Gearforce, d&b Behind Trevor Noah's Return to Rogers Arena

d&b, Trevor Noah
(Image credit: d&b)

One of Vancouver’s largest and most popular comedy festivals, the JFL NorthWest, returned to the city in late February 2022. One of the highlights of the festival, was comedy superstar Trevor Noah. Noah, host of the Daily Show, performed at the Rogers Arena as part of the festival and his critically acclaimed tour, Trevor Noah: Back to Abnormal. The arena, which seats over 18,000 is back to full capacity.

Gearforce (Vancouver) provided a d&b audiotechnik KSL loudspeaker system for mains and J-Series loudspeakers for out fills, both using ArrayProcessing, and complemented with SL-SUBS. As part of the SL-Series, the KSL line array is specifically designed for medium to large scale sound reinforcement applications and provides full bandwidth directivity control to deliver quiet stages for performers and high-intelligibility for the audience. Using d&b ArrayProcessing ensures that every member of the audience benefits from the same remarkable quality of sound no matter where they are seated.

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Trevor Noah is currently one of the most popular comedians worldwide with over 20 tour stops planned in Europe and North America from May through October. “When we were discussing the system design, the tour manager made it clear that one of the most important aspects for Trevor is that his voice is heard in every seat in the building,” stated Rob Nevalainen of Gearforce. “They put a premium on high-quality sound, which is why they choose a d&b system with ArrayProcessing to ensure even coverage to all seats in the venue. For this show, COVID restrictions were lifted two weeks before the concert, and the promoter decided to move the stage even further back to have the capacity to sell more tickets. We had no concerns whatsoever that the system would still be able to deliver the same experience to every seat in the sold-out arena. This was the first full capacity event at Rogers Arena since the beginning of COVID. Both Gearforce techs and the local crew were very happy to be back in a situation where they could fly a big sound system.”

d&b audio, Trevor Noah

(Image credit: d&b audio)

The system Gearforce installed was a combination of KSL and J loudspeakers including 16 x KSL per side (12 x KSL8 and 4 x KSL12) and 14 x J-Series per side (12 x J8 and 2 x J12). On the floor 6 x SL-GSUBs in a sub array and 6 x Y8 speakers used for front fill, 1 x J-Sub and 2 x J12 per side on stage for side fill, 4 x M4 monitors. A total of 38 x D80 amplifiers were employed with 2 x DS10 Audio network bridges distributing AES to the amps.

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“When I started working with Trevor it was obvious that the approach to a comedy show compared to a musical act had to be a little different,” stated Glenn Thornton, tour manager/production manager for Trevor Noah. “The clarity and intelligibility of every syllable needs to reach the back row of an arena in the exact same manner as the front row in order for the jokes to land effectively. The SL-Series, in combination with ArrayProcessing does this better than any other box out there right now, bar none. We carry an 8th Day Sound KSL system with us in the U.S., and when we go to Canada, we call Rob Nevalainen and Gearforce. They can accurately recreate our U.S. touring rig, which is key for Trevor feeling comfortable on stage and not having to sacrifice consistency. That’s what I care about most, that the boss is happy. Thanks to Rob and d&b for their support.”

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