrays.

   "The Deck System enabled us to solve a problem of [poor] sonic reproduction at the front," explains Sound Image' s Robert Mailman, "which for many years has been an ongoing concern. As a matter of fact, it worked so well that we plan to add to the system [to provide] even more comprehensive coverage during the 2004 season."

   Six Delay Zone towers cover extended audience sections, each being retrofitted with a Sound Image V/WG cabinet that houses a full-range loudspeaker and subwoofer. Four Shadowed Areas receive further coverage via a pair of Sound Image G2 cabinets.


Sound System Philosophy: "Garbage In; Garbage Out"
Joseph Magee's' fundamental philosophy in designing any sound system is simple: The replay performance can only be as good as the signals you are feeding to it. "So, my first task at The Bowl was to ensure that I captured a high-quality sonic 'picture' of what was happening on stage," he explains, "similar to a record mix. But, to cover different styles of musical performance, I drew up a chart of the types of miking I would need to consider for different ensembles. In essence, my goal for the system's overall performance is different for each type of music presented at The Bowl."


Seatng plan Classical orchestra concerts
According to Magee, "The Los Angeles Philharmonic or major visiting symphony orchestras favor a presentation that carefully blends the acoustical information - the sound emanating from the shell - with the sound system information coming from the loudspeakers. Our goal was to ensure that the audience has a hard time distinguishing which sound is coming from where. And those important front boxes experience very little sound-system presence whatsoever
   "The combination of channel matrixing, a miking technique similar to one I might use on a classical recording, and the direct-radiating loudspeakers are responsible for this fusion of the two elements. My normal miking arrangement is to use an overall five-way Decca Tree configuration - three Neumann TLM 50 omnidirectional mikes 11 feet above the conductor's podium, plus a pair of outrigger omnis left and right of the orchestra spaced between 20 and 30 feet apart - augmented with condenser mikes covering various orchestra sections.
   "These types of concerts require the finest resolution from the Bowl's sound system, both dynamically and in terms of spectral balance; this is where the initial system tunings originate. And during each spring's tuning before the season begins, we have used a community orchestra as part of the balancing and equalization process."


Orchestral pop concerts
"The Hollywood Bowl Orchestra or visiting ensembles, like The Boston Pops, require a different approach for an audience that has completely different expectations. Our matrix files for these shows exhibit vocal subgroups that can be described as a big, featured, all-encompassing sound. Feature instrument subgroups are filed in the matrix for shows that resemble a jazz fusion-type of solo sound. Since most often the orchestra must play over the sound pressure levels of explosive fireworks, rhythm sections and monitors, the system-gain structures are very different; use of a programmable matrix greatly simplifies the set-up process, and ensures a consistent sound from performance to performance.
   "The quality of the orchestral sound is still maintained by sectional condenser miking layout and an overall Decca Tree configuration, just like the system used for orchestral shows. The main mixing difference is most often seen when an artist like Sergio Mendes hits the stage to join the orchestra, because I reduce the level of the open-air mics in the mix, and raise the close mics to compensate; on-stage monitor levels make this a necessary compromise. However, we still pride ourselves on the great string section sound heard during ballads at these concerts, a sound hard fought for by maintaining our primary philosophy
   "The Hollywood Bowl's veteran monitor mixer, Kevin Wapner, does an excellent job of keeping a tight grip on the monitors, while protecting [monitor leakage into] all of those closely-placed Schoeps, Neumann and Sennheiser condenser mikes.
   "Tap shoes, roving singers, marching bands, antiphonal brass, large choirs, show girls and the kitchen sink, all find their way into these shows, yet with only a short morning rehearsal. But with the automated [ATI] Paragon mixer with Flying Faders and the LCS [computer-controlled] matrix, we can store mix-level and routing settings. If we are lucky, the same show runs for three nights in a row during the weekend, enabling my assistant, Michael Cooper and I to fine tune our automation set-ups after the first night." Cooper serves as Master Audio at The Bowl, as well as Union Steward.


