July 4th Celebration at Gasworks Park
Since it’s concept was first presented by One Reel Productions, Morgan Sound has been the exclusive vendor for this annual event held in the Gasworks Park complex, located on the North shore of Lake Union overlooking downtown Seattle. Crowds estimated as high as 100,000 people have attended this event where music and fireworks artistry are blended into one spectacular show.
Some years have featured the Seattle Symphony playing live, other years have used both live and pre-recorded music. In an effort to create the most tightly choreographed event, the celebration is now using pre-recorded music that transmits a time-code track wirelessly to the fireworks barge. The result of this technological advancement has yielded a fireworks display that is in perfect sync with the music being broadcast.
Our job is to cover the four or five ‘zones’ in the park with faithfully reproduced music set to comfortable, yet dynamic levels for the audience. The inner fenced area around the abandoned gasworks structures is off limits now to any equipment or technical staff, so we have worked out effective ways to bring the equipment into the area with a minimum of setup time and impact to the surrounding environment.
The centerpiece of our audio setup is a 16 box line array flown from a 60 foot boom crane. The crane is mounted to the bed of a truck and is sized to safely suspend the JBL Vertec array high in the air to then cover “Liberty Hill”, a large grassy mound situated to the west of the Gasworks structures. Powered with over 100,00 watts of audio amplification we cover the entire East side of the park with this array and a bank of ground stacked subwoofers.
The North and East sides of the complex are serviced with small 4-box arrays of the JBL Vertec 4889, each powered with amplifier racks capable of producing over 25,000 watts. These arrays are also suspended on towers and truss.
Finally, the south side and VIP areas are service with JBL 4892 Array Series systems suspended on towers.
All tallied, the systems that are put in place approach 200,000 watts, ensuring that residents of Ballard and Queen Anne can also hear the music from several miles away!
But to make sure everyone has a chance to experience the event, the show is broadcast live on KING5 television, the local NBC Affiliate, using a remote broadcast truck. Morgan’s crews install ambient microphones and use a direct/ambient mix of the audio to send out a realistic yet dynamic sound to the TV audiences.
It is our hope that this important community event will continue as generous Corporate and personal sponsors donate the necessary money and resources to execute this occasion. It has been our great honor to be a part of this Celebration of Freedom!