The end of 2009 saw The O2’s British Music Experience host the final of the Ultimate Black XS Battle of the Bands contest, with Sennheiser UK supplying a K-Array Red Line KR200s line array system to help the best of the UK’s unsigned talent compete for the opportunity of a lifetime – a deal with Search And Destroy records (home of Fightstar and In Case Of Fire), a magazine feature by Kerrang! editorial and an Epiphone guitar from co-sponsor Gibson – which was won by Welsh rockers Reaper In Sicily.
Sennheiser UK’s involvement in the event comes from a long association between artist relations manager Phil Cummings and Pete Freeman, Gibson’s Front of House engineer.
“I’ve been working with Phil for years with Sennheiser’s microphones and I knew he was keen to show me the K-Array system,” says Freeman. “I had a listen to it and we decided that it would be good for the event.”
"Phil was confident that, despite the KR200s lack of physical size, it would handle the event, which was scheduled to be attended by up to 400 people,” adds Cummings. “Once it was set up at the venue it more than coped, sounding better and better as the evening progressed the band’s performances improved.
“The last band of the night included Charlie Simpson, formerly of `Busted`, in his band Fightstar. They performed acoustically, which sounded really good through the K-Array.”
One of the major advantages of the KR200 is that it is extremely light and easy to set up. “The PA was up and working in 10 minutes with the first band soundchecking through it,” smiles Cummings. “There aren’t many 18" subs – including the power amp – that you can lift with one hand. The satellite line arrays fold and can be carried under one arm and the system delivers 4000W of power, which is immense.”
“I was very happy with the result,” says Freeman. “I would definitely put the K-Array system up for more shows. In fact, I’m going to do an orchestral event with it next and I’m really looking forward to it. I think it will lend itself perfectly to the coping with the dynamics. The power and depth of sound quality from such a compact unit is amazing – now I can fit a decent sized PA, plus mixer and stands, in my wife’s mini!”
K-Array manufactures a wide range of different loudspeakers that are small, but powerful. “You really have to look twice to see where the speakers are,” says Cummings. “The idea is that the product is pretty much invisible, making it unobtrusive and perfect for applications where your audio system needs to be heard, but not seen.”
K-array products are ideal for installations such as nightclubs, churches, or any venue where space is limited or where sight lines are critical.
“With its light weight and quick ease of set up, Red Line would suit most corporate event bands,” concludes Cummings. “They also produce larger line arrays making K-array products truly innovative. They need to be seen and heard to be believed!"
For more information: www.sennheiser.co.uk