FOH engineer Andy Linklater (pictured) is using a Tannoy VQ Live system on the current Steve Harley Acoustic Tour not just because of its renowned ability at very high SPL levels, but for its vocal definition in intimate surroundings where loudness isn’t the main concern. Harley’s career has been extremely varied, featuring small shows in London’s folk clubs during the 1970s to hit singles reaching the top of the UK and European charts alongside his band The Cockney Rebel. Linklater says he had high demands for a sound system that would offer top quality definition at all SPL levels for this acoustic tour; and that VQ Live surpassed all his expectations. “I’d heard the loudness of the system, but I was really looking forward to hearing how it performed at a lower level; my big praise for it, really, is the vocal definition and clarity,” he explains. “It’s a very powerful system, but the reason for bringing it on the tour is that I wanted to hear it with an acoustic band.” Harley’s band boasts a range of varied instrumentalists including a dulcimer player, violinist, and a pianist; and Linklater says he was pleased to find that the system offered musicality as well as volume.
“The Steve Harley set is very dynamic; it goes from a whisper to very loud within seconds,” he adds. “VQ Live is probably the best point source box I have ever used in my career; I set up for the first gig and haven’t touched it since. It’s running pretty much flat on the EQ on the box, the crossover point is set at about 100Hz with the subs, so it’s ideal.” Venues on the tour include Victorian theatres, which often result in challenging acoustics. The flexibility of the system meant Linklater could move the boxes around with minimal fuss venue-to-venue; and using a VQNET 60 Live top per side coupled with a VNET 218DR Live sub each side, he was able to achieve a similar SPL performance to a large format four-box flown line array system. “A lot of the theatres have been fairly small, say 1,200 capacity; and this system has coped with everything,” he insists. “Pretty much every night the audience commented on the quality of the sound. I’d like to take credit for some of that myself, but in all honesty, this system has made my job a whole lot easier.” www.tannoy.com