As a regional audio provider serving the upper Midwest from their Fargo, North Dakota base, Purple Hat Productions has built a strong reputation among national touring bands for delivering full professional sound rigs and crews. Purple Hat owner Sean Boe is also tour manager and FOH engineer for Hairball, a bombastic celebration of arena rock that tours both regionally and nationally out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. To better meet their needs, Purple Hat recently invested in a new sound system built around Electro-Voice line arrays and the latest DSP-equipped amplifiers from EV’s sibling brand Dynacord.
“Hairball is a significant part of our business, which was the main motivation for upgrading our systems,” says Sean Boe. “They do about 150 shows a year, carrying Purple Hat production for roughly half of them. It’s a big 80s-style arena rock show, and this EV and Dynacord system delivers the rock ‘n’ roll energy required for a show like Hairball and other touring acts. We’ve already used it for shows with Robert Plant, REO Speedwagon and Dropkick Murphys.”
Purple Hat’s recent purchase included 18 XLC127DVX array elements along with eight of EV’s acclaimed X12-128 dual-18” subwoofers. Networked power and control comes courtesy of three Dynacord TGX20 system racks. These preconfigured racks come from the factory with three TGX20 DSP amplifiers, two independent network switches, power distribution and I/O interfaces. Purple Hat bought three of the 10-RU rolling racks with sliding doors, for 180 kW of network-controlled output power across 36 channels. Four EVC-1082 two-way 8” loudspeakers from EV’s new compact EVC series serve as front fills.
Sean Boe is totally sold on the new system. “With Hairball, I mix on a lot of different PA systems, so I’ve heard all the major brands,” he says, “and I’m convinced that EV has the best products out there. The XLC is a great compact three-way 12” box, and the X12-128 is easily the most impressive sub I’ve ever used. It’s a nice, tight punchy, warm sub that I can’t imagine anyone not falling in love with.”
Coupled with the fully networked power and processing from the Dynacord amp racks, including FIR optimization presets for the XLC boxes, Sean Boe feels ready to tackle any challenge with the system. “The flexibility on them is great, and they’re easy to reconfigure for different sized shows,” he says. “Plus, the factory support that EV and Dynacord provides, even for a fairly small company like mine, is amazing. When I call with a question – for example, about programming the new amps – I actually get a call back, even on a weekend. Where else do you get support like that these days?”
Beyond the superior sound it delivers for high-energy rock shows like Hairball, Sean Boe is also impressed with other benefits his new system provides, starting with the networking and power efficiency of the Dynacord amplifiers. “I can take my three compact amp racks and run 12 tops a side, 12 subs and front-fills with ease,” he says. “When you run sound on the road, efficiency matters – especially being based up in Fargo. Whether transporting it or mixing on it, this system does what I need better than anything else. I’m a believer.”