Bring Me The Horizon take d&b’s new KSL system on the road

The band’s world tour began in November 2018 and will continue into 2019 with the help of d&b’s KSL, combined with GSL Systems, and supplied by SSE Audio Group
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BMTH at London's Alexandra Palace. Photo: David Stewart.

BMTH at London's Alexandra Palace. Photo: David Stewart.

British band Bring Me The Horizon have taken d&b’s KSL System on the road for their First Love world tour, which kicked off in November 2018 and is promoting the release of their sixth studio album, ‘amo’.

The KSL System is the latest loudspeaker line from d&b, designed to deliver all of the familiar features of its SL series, from broadband directivity control to advanced rigging options. The KSL System can be used as a standalone, self-contained package, a delay, or fill accompaniment to GSL.

BMTH kicked off their tour with performances in Germany, before travelling through Switzerland, Austria, Italy, the Netherlands and France. They completed the European leg in the UK with two flagship gigs at London’s Alexandra Palace.

Miles Hillyard, from SSE Audio Group, conducted the implementation of the KSL and GSL Systems for the tour. “What better way to showcase the new KSL System than on a BMTH tour?” exclaimed Hillyard. “Historically, we have used d&b J8s for their live shows, including the surprise performance at the Reading and Leeds festivals, but for this tour we had the opportunity to upgrade and I offered the KSL System to production manager Rob Highcroft.

“We rigged the KSL as side hangs, to complement the larger GSL main hangs. The cardioid characteristics of the KSL and GSL were most notable, and the modern drivers make the System sound really transparent.”

The set up consisted of 24 GSL8s and four GSL12s for the main hang, 12 V12s used as front fills, 20 KSL8s and four KSL12s as side fills, with 13 SL-SUBs. The system was powered by 48 d&b D80 amplifiers.

Jack Murphy was system technician for the tour: “It was our first time using both the GSL and KSL Systems and the cardioid nature of the cabinets was instantly noticeable. Rear rejection levels and ‘cleanliness’ on stage were noted by the band, monitor engineer Jared Daly and FOH engineer Oliver Hutchinson. We all agreed that the System maintains the d&b signature quality in the HF and the low to mid-range are fuller and more defined. We were also impressed with the new SL-SUB, the output and quality of them is something else.”

The KSL is smaller than GSL – the ‘K’ standing for ‘kleine’ (small) – but is nicknamed ‘Karl’ in the d&b universe. It brings the SL-Series’ 2-way active design, high SPL and low frequency cardioid performance to a far wider range of applications.

“When the KSL was deployed as a full side hang, its performance was right up there with the GSL,” Murphy continued. “The transition into using it as a side hang and also for delay purposes – as it was used for the Alexandra Palace shows – was seamless.” 

During the central Europe dates, venues varied from flat floors to arenas and theatres of different sizes and shapes. “The relatively lightweight nature of the GSL and KSL cabinets means we could always fly the appropriate number, not just enough, whether it was in one, two or three-point configurations,” explained Murphy. “We also used the KSL as a small ground stack in situations where flying points weren’t available, or where a full side hang was not necessary. Even a small, four-box ground stack gave a great full mix.

“On BMTH, we keep the barrier tight and for the first time have introduced a thrust. The precise prediction of ArrayCalc, alongside the cardioid nature of the cabinet meant we could reduce the spill onstage and keep it constant with the varying room styles and constricting trim heights. It’s worth putting the effort in to get the results that the GSL/KSL Systems provide. I’m looking forward to working with it again.”

BMTH tours North America in spring 2019, where SSE will also be supplying a KSL System. They aren’t the only band to benefit from KSL, as we recently covered the Chemical Brothers’ atmospheric tour, in which KSL played a big part, interviewing FOH engineer Shan Hira. 

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