The Red Hot Chili Peppers took their brand of funk-rock around the arenas of Europe at the end of last year, with Czech rental company High Lite supplying a combination of L-Acoustics K1, K2 and Kara systems.
High Lite started working with the band in 2011 and has been their chosen European PA supplier ever since.
FOH engineer for the tour was Dave Rat, while Mark Vanderwall manned the monitor position, with Jim Lockyer, who also designed the PA system, taking on the role of systems engineer. The decision to use L-Acoustics products stems from the collaboration between Lockeyer and Rat.
Lockeyer says: “We had used it on the previous Peppers tours and always had great results. We both feel that as far as fidelity, controlled coverage patterns and the fact that these products can deliver high volume, full range sound without the need for additional flown subwoofers, it fits our needs. Also, the excellent software prediction tools that Soundvision provide allows us to accurately map venues for amazing coverage.”
Another factor in Lockeyer and Rat’s choice was that they wanted to be able to have access to the same systems on a global basis.
Continues Lockeyer: “With good availability of the K2 boxes for this tour, we have adopted them for our underhung boxes, as well as our side hang arrays. The ten degrees of vertical dispersion of the K2 cabinet, plus the adaptable horizontal coverage, work beautifully for the high sides of most arenas that we encounter.”
The system comprises 14 K1 with six K2 under hung per side for the main system. The first side hang comprises two K1 and 14 K2 per side, while side hang two features 12 Kara per side. An additional two ARCS II per side were flown for in fill, whilst front fill comprises 12 Kara. Sub bass is handled by 36 KS28 subs, 12 each left and right, sitting across the front of the stage. Amplification is provided by a total of 60 LA8 and 13 LA12X units.
Explains Lockeyer: “I added two K1 boxes to the top of the array to raise the high-end density for the long throws into the corners, as each box has three high frequency drivers with only a five-degree vertical coverage. For our third hang upstage, I chose Kara boxes; because of their high output, 110-degree coverage and small size, they are perfect for the shorter throw and higher vertical coverage needed. The combination of the three arrays allows us to achieve 270 degrees of coverage in most venues.”
Radek Lesa, systems engineer and crew chief for High Lite for the tour, adds: “We fly all the PA amp racks within the arrays and use a seven-metre-long truss system to drop all cabling up and off stage. This allows for very short speaker cable runs. We use a Rocknet based digital drive system using CAT6 cabling, and deliver both AES and backup analogue signals to the amps. The PA rolls in on the chariots four high and the amp racks come in blocks of four, and they fly right out.”