Whether it is the K-Series or A-Series, L-Acoustics (opens in new tab) has become somewhat synonymous with bringing the noise for live events. That especially holds true when touring bands and venues want to rock out for great sound.
Here's a look of two of L-Acoustics latest installations.
L-Acoustics Hits the Road with Slipknot
The Knotfest Roadshow—Slipknots three North American tour legs over the past two years, is brought to life with a robust K Series loudspeaker package from L-Acoustics. Specifically, Eighth Day Sound supplies a mix of K1 and K2 mains, anchored with K1-SB and KS28 subs.
“In order to adapt and be quick for the rolling stage, we did six carts of three KS28 subs, in cardioid, with an A10 Focus on the top of each for front-fill," explained system engineer Brian Sankus of the evolving PA system. "This was able to stay strapped together, use the least amount of cable, and be struck at ease. We also had six A15 Wide for auxiliary fills.
“On this latest run, we carried a total of 56 K2 and 20 K1-SB, plus our normal 18 KS28, six A10 Focus, and four A15 Wide,” he continued. “To save truck space, we circuited out hangs as three and stuck to 18 LA12X amplified controllers per side, which kept us very flexible in the sheds and two arenas that we did.”
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To ensure that the sound reinforcement system for every show was perfectly bespoke to the unique geometry of each venue, Sankus relied daily on L-Acoustics Soundvision software. “Being a former production manager, I keep the rest of the show elements in mind the whole time, and sight lines are a major concern of mine. The last thing I want is for a band member or attendee to be staring at the front or back of a box for two hours,” he shared. “I’ve absolutely been loving the Autosolver tools, which give me a great stepping stone to move quickly toward the right setup. They take a lot of the guesswork out and give me more time to dive in and finesse what I want.”
A big part of the success equation can also be attributed to the manufacturer’s P1 processor and measurement platform, Sankus added. “The P1 is a breath of fresh air in our FOH drive lifestyle. The Autoalign function helps expedite the day to where we can get back into the bunk quicker.” He further details that the system featured a “triple redundant drive to the amps, and the house mix position had two P1 for I/O. Those fed a P1 at stage via Milan AVB and AES, and then we hit that P1 with an analog feed from monitors. The stage P1 hit the amps via Milan AVB with analog fallback, and it was an absolutely indestructible setup.”
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“Slipknot is one of those bands that hands you challenges every night, and that's what makes it fun,” FOH engineer Bob Strakele added. “It took me a while to figure out the method to the madness of mixing them, but I think we definitely got there with L-Acoustics. It’s the brand I have the most experience mixing on; I know what it’s capable of, and I feel like it complements my mixing style more than most other brands. The system consistently covered what we needed it to, with very little change in tonality or power in the far field. Obviously, room acoustics play a big part in our nightly results, but the PA always kept up and never barked back at me.”
Flexible and Great Sounding K2 Sound System Powers Hard Rock Live
Like all Hard Rock venues, the new Hard Rock Live was designed with patrons in mind. However, with design and integration vendors creating it—Montréal-based Scéno Plus did the audio design, which Clair Global implemented—it’s also keenly aware of the needs of touring shows.
“L-Acoustics is the most well-known professional loudspeaker system, and you’ll find them on any technical rider,” explained François Blais, Scéno Plus vice president of technology and specialized equipment. “And that’s why we especially liked K2 for this project: it’s a great-sounding system from a rider-friendly brand, which makes it so much easier for the venue to market itself. Today, it’s not enough to only go for the best sound. System designs must keep the economic aspects of venues in mind; they must be cost-effective. You have to look at systems design from the production manager’s perspective, too.”
The venue’s main PA consists of 18 K2 divided into left and right hangs, 60 feet apart, managed by a pair of P1 processors: one primary, one backup. Ten KS28 subs anchor the low end, and five Kiva II serve as front-fills. Side-fills consist of six A15 Focus buttressed by four KS21 subs, while onstage, a dozen X12 and six X15 wedge monitors are joined by two SB18 subs intended for the drums. Eleven LA12X and nine LA4X amplified controllers power the combined FOH and monitor systems, driven by a new pair of DiGiCo Quantum225 consoles.
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Another important implication of this installation is how the company regards it as a template for future Hard Rock Live venues in other and upcoming Hard Rock Hotel & Casino locations and how the L-Acoustics sound technology can be part of that. “Hard Rock Live Sacramento and its sound will be a model for our new live venue designs,” said Carl Sagen, production manager at Hard Rock Live Sacramento, who previously toured with Diana Ross and Faith No More.
“Hard Rock has always been about great sound. We wanted a system that would let this Hard Rock Live handle any event, from concerts to boxing and MMA to trade shows, as well as fulfill any contract rider, and it’s doing just that. And it also sounds fabulous. We have been getting nothing but compliments from touring artists and their crews. The coverage and the sound quality are excellent. It’s what everyone expects from the Hard Rock brand: great sound.”