Miami Production Company Finds Success with MONARC
"I’ve saved a tremendous amount of time because the rigging is the best in the field today"
Team Force Audio, Inc.
Oneal West, owner of Team Force Audio, is so committed to sharing his native Reggae music with the world that he has built one of the most powerful and talked about touring companies in the South East United States. When he was in Jamaica a few years ago putting on a festival, his partner told him not to just jump in and buy any line array components; rather that he needed to hear his music pumped through an eight per side McCauley Sound system.
“I sent McCauley an email from Jamaica,” West said. “They flew down a system and told me that if I didn’t like it, to send it back. We bought it. When it comes to quality of sound, cost is no obstacle. What matters is the quality of the music.”
Today Team Force Audio owns 24 MLA3’s, 16 M19’s, 4 MS1’s and 24 SA188’s. “We plan on getting a set of MLA6’s in the future,” West explained. “Reggae is a heavy and loud music and to get the SPL we need, we require a system that is very strong. The McCauley system definitely delivered what we were looking for.”
West’s staff of six include three audio engineers; two of which handle the front of house and one who handles the monitors. Two electronics techs keep busy hooking things up and West oversees the crew onsite. One of the side benefits of owning the McCauley modules for West is how he saves time and manpower through the MONARC rigging
system. His crew is able to roll in the boxes, lay them on the ground, hook them up with the attached pins, set the splay according to one precisely machined folding attachment template, remove and stack the casters and fly the line array with out any tools, parts or manual lifting in about ten minutes.
“I’ve saved a tremendous amount of time because the rigging is the best in the field today,” West said. “McCauley has the best flying rig flown of any line array out there. We’ve never had any on the job injuries either,” he said of the system’s safety.
Among Team Force’s most notable gigs is the 2005 AFRICA UNITE concert that was held in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, to celebrate Bob Marley’s 60th birthday. It was the first time that Marley’s birthday had been celebrated outside of Jamaica and the concert played to a crowd of over 200,000. Team Force provided both the audio and lighting services for the concert in historic Meskel Square. A recording of the live concert has been made available on CD and there are plans for a DVD.
Team Force has also flown their McCauley systems at The Bayfront Park Amphitheater with a capacity of 10,000 for general admission shows and neighboring Bicentennial Park which is a 30 acre open park with an event capacity of 45,000; both are located on sunny and warm Biscayne Bay and are open year around.
West keeps very busy putting on events like the Eastern Park Way Parade in New York City which is a huge Caribbean Calypso festival. He’s also there to help put on Miami’s Reggae Festivals which are the largest in the southeast United States that play to between 35,000 to 40,000 people. “It’s four nights of non-stop partying so we need a system that is very strong and can stand up to the punishment of night after night music.” He’s currently working on putting on Wyclef Jean’s show in the Bahamas.
West was born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica and as a 14 year old boy, started out as a dj who would spin the music for local parties. He also remembered going to a local field to watch his Uncle play soccer with Bob Marley. “We had no idea at the time he was as big as he was,” West remembered. “Now, more people than ever are accepting his message through his music and what he stood for even after his death.”
West immigrated to the United States when he was 19 and he began attending college. “I went to DeVry to begin my electronics training,” he said. “I finished my Associates, Bachelors and Master’s degree in Electronic Engineering at ATI where I also took a minor in Psychology.” His classes included Principles of Electricity, digital Electronics & Computer Service, Computer Operations / Networks, Operational and Application Software, Telecommunications and A+ and Net+ Programs.
West’s natural ear for quality sound equipment has paid off. “When I go to gigs, people come up to me and say ‘Hey Oneal’ when I don’t even know them,” West said. “But most important is the music and how it sounds. Reggae comes straight from my heart and it’s my job to make sure it sounds great, whether we need to go to Africa or the Caribbean or stay here in Florida.”