Acoustical Jazz and Big Band shows
Such shows are produced in house, usually once a week. "As might be expected," Magee says, "the LCS matrix is set up differently for these shows. Instrument groups on the matrix no longer resemble an orchestra with add-ons. Instead, the necessary stereo groups are Acoustic Piano, Bass, Drums, Solo Winds, Solo Vocal, Announce, Guitar and, of course, the usual reverb and synth groups on the 03D console.
   "The key to a good mix still comes down to the quality of the instruments and the players ability to maintain a good acoustical balance on stage. For miking we use state-of-the-art Neumann, Sennheiser, B&K, Coles, Rode, Sony and Shure models; tube and ribbon mics are also becoming more prevalent. Because these shows are self produced, we still maintain our quality mic pre-amps in the chain, which include Avalon Class A and Tube, Millennia Media and Tube Tech."


Brazilian and Jazz Fusion shows
"These types of shows require matrix changes towards the world of high SPLs; the audience expects to feel a certain drive from the system, and the sound must appear to come from the stage. Monitor levels become an issue, since the front-of-house mixer needs to 'mix above' the monitor wash reverberating within the stage shell.
   "But an acoustical-coupling orchestral shell is not a welcome environment for shows with high SPL stage monitors. When the new Hollywood Bowl stage house and shell is designed and constructed [completion date is set for 2000], hopefully the orchestra shell will be motored up and out for shows such as these. Also maybe by then, the live sound industry will find in-ear monitors a common practice, rather than the exception.
   "As the stage and system levels increase, the contour of the delay and distributed systems must be lowered. If the latter systems run as high as they might be set for acoustical shows, in conjunction with the 18 channels of system PA coming from the stage, the SPL build up can be overwhelming. While we have been pleased with the clarity for every seat in the house at these elevated levels, there is only so much SPL the venue can tolerate before receiving LA County SPL violations. The LCS matrix files for these shows lower the levels to the distributed speakers to a greater amount than the delay towers.

   "Even with reduced SPL requirements, the audience expects to feel the sound all the way to the back row. To satisfy this need, we use subwoofers in the delay towers; punchy, extended low-end is in abundance, without having to drive the front 18 channels too hard."

   A Grozier computer system closely monitors any potential SPL violations, enabling to reduce system levels accordingly.


Lease Events
This is a common term used for rock shows that are presented by an outside promoter; they are the most challenging when it comes to communication, Magee considers. "Since the main-array renovation, outside mixers usually see our close to 20 kW, state-of-the-art system, and say 'Yes' to keeping their road-tiered rig on the semi trailer. They may bring in their own monitor mix and front-of-house mix position. During the recent 1997- 2004 off-season, we installed enough horse power in low hang boxes for the left and right main arrays to satisfy even the most zealous of guest mixers.
   "The detail involved in programming the matrix and fine tuning the system excites some visiting lease-event mixers to achieve high quality audio for their artist's audience. However, the rest often dig their head deep into the sand and try not to become too confused by the technology. These are the guys saying 'Give me a left/right feed into your system; that's all I need. This pales in comparison to a multi-channel mixing approach, with separated instruments and voices for coverage and levels.
   "Some of the lease events have sounded incredible; others have failed miserably. When there is failure, we just have to stand by and hope we get through the night. But when there is great success, we walk around The Bowl and marvel at the audience's enjoyment through good distributed sound, rather than bleeding ears!"
   Recent artists to visit The Bowl include Rod Stewart, Luther Vandross, Elton John, Steely Dan, Bonnie Raitt, Fleetwood Mac, Garth Brooks, Jimmy Buffet. numerous Salsa shows and several recurring reunion bands such as Chicago and Moody Blues.


