Earth Harp performances powered by Powersoft at Mercyhurst University

To stand out in a crowded market of AV solution providers, Eric Johnson, owner of Erie-based Fact AV Technologies, relies on a selection of Powersoft amplifiers, in addition to EAW loudspeakers to build the foundation of his audio rack.

One of Johnson’s mainstay clients, Mercyhurst University, routinely draws national touring talent for the 792-seat capacity Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Centre. The University often attracts unconventional and artistically innovative acts such as Malibu, CA-based William Close, maestro of the Earth Harp.

"These artists, and all the artists that play here, have a very specific idea of what their art and their presentation should sound like," commented Johnson. "My goal is to try to reproduce their vision as closely as possible using the tools that I have. My amplifiers from Powersoft are an important component in reproducing that performance."

Johnson relied on just four rackspaces of Powersoft amplifiers to cover FOH: (2) K10s for the subwoofers, and (2) K3s for mid and high frequencies and an M50Q for the balcony. Considering such a small amplification footprint, his Powersoft rack packs a punch: "I can hit 110 dB on the back wall if I want to," he exclaimed.

In addition to his Powersoft amplification at FOH, he typically has four EAW loudspeaker cabinets on stage and another pair of loudspeakers off of the balcony, all running through a Midas Pro 2 48-channel digital console. At monitors, he has a rack with (3) Powersoft M50Qs, and other with (3) Powersoft M30s, with audio running through the DiGiCo console.

The Earth Harp has its audio reproduction challenges. The tones it creates —which are rich with harmonics and complex overtones — are unlike any other instrument and require the finest audio equipment to capture every detail. According to Johnson, Powersoft amplification stood up to the challenge. “Thanks in large part to my Powersoft rig, I was able to accurately represent those sounds, and in this case that really made the show,” he confessed. “With my K and M series amplifiers, I don’t have to spend a lot of time getting it to sound just like the artist wants."