Riverside, CA — February 2019… Riverside is the gateway to the California’s vast residential and commercial region known as the Inland Empire, and radio station KGGI 99.1 FM is the pop music gateway to Riverside. The station recently geared up with new Mackie® Thump Boosted™ powered loudspeakers for sound reinforcement at its many live community engagement events and field broadcasts.
“The Inland Empire has grown throughout the years, and this radio station has grown with the community,” observes program director and nighttime DJ Jason “Kid Jay” Wagers. “That means that we do more and more events; I’m talking about this station alone doing 500 to 600 events per year. We might do the smallest things, like Friday night lights for high school football, as well as major festivals.”
The first thing that attracted Wagers to the Thump Boosted line was Mackie’s long-standing reputation for durability. “One thing about being in the streets and doing all these types of events is, we need to have great equipment here. It has to be reliable.” Since many events are outdoors, and the Riverside metro area is hot much of the year, next-generation system protection and thermal limiting prove invaluable.
Next came portability, given the sheer frequency of events for which KGGI staff needs PA systems. “Number one, they’re lightweight,” notes Wagers. Indeed, the largest full-range model in the line, the Thump 15BST, packs 1,300 watts of clean and cool-running Class-D power, a 15-inch high-output woofer, and 1.4-inch titanium dome tweeter into a package weighing only 35.1 pounds. For a subwoofer, the 82-pound Thump 18S could star in a diet supplement commercial.
“Number two, they absolutely sound amazing in all our applications,” Wagers continues. This is partially thanks to Mackie’s Dynamic Bass Response™ technology, which allows for unprecedented transient response even at the lowest frequencies, for bass that’s tight, chest-thumping, and never flabby. Vita+™ preamps also contribute, employing Wide-Z™ gain to accommodate signals from mic to line to instrument with clean reproduction and correct impedance. Six DSP modes voice the speaker for different applications and venue sizes.
“I think one of the biggest assets of these particular speakers is that we’re saving time,” emphasizes Wagers. “With the wireless Bluetooth™ feature on the Thump Boosteds, our setup times have been drastically decreased. Our street teams can back up to an event, pull the speakers out, pull the speaker stands out, and be set up within five or ten minutes. Then we can just pull out our cell phones to stream music from iHeartRadio, which is itself being fed by the KGGI broadcast.”
Another dimension of wireless control is the Thump Connect app for iOS® and Android™ devices. Thump Connect allows command of all of the speakers’ mixing and DSP functions and lets KGGI team members quickly adjust the sound or squelch the unlikely problem from anywhere onsite.
“We really have to give credit to Mackie and their use of Bluetooth technology,” concludes Wagers. “The Thump Boosteds are a great example of why Mackie continues to be our go-to here at KGGI.”