Touring and concerts

KSL on the road with Chvrches

© Cameron Brisbane 1/3
© Cameron Brisbane 2/3
© Cameron Brisbane 3/3

Scottish synth-pop trio Chvrches went on a UK tour in support of their album Love is Dead. Glasgow-based concert audio supplier, FE Live, designed and supplied a d&b KSL System to deliver the group’s journey through pop, indie and EDM to audiences in venues of varying capacity.

KSL Clarity

“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,” says Chvrches’ FOH Engineer, Paul ‘Gal’ Gallagher. “I’ve always been a fan of the J-Series and was impressed with the substantial step up in headroom and clarity the new system offers.”

Gallagher says 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 mix … The difference in power between the KSL and J-Series is very noticeable. In combination with the cardioid pattern of the KSL, the vocal gain and clarity before feedback was very impressive. The far-field clarity and directivity are on an altogether higher level.”

…the vocal gain and clarity before feedback was very impressive. The far-field clarity and directivity are on an altogether higher level.Paul 'Gal' Gallagher, Chvrches FoH Engineer

KSL Scalability

Managing director of FE Live, Ryan McIlravey, Chvrches’ 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 twenty four KSL8, four KSL12 and sixteen SL-SUB; this was boosted with extra KSL8, KSL12 and SL-SUB cabinets for performances at London’s Alexandra Palace and the hometown gig at the SSE Hydro arena in Glasgow

McIlravey says: “KSL makes this easily achievable with features such as its increased vertical splay angle. This makes it more ‘box count efficient’ in smaller rooms with limited trim heights.

Rapid Rigging

Compression rigging also aids in rapid system deployment from a minimal footprint – which is really great when floor space is limited, as it always seems to be these days!”

Chvrches Production Manager, Patrick Reid, says: “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. In fact, I needn’t have worried - after the first few shows it became clear this was not an issue and we could have 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 and monitoring software.

The KSL system represents the next generation in line array technology - it offers me so much control.Ryan McIlravey, Chvrches' System Tech

“Ninety-five percent of the system tuning was done in ArrayCalc,” says FE Live’s system engineer, 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 invaluable 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 an all ‘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.

© Cameron Brisbane

Next Generation

McIlravey concludes: “The KSL system represents the next generation in line array technology - it offers me so much control. ‘K’ is most definitely the new ‘J’ and I’m looking forward to deploying KSL on our future shows to provide engineers with the next generation line array experience.”