FBT Goes to the Rodeo

FBT Goes to the Rodeo

When Dave Bartholomew says it’s not his first time at the rodeo, he really means it. In fact, after renting a system to the Isanti County Firefighter’s PRCA Rodeo last year and installing one this year, he’s now become their “go-to guy” for sound engineering. An event that’s attended by over 5,000 people annually, it’s one of the largest annual rodeos in the Midwest. Bartholomew, the Sales Manager and Project Manager of Allied Productions & Sales, says the importance of clear, quality sound is crucial, and that he’s chosen FBT to meet the challenges of this unique venue.

“The three-day rodeo takes place in a large oval-shaped arena, which presents a few challenges,” said Bartholomew. “For one thing when supporting an announcer, intelligibility is the most important factor. Second, there’s a covered ‘preferred seating’ area along one of the longer sides and the rest of the area is wide open with bleacher seats. The speakers needed to be raised high enough above the covered area to reach the rest of the arena to make sure the sound would be evenly dispersed and to not overpower the 70-volt speaker sound system that delivers sound to the attendees under the covering. We had some metal smiths who are associated with the rodeo custom build a system with extended poles and yokes to raise four all-weather FBT Shadow 112CTs – each a 12 inch full-range coax – up above. To be strategic, we also added two Subline 15As to round out the system. FBT was a deliberate part of that strategy, because their boxes are crystal clear when people are speaking, but they’re also very musical, very well tuned. We needed a speaker that would sound equally great when covering both the announcer and the music that’s often played as part of the event.”

“I also have to tell you,” he added, “I think FBT has been making plastic speakers longer than just about anybody else. Usually plastic boxes don’t usually resonate like wood does, they’ll even howl at certain frequency ranges. That’s just not the case with these speakers, though. There’s something about FBT’s internal design. The sound is absolutely incredible. You just have to hear it to believe it.”

The Shadows are also rated for all-weather use, rounding out the 30-year audio veteran’s reasons for choosing the brand.

Allied Productions & Sales was originally one of Bartholomew’s clients before they hired him to spearhead the sales and installation portion of their business 12 years ago. The company has grown since then, adding video and lighting divisions to their already successful audio and production services, and moving to a larger, newer facility in Mendota Heights, Minnesota. They’re now a leading player in both production and installation work in the Twin Cities area. In addition to being responsible for all Microsoft store grand openings in the U.S. and Canada, they’re also responsible for providing audio to the Minnesota State Fair, annually, which is the second largest state fair in the country. Bartholomew has developed expertise with various niche groups including houses of worship and live music venues. He also co-designs installations for military bases around the world, in addition to systems that support live performances for our troops.