The appropriately-named Alpha Sound has become the newest member of the NEXO STM system rental network in the USA. Based in Salem, Oregon, Alpha Sound provides services throughout the United States and occasionally Europe, addressing concert rental and system hire for corporate events, as well as installation work.
Duane Sheets started the company 40 years ago, and by the 1990s, it had become one of the largest concert rental houses on the west coast of the USA. Alpha Sound owns an impressive selection of NEXO speakers, dating back to NEXO’s earliest days in the U.S. as well as every Yamaha Digital Console Series up through the CL5. “While there are many great products on the market, we remain exclusive to Yamaha and NEXO not only for their superior sound and functionality, but also because of the incredible strength of the company and the brand,” states Alpha Sound owner Duane Sheets.
Sheets said his son Devin recently returned from living in Europe to take on the role of lead system tech and front of house engineer at Alpha Sound. Both Duane and Devin have university degrees in music and an intense passion for the arts. Having both heard a NEXO STM line array demo at NEXO HQ in France, it was obvious that this was a new level of sonic excellence that Alpha Sound was looking for. “We have been using the M28s stacked on S118s and it has worked very well,” Devin Sheets said. Their STM system configuration includes 6x M46 with 3x M28 cabinets flown per side using Variobumpers, and a total of 12x S118 subs with 5x NX4x4 amplifiers.
Alpha Sound’s NEXO STM was used most recently for a performance by Joshua Bell and the Salem Symphony and for a TEDx Conference event in Portland.
“With Joshua Bell in Salem, we had the S118s in B2B cardioid mode with some EQ to help the crossover up to 85Hz, and then crossed them over with some PS15s (two per side) which were processed with the B112 setting and our own custom cardioid configuration from 85-200Hz,” notes Devin. “The GEO S8 was then crossed over at 200Hz on the Yamaha CL5 console. While a bit non-standard, it sounded amazing; tons of gain from everything. At the TEDx Conference, the M28s provided new clarity and presence for the Keller Auditorium floor level, with the S118s giving a very smooth bass response throughout the hall. Since we now specialize in new and creative uses for amplification, STM will enable us to bring a clarity and presence that is appropriate for classical, jazz, and experimental musical styles, as well as the volume and impact necessary for pop/rock events.”
In addition to live sound, Alpha Sound continues to focus on sound reinforcement installations, consultations, training, and has been developing its own custom acoustic panelling.