Touring and concerts

The d&b KSL rocks out with BMTH on their world tour.

© David Stewart

British rockers Bring Me The Horizon (BMTH) kicked off the European leg of their First Love World Tour in November 2018 in support of their sixth studio album, entitled ‘amo’ – the Latin word for ‘I love’. Seeing this as a great opportunity to showcase the band’s new music with greater transparency and enhanced LF definition, the BMTH sound team decided to take the d&b KSL System on the road for one of its first ever major tours.

KSL Solution

The hot-off-the-press KSL System is the latest loudspeaker line from d&b, designed to deliver all the recognisable features of its SL lineage, 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.

The First Love World Tour debuted 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 oversaw the implementation of the KSL and GSL Systems for the tour, specifying it to complement SSE Audio’s d&b GSL package.

“What better way to showcase the new KSL System than on a BMTH tour?” asks Hillyard. “Historically, we have used d&b J8s for their live shows, including the surprise performance at the Reading and Leeds festivals earlier this year, but for this tour we had the opportunity to upgrade and I offered the KSL system to production manager Rob Highcroft.”

SL-Series family

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“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, twelve V12s used as front fills, 20 KSL8s and four KSL12s as side fills, with 13 SL-SUBs. The system was powered by d&b D80 amplifiers.

Defined sound

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 lows and low 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 quality in the HF has been maintained [in the KSL System], like previous d&b systems, and the lows and low mid-range are fuller and more defined.Jack Murphy, System Technician, BMTH First Love World Tour 2018/19

The KSL is smaller than GSL – the ‘K’ stands for ‘kleine’ (small) - but is nicknamed ‘Karl’ in the d&b universe. It brings the SL-Series’ familiar 2-way active design, high SPL and impressive low frequency cardioid performance to a far wider range of applications. And of course, like all of the range, it sits comfortably within the familiar d&b workflow.

“When the KSL was deployed as a full side hang, its performance was right up there with the GSL,” Murphy continues. “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 to 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,” Murphy explains. “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.

Even a small, four-box ground stack gave a great full mix.Jack Murphy, System Technician, BMTH First Love World Tour 2018/19