Magic Kite were keen to have a robust product, as the system would be crucial for the smooth functioning of some of the biggest upcoming summer festival events. The shows would include the likes of Electric Picnic – frequently touted as Ireland’s answer to Glastonbury – as well as Latitude and Download festivals. Just before the system was due to be completed, the live events industry instantly felt the devastating impact of COVID-19 when everything ground to a halt indefinitely. However, VDC Export remained determined to make the best of the situation and opted to work with Magic Kite to keep the project in hibernation until the industry could emerge again. Over a year, three lockdowns and cancelled events later, VDC were able to present Magic Kite with the finished product where it is already happily at use in several live shows – just as originally intended.
VDC Export opted to use custom-designed metalwork for this system. No off-the-shelf panels were used, as is the commonly seen method offered by several industry rivals. The quality of the panels was of the utmost importance and triple-ply brushed, black steel was chosen, both for its stage ready sleekness and toughness.
The main panel was compact at just 8U and yet Jafrabadi was able to design it as such to mount 48ch dual sex 3-pin Neutrik XLRs. These were rear mounted to produce a minimalistic and smart finish. The XLRs were then wired passively to 6 x circular multipin VDMs 85pin males, the necessary splits for FOH / MON and REC. For the corresponding satellite stage boxes, 37pin panel females were used to allow easy patching in. As an additional feature to aid ease of use, Jafrabadi was able to embellish the design per Magic Kite’s chosen colour coding. This extends from the panel right down to match the patch cables and XLR boots for easy identification at sight, making it even more simpler to assemble.
Jafrabadi also opted for the SAT input VDM’s to also be paralleled to VDM 85 females so that they could be linked to the upstage rack. The result was that this would enable the 12ch SAT boxes dotted around the stage to be inputted into either the main box or the upstage rack – a crucial feature that ensures the system can handle shows of all sizes. Thus, VDC Export were able to meet the requested brief with aplomb in delivering a system that is both strong and stylish, as well as thoughtfully laid out, easily accessible and allows for fast turnaround times in-between band changes.
Adam Jafrabadi said:
“Pro Audio have had it tougher than most over the last 18 months. Our industry relies on freelancers to make live events happen and with no concerts, festivals and culture off limits it was hard to see a lot of family, friends and colleagues fall on hard times. Some good audio companies haven’t survived; some may even have been competitors. But no one wants to see a business go out like that. This job for Magic Kite was important to me – it gave us all hope. It meant that our world was coming back and that soon punters would be dancing in muddy fields again and we would be doing our bit in setting the world to rights to make that happen.”