Line 6, Bananas at Large Support ALS Benefit at Bungalow 44
Bungalow 44 Restaurant in Mill Valley, CA, staged its annual Outdoor BBQ and Live Music Festival on September 23, as a charity fundraiser for victims of ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Chef Robert Price recruited Bananas at Large, the popular Bay Area music store, to help make the day a success by providing the backline and sound system for the impressive list of national recording artists who played the event.
Bananas At Large owner Alan Rosen, a regular customer at Bungalow 44, jumped at the chance to support the event. “We’ve supported this event in the past, but by making it a charity benefit and booking some impressive talent, we really needed a full PA,” he said. “We had just gotten the StageSource powered speakers and the StageScape M20d smart mixing system from Line 6 in stock, and I thought it would be a perfect fit for our needs. When I mentioned it to our Line 6 rep, Marke Burgstahler, he agreed. What was really cool was that Line 6 got involved on the corporate level, making sure we had use of a full live sound system. There was no hesitation. It saved us a lot, which meant more money for ALS, and it turned out to be a real key to success of the event.”
The Line 6 Dream Stage system combines the StageScape™ M20d digital mixer and StageSource™ intelligent loudspeakers that together provide an intelligent, integrated live sound system with auto-configuration for fast set up and massive DSP processing for outstanding sound quality. The StageScape M20d mixer uses a unique, touchscreen-based user interface for system setup, tuning and mixing, combining advanced digital signal processing capabilities with intuitive operation. The StageSource loudspeakers work in concert with the mixer via L6 LINK digital networking for automatic configuration and signal routing from PA mains and subs down to stage monitors.
Entertainment was provided by a virtual all-star roster of Bay Area musicians including Jeff Watson (Night Ranger), Jesse Bradman (Night Ranger, Aldo Nova), Dave Jenkins of Pablo Cruise, Nashville singer/songwriter Jamie Kyle, and Mona Gnader and Dave Lauser from Sammy Hagar’s band, The Wabos, among many others. Performances ran from 1pm to 7pm, and attendance was over 200 paid, plus another 100 or so listening from outside the parking lot.
For Marke Burgstahler, setting up the system single handedly and dialing in great sound was all in a day’s work. “I’m not really a professional sound engineer, I’m a guitarist!” he explained. “The StageScape system is designed exactly for folks like me. Features like Auto Trim and specially designed channel strips gave the mixes a pro polish that I never could have dialed in myself. And the StageScape app for iPad® let me set up the monitor mixes from the stage. Overall, the system performed like a champ and the sound quality was outstanding.”
“It’s a great testament to the product that a single guy—who is admittedly a guitar player first and a sound engineer second—could set up the system, ring it out and start adjusting levels, and quickly get a good, solid mix that made people happy—all without a soundcheck,” said Alan Rosen of Bananas at Large. “It was amazing how good the StageScape system sounded, and how consistent it was throughout the day. We were all very impressed.”
Chef Robert Price of Bungalow 44 was similarly appreciative. “All the great musicians playing donated their time and talent as well, and the support we had from Bananas at Large and Line 6 was amazing,” he said. “It saved us a lot of money in expenses and made our event a huge success. We ended up raising close to $10,000 for the ALS charity and to help with medical expenses of two families who are very close to us, and I’d like to thank everyone who got involved for helping make such a difference.
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ALS was first described in 1869 by French neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot, but it wasn't until 1939 that Lou Gehrig brought national and international attention to the debilitating disease when he abruptly retired from baseball after being diagnosed with ALS. Most commonly, the disease strikes people between the ages of 40 and 70, and as many as 30,000 Americans have the disease at any given time. Find out more at the ALS Association website.