House Mix Position: ATI Paragon, LCS SuperNova and Yamaha 03D Consoles
Three primary consoles are featured at the current mix position. Installed in 1994, the primary console is a 80-input ATI Paragon equipped with Flying Faders moving-fader automation on all input, submaster and master modules. The modules are housed in two separate frames: the main console is loaded with 24 mono and eight stereo input modules, 16 subgroups, eight stereo effects returns and eight Flying Faders group masters; the sub-console features 24 mono and eight stereo inputs, nine VCA-equipped master modules and a comprehensive interconnect system that maintains balanced bussing between the pair of mixers.

   "Each console frame provides an identical input configuration," Magee explains, "allowing two-man operation during a performance. The automation controls are pre-recorded fader settings that we develop during rehearsals, in addition to master fader groups."

   Regarding the choice main console, Magee recalls that he evaluated a wide cross section of hardware before opting for the ATI Paragon. "I reviewed all of the available console options - including Solid State Logic, Euphonix and Neve - but, because of its flexibility and signal linearity, went for the Paragon. With ATI's assistance, we were able to install a complete Flying Faders system. The result is a combination of features and sound quality that meets the wide range of presentations we handle at The Bowl. John Musgrave, an LA-based console 'Wizard,' has also worked many hours to maintain and improve the desk's sonic characteristics."

Hollywood Bowl   Each of the Paragon's channels and 16 subgroups feature four-band parametric EQ, including peak/shelf switching, while 16 aux sends feature switchable muting in pairs. Eight stereo effects returns are assignable to a stereo subgroup or mix buss. Channels also provide variable high- and lowpass filters, in addition to ATI's patented RMS Compressor with threshold, ratio, gain and soft knee controls, plus a variable noise gate.

   The Paragon's 16 subgroup output busses are used as inputs to the LCS 32-by-32 SuperNova digitally-controlled mixer/matrix. Typical orchestral subgroup outputs might be as follows: Main Left and Right; Strings Left and Right; Woodwind Left and Right; Brass Left and Right; Piano/Keyboards Left and Right; Solos Left and Right; Featured Vocals Left and Right; Rhythm Section Left and Right.

   "The remaining 16 inputs," Magee continues, "are normally derived from four of the Paragon's Aux Sends, to cover Surround Left, Surround Right and Boom Box, four groups and a pair of reverb returns from the [Yamaha] 03D, plus DAT and CD sources. I can also feed mono PFL solos from the Paragon and ATI desks."

   Outputs from the matrix can be equalized and delayed via digital processing built into the LCS system, and then routed to various sections of the Bowl's sound system. "We have isolated feeds to all individual speaker stacks," Magee offers, "so that I can individually route specific instruments to specific speaker locations."

   Available speaker destinations include Main Left and Right; Main Center-Left and Center-Right; Hi Pack Left and Right; Hi Pack Center-Left and -Right; Front Fill Left, Center and Right; Apron; Deck Sub Left and Right; Main Sub Left and Right; Deck Left and Right; Tower Shadow 1&2 plus 3&4; Delay Promenade #2 (House Left and Right); Delay Promenade #3 (House Left and Right); Delay Promenade #4 (House Left and Right); Promenade #2, #3, #4, #5 and #6


Future Updates/Renovations: Front of House Mix Position
To improve the ability of Magee and his team - plus visiting mix engineers - to monitor sound balances in a location closer to the center of the audience area, plans were drawn up recently to relocate the mix position. "We are currently sitting at 225 feet [from the stage apron], slightly off-axis. The planned new position would offer a low profile, but could be raised enough to provide accurate listening. In addition, it was to be moved forward about 75 feet, in a more central position relative to the stage. Because of the shape of the bowl, you wouldn't want to get any closer, but it would be close enough to allow tailoring of the front-fill loudspeaker system.

   "But last year we lost out on our bid to move the position closer to the stage," Magee says, with regret, "into the 1400 and 1500 row boxes, at 175 feet. I don't see the administration allowing us to displace any revenue-generating box seats anytime in the near future."

