Bottlerock Debuts VUE’s Large-Format al-12 Line Array System to the Public

Part 1: al-12 based system for the Miner Family Winery Stage


Atlas Genius from Australia Performs at the Miner Family Winery Stage at Bottlerock in Napa, CA. This was first official public outing with the VUE al-12 system accompanied by the brand new self-powered VUE hs-221 subwoofers.

Bay area based Delicate Productions provided full production including staging, lighting, video, and audio on all five stages of this year’s Bottlerock. For the fourth year edition of the Napa, CA based Food, Wine and Music Festival; Delicate Productions deployed the brand new VUE Audiotechnik al-12 system for its inaugural run on the Miner Family Winery Stage. This first public outing saw a 20-box main system supported by 16 brand new double 21-inch, self-powered ACM™ subwoofers, supplying unmatched sound for the fans of such performers as the legendary Buddy Guy, the high energy world-beat-metal band Diego’s Umbrella, New York’s soulful Pimps of Joytime, and Australia’s sharp edged indie rockers Atlas Genius.

The mains setup was surprisingly straightforward for the mostly covered outdoor stage. 20 al-12 elements were flown in slightly curved 10-box stereo arrays resulting in an perfect coverage of the area as predicted by Easy Focus 3.0 and only minimal EQ points were added to balance the covered outdoor venue ceiling and reflections off the concrete building lining up the length of the audience area on one side.

Delicate Productions’ Sebastien Poux with VUE’s Jeff Taylor

Delicate Productions FOH Engineer for the Miner Family Winery stage Sebastien Poux’s first impression of the al-12s was solid: “They pack a punch! There’s plenty of power out of the box, which basically lead to a lot of headroom on my master fader.” This should not be surprising as each of the al-12 drivers was designed from the ground up for higher efficiency increased power handling and reduced power compression.

Every individual component development project in the al-12 has carefully weighed the design trade-offs — optimizing parameters for maximum output capability and heat dissipation, frequency response linearity, duty-cycle reliability, and minimum size and weight. Pimps of Joytime FOH Engineer, Stephen Asafano was also pleased: “I was particularly impressed with low-mid response of the boxes, lots of warmth and punch, without feeling boxy or muddy. I never felt like I was fighting with the system to get a desired result.”

16 hs-221 subs were placed in a cardioid pattern on the ground along the stage, bringing the low-end coverage down to 25Hz and providing powerful, dynamic low-end. The user-selectable low-pass filters for the hs-221 Sub can be adjusted in the SystemVUE software for any venue setting, with the hs-221 default being set at 70Hz. It is remarkable that the hs-221 subs are only slightly larger than most dual 18-inch subwoofers, thanks to VUE’s ACM™ technology, which combines both band-pass and vented alignments into a single, compact footprint providing more output and definition. These subs provide an impressive 143dB peak SPL in free field and 149db peak SPL in a half space environment.

George Edwards, Delicate Productions “VUE have outdone themselves with the al-12 system”

George Edwards, Delicate Productions GM, has given his stamp of approval: “VUE’s Chief Designer Michael Adams and VUE have outdone themselves with the al-12 system and the new 21-inch hs-221 sub. The system has all of the features that any touring engineer would expect.” Edwards continues: “The fly hardware and dolly carts are self explanatory and easy to deploy, which is integral for a touring system. The audio quality is easily in the top five systems.”

Additional front fill was provided by four single al-8s spread out on top of the hs-221 subs. Sound on-stage was also an all VUE offering with hm-112s and hm-212s stage monitors extending the VUE sound for the artists, and hs-28s with two h-12s placed atop per side as side fills.

“The combo of the dual-21 subs with the al-12s was really nice – the al-12 gives you all the range and power you need. Looking forward to hearing them again! Concludes Poux. “Thanks so much for building such a kick ass rig, I feel fortunate to have worked on it during its inaugural weekend in Napa” added Afasano.

Check out the ACOUSTIC LINEARITY White Paper to learn about the technologies found in the al-12.


Part 2


The festival’s main stage, the Jam Cellars stage, featured a 3-storey high VIP area with 17 premium private skyboxes on the first level, and an open bar/ restaurant, with a seating area featuring five video screens on the second open-air level reserved for platinum pass holders. Each skybox was sold at a premium price to corporate clients, and was furbished with its own bar, living room and viewing area. Time-aligned VUE h-8 loudspeakers extended the main PA sound into the partially covered premium boxes to provide first-class sound. One larger VIP-box had two VUE h-8 loudspeakers, while the other 16 VIP boxes had one each.

BottleRock Napa 2016 © Steve Jennings

VUE h-8s in the main Stage’s VIP Skyboxes, all are perfectly time aligned using SystemVUE Software.

William “Snoopy” Fuquay of WFA Audio was in charge of the h-8 with Dante setup for the VIP section and ran the sound with Delicate Productions’ 20-yr-old networking guru Jacob Choplin. Both the sound and video were delivered with zero time discrepancy thanks to Dante networking platform. The h-8s were so transparent and true to the stage sound, that one in the VIP boxes could not tell where the sound was coming from, the real difference was audible only when the VUE h-8s were turned off.

“We used Dante to send the show feed 1000ft from a DME Rack at FOH through a Cisco FSP 10 port switch down Tech-10 military grade fiber running to the stage then crossing over to house left, and then literally through the brush and tree-line to Skybox control located under the first level of the VIP Skyboxes structure. We used the same Switch at skybox control via laptop and Dante Controller to feed one Cisco 10 port switch.  The 10 Port at control fed 2 Cisco 20 port switches each switch supporting nine of the VUE h-8 self-powered speakers. We elected to feed each speaker directly from the switches, as jumping through the h-8 might have some latency issues. We also elected to do so since it would also be easier to trouble shoot, but we had no trouble whatsoever- the system was rock solid.” Explains Fuquay.

SystemVUE Software was used to control volume and delay times: “No EQ was used as the h-8s are brilliant out of the box, thanks to Michael Adams”, VUE’s Chief Designer – or “The Tone Doctor”, as Fuquay refers to him. 18 separate delay times were set down the line, with the only odd area being the last and furthest VIP box because the delay array out in the field sneaked in a bit, but the signal was still fully usable. “You would be looking for my body if I asked the guys to move the delay array back another 20 feet.” Laughs Fuquay.

Read more about VUE h-8s


All BottleRock Napa Images: 2016 © Steve Jennings



  • VUE's new al-12 Scalable Line Array System.
  • Side fills are made up of a single hs-28 with h-15 on top, and a h-12 takes care of the VIP stand left of the stage.
  • Buddy Guy with the h-Class side fill in the background.
  • 16 x hs-221s arrayed in cardioid in front of the stage, al-8's as front fills rest on the subs.
  • Delicate Productions GM with VUE Marketing Director Ilona Adamson with the al-12 system.
  • Lindsey Smith's monitor position includes a VUE hm-212 stage monitor on the floor.