Scottish synth-pop trio Chvrches took a d&b KSL system on tour, supporting their latest album, Love is Dead.
Glasgow-based concert audio supplier, FE Live, designed the system.
“Having used the d&b GSL System for the first time in America last year, I was excited to specify the new KSL System for our UK shows,” said Chvrches’ FOH engineer, Paul Gallagher. “I’ve been a huge fan of the J-Series over the years and despite how good that is, I was blown away with the massive headroom and clarity in tricky rooms this new system offers.”
Gallagher noted that the key to sonic success with Chvrches is separation and clarity. “The challenge is to keep the sound punchy and loud with the combination of electronic and vocal mixes. The KSL System has so much power it’s almost frightening, making the vocal gain quite exceptional. The clarity and directivity is on an altogether higher level.”
FE Live’s managing director, Ryan McIlravey, is touring with the band as system tech. He designed a KSL touring package of KSL8 and KSL12 cabinets, which could be simply scaled up for larger venue dates. The main touring package consisted of 20 KSL8, four KSL12 and twelve SL-SUB; this was boosted with extra KSL8 and KSL12 cabinets for performances at London’s Alexandra Palace and the home town gig at the SSE Hydro arena in Glasgow.
McIlravey commented: “KSL makes this easily achievable with features such as its increased vertical splay angle (10 degrees versus seven degrees with J-Series) which makes it more ‘box count efficient’ in smaller rooms with limited trim heights. Compression rigging also aids in rapid system deployment from a minimal footprint, great when floor space is limited.”
Chvrches production manager, Patrick Reid, said: “I was a bit apprehensive prior to this run about how we would scale the system to suit the different venues all with the same size box. After the first few shows, it became clear this was not an issue, in fact, we could have even scaled up or down even further.”
The team utilised the d&b range of optimisation tools for the tour, including ArrayCalc, ArrayProcessing, and the R1 remote control software.
“95 per cent of the system tuning was done in ArrayCalc," said FE Live’s Kevin McAtear. “You hardly need a measurement mic anymore if you put the time into accurate venue measurements. ArrayCalc isn’t affected by the ongoing noise from hard-working crews, pyro tests, plant and machinery involved with getting today’s large shows ready for doors opening. FE Live trusts ArrayCalc and d&b tools like ArrayProcessing to optimise the system, as it saves time, creates less noise and produces great and easily repeatable results.”
FE Live also utilised a fully Dante drive system for the tour, with a d&b DS10 network bridge in every amplifier rack, fed from a fibre-enabled backbone with primary and secondary switch racks located at FOH, stage left and stage right. This network also carried OCA data for d&b R1 remote amplifier monitoring and control.