 Joseph Magee  Having accepted the compromise, however, Magee feels that there are many issues to conquer. "Our plans to redesign the current front-of-house mix position were refined by studio architect/acoustician Bret Thoeny, of BoTo Design, Venice, CA. Renovating the current mix position, and containing our noisy equipment in sealed, air-conditioned racks, will lower our own self-generated noise floor, a must for the classical, low-SPL concerts. The removal of sides walls - and hence become acoustically part of the rest of the audience - will also help us to hear without the mix bunker resonating and coming back at our feet.

   "A more sophisticated patch bay, better console position ergonomics and arrangement of all of the technology will be an added bonus with this renovation. Once our rack room goes through its own renovation, our signal path will received a clean up. The microphone collection, as well as mic-pre-amps, will also be upgraded with the new Neumann TLM 103 large-diaphragm condenser, the new Sennheiser MD-602 - an incredible kick drum mic - plus additional [Neumann] U-89s, Schoeps models and so on."

   "The monitor mix console will also be upgraded from a [Panasonic] RAMSA 840 to a RAMSA SX-1, and we have added new Sound Image 2x12 wedges. Our front fill will increase to six Sound Image G2 L-C-R cabinets, from the three we used last season. The Apron [cabinets] are scheduled to be replaced with Sound Image's new Model 500, which is the same as our distributed Sound Image G1 systems."

   The world's largest recording, post production, broadcast, live sound and audio design community resides in the greater Los Angeles area. "If I am still involved with the Hollywood Bowl's audio future," Magee reflects, "this community of talented professionals will continue to have a significant, positive influence on the renovations at Hollywood Bowl. The concert-going public deserves and demands the very best audio technology available to translate their favorite artist's performances, on this legendary stage. At long last, the Bowl's sound system is complemented in most reviews concerning concert the performances. The audience also comes by the mix position with complements in a steady stream after a show. I think that's a good sign!"


SIDEBAR: Matrix Assignment and Automation for the Hollywood Bowl Sound System

Principal sound automation for the Hollywood Bowl is provided by a Level Control Systems SuperNova modular digital matrix mixer, consisting of four LD-88 mixer modules, a RIF-232 control surface with motorized faders, and LCS CueStation software running on a Macintosh PowerPC clone. In addition to its mixing functions, the SuperNova system also provides six-band parametric EQ and delays on all outputs.
   The LD-88 is 2U eight-in/eight-out matrix mixer, based on a 32-bit floating point digital signal processing engine, with 20-bit converters on all inputs and outputs. Multiple LD-88s may be interconnected via a 128-channel digital audio bus, and any combination of inputs may be mixed dynamically to any combination of outputs. Four LD-88s in the Bowl's system provide 32 inputs and 32 outputs with 32 discrete signal paths through the matrix.
   The Hollywood Bowl's application of the SuperNova is relatively unusual, sound designer Joseph Magee considers. "We use it primarily as a sound diffusion system rather than as a dynamic mixer, and can shape the sound field in a nearly 'sculptural' way, to provide an optimal mix balance for each listening position in the 18,000 seat amphitheater. Each input is routed to its own Matrix Bus for distribution to the 30+ outputs, so that each solo performer or instrumental section can be mixed perfectly for each seating area. Over the course of several summer seasons, we have developed a collection of mix templates, enabling us to quickly rough out a mix for such familiar configurations as violin concerto or big band jazz."
   The SuperNova is fed from the ATI Paragon's 16 subgroups, plus four outputs from a separate reverb system; outputs run directly to the amplifier racks used to feed the multi-zone speaker system. Programming is provided by a combination of the RIF control surface and the CueStation software, although the actual automation system is embedded in the hardware of the LD-88 itself. This embedded dynamic automation serves to minimize the amount of data flowing through the serial connection between the computer and the LD-88, as well as providing a higher level of security than would real-time computer control.
   LCS CueStation software is a graphic user interface for the SuperNova hardware. System gain structure is broken down into components: Input Console, Bus masters or Groups, the Matrix, Output Masters, etc. The particular arrangement of GUI components can be user specified. For example, given a particular complement of hardware it is possible to designate some outputs as Auxiliary Sends, or to specify how many Buses will feed into the Matrix.
   Mix levels are stored as a series of snapshots, or "Cues." Each Cue is made up of one or more SubCues, each of which contains the parameter information for a particular element of the mix architecture. For example, values for Input Faders, Bus Assigns, and Pans are each defined in a separate SubCue, and each Matrix bus has its own SubCue. A Cue may contain all of the different SubCue types for the entire system, or may contain only one or a small selection of SubCues.
   Once created, Cues are automatically stored in a Cue Library, and optionally they may be included in one or more Cue Lists. Most LCS installations, such as Broadway or Las Vegas shows, depend on Cue Lists to store the ordered progression of mixes and show control messages that evolve throughout a show. "Our Bowl System, on the other hand, works from the Cue Library," Magee says. "The Library window shows how our mixes evolve throughout an entire season."


