Baltimore Tattoo Convention Performances Challenged When Tesla Machine “Zapped” Analog Sound Console; Durability Proves Show Must Go On!
In an incredible feat of resilience, 500,000 Volts of electricity struck a Soundcraft FX16 audio console during a sideshow gone awry at the Baltimore Tattoo Convention on February 8th in Baltimore City, MD and the show was able to continue. While providing sound reinforcement on the first day of this three-day expo of tattoo artists and live performances, Airport Circle Sound Reinforcement, LLC was faced with an unexpected bolt of lightning that discharged from a performer’s Tesla Coil into the Soundcraft mixer. After destroying the preamps of the mic channels that were attached and all the microphones that were in use, Executive Engineer for Airport Circle Sound, Nik Salvo was able to use the remaining channels of the sound console and continue with two more days of performances.
Performers in “The Enigma” are known for their use of a 500,000 volt Tesla coil in the performance to direct bolts of lightning through the air to a performer’s body, ultimately lighting up a light bulb that they hold in their mouth. The first night took an unexpected turn as the machine discharged when someone mistakenly plugged it in back stage. Lighting bolts immediately shot from the coil to the sound and lighting systems, rendering most of the system inoperable, yet the sound console survived.
Nik Salvo commented on the incident. “I could not believe that my Soundcraft console worked after such a shock! We had only brought a small five-channel mixer as a backup and the damaged Soundcraft mixer was still better to use than our backup unit. I am very impressed that after such a lethal blow to our console we still could go on with the show. It was a true testament to the quality, engineering and ruggedness of the products Soundcraft makes.”
Salvo continued, “After this event we were disappointed to find that the FX16 was no longer in production, but were told by our vender that the new FX16ii was now available and without hesitation, we placed the order and are very pleased with the newer version. The features of the new Lexicon effects section and the other changes were a great improvement on an already great product.”
The annual Baltimore Tattoo Expo houses over 60 tattoo shops and over 150 tattoo artists onsite. In 2008, numerous live bands performed throughout the weekend including: Dead Neks, The Trauma Dolls, Murphy’s Law, Cobra Clutch, The Nerve Scheme, Stout, and Dahlozen Prophecy provided music. Additionally, “The Enigma” was on-hand for an eclectic mix of rock and roll, sideshow acts and stunts including sword swallowing, fire breathing and stunts with the Tesla Coil. The Enigma’s upcoming tour includes stops in Manchester, NH, Des Moines, IA and Denver, CO.
Soundcraft is a unit of Harman International Industries, Incorporated (www.harman.com).
Harman International designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of audio and infotainment products for the automotive, consumer and professional markets, and maintains a strong presence in the Americas, Europe and Asia, employing more than 11,000 people worldwide. The Harman International family of brands includes AKG, Audioaccess, Becker, BSS, Crown, dbx, DigiTech, Harman Kardon, Infinity, JBL, Lexicon, Mark Levinson, Revel, QNX, Soundcraft and Studer. Harman International’s stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “NYSE: HAR.”
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