SIDEBAR 2: Hollywood Bowl Audio Engineering Department General System Information

Left-Center-Right; 60 feet high.

   22 Sound Image V/WG four-way cabinets, containing 2*15-inch; 2*12-inch, two Waveguides, and two tweeters.
   Eight Sound Image Subwoofer cabinets containing four JBL 18-inch and six SI custom High Packs

   Left-Right stacked
Two Sound Image V/WG cabinets, four Sound Image Subwoofers, four Meyer Subwoofers

   In air: Three Sound Image two-way G2 Waveguide for Left-center-right.
   On deck/apron: five RAMSA Waveguide cabinets, mono

122 Sound Image 2-way G1 cabinets

Six Sound Image V/WG full range towers
   Four Sound Image G2 Shadow Towers.

   Panasonic RAMSA 852 Monitor Console
Sound Image G2 Monitor Wedges
   EAW Hotspots

Ten BSS Model 855 Omni drives with temperature and humidity probes, and Grozier System

A Short History of The Hollywood Bowl
Old_bowl.gif (47045 bytes) Since its official opening in 1922, the Hollywood Bowl has been the summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and, since 1991, the home of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. Through the years, the Bowl's summer music festivals have become a firm favorite with Southern California summer audiences. Courtesy of the area's pleasant and reliable climate, just a handful of concerts had to be postponed due to rain during the Bowl's history. The Bowl's grounds - essentially a park - are open year-round free of charge. And the venue serves as the summer home for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, winters being spent at the nearby Dorothy Chandler Music Center in downtown Los Angeles. The Hollywood Bowl is managed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, but owned and operated by the County of Los Angeles Parks Department.
    The Bowl's amphitheater, with its arched proscenium, has evolved through the years with the creative input from three leading architects. In 1926 Myron Hunt, designer of The Rose Bowl in Pasadena, evolved the balloon-shaped seating area that appears to rise from the stage and embrace the surrounding hillside. Lloyd Wright, the oldest son of Frank Lloyd Wright, designed two shells for the Bowl, the second of which - fabricated in 1928 - provides the inspiration for the current shell. And, in response to the need for improved acoustics, Frank Gehry created the fiberglass spheres that hang within the Bowl's shell.
     Attendance figures over the past several decades have dramatically increased; in 1980 the Bowl first topped half a million. Recently, almost a million admissions were recorded for a number of Summer Festivals, a figure that includes independently produced events, such as the Playboy Jazz Festival, the Mariachi USA Festival, rock and country concerts featuring Bonnie Raitt, Garth Brooks, Harry Connick, Jr., Moody Blues and Michael Bolton.
     Originally founded in 1945 as the Hollywood Bowl Symphony by the legendary Leopold Stokowski, it disbanded two years later and replaced for Bowl concerts by the Los Angeles Philharmonic. After 43 years, the orchestra was re-established in 1990, as the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, under the direction of John Mauceri, and gave its first public performances in July 1991 at the Hollywood Bowl's Independence Day fireworks concerts. The Hollywood Bowl Orchestra performs in concert at the Bowl, on recordings for Philips Classics, and on national and international tours.

Photographs by: Elisabeth Annas/Photosensations.


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