Tannoy, Lab.gruppen and Lake Perform at SXSW 2014

Featuring British artists such as The Wytches, Slaves, and Dinosaur Pile-Up, and an audio system comprised of UK-made audio gear including Tannoy loudspeakers and Lab.gruppen amplifiers, the 2014 British Music Embassy venue had a major impact at SXSW 2014.

Now in its seventh year, the 2014 showcase at the iconic Texas festival in Austin boasted a powerful but compact audio rig comprised of Tannoy point source loudspeakers, Lab.gruppen amplifiers, Allen & Heath GLD digital consoles and LAKE DSP.

In the past, line array systems have often been deployed at the British Music Embassy, but at the request of the promoters, Cato Music Ltd. of London, Tannoy was asked to provide a system made up of Tannoy VQ 60s and VS 218DR subs powered by Lab.gruppen amplifiers with Lake control.


Pairing Tannoy point source loudspeakers with Lab.gruppen amplifiers provided high quality sound, even coverage and more than enough SPL for the 300-person capacity venue. “But without filling the space up with road cases or bringing additional equipment and cabling in that would make the setup more complicated,” says TC Group’s Colin Studybaker – an ideal situation in a room where space and power were at a minimum.

Consequently, instead of eight line array boxes per side for FOH, just two Tannoy VQ 60s and three VS 218DR subs, all powered by two Lab.gruppen four-channel PLM 20000Q amplifiers were deployed. Additionally, five Tannoy VX 12HP coaxial monitors (bi-amped with five Lab.gruppen IPD 2400s with one Tannoy VSX 15DR sub for drum fill) were used for monitors; a solution that provided maximum intelligibility and coverage for the roughly 12’ x 12’ stage and eliminated the need for side fills. The system also included one Tannoy VX 8.2 placed on an exterior windowsill to cover the audience in the street.

Monitor engineer Chris Kmiec was particularly impressed with the wedges. “The VX 12HP’s are a clean sounding speaker straight out of the box and the coaxial configuration provides an advantage in a venue like this where – with a traditional monitor – you might require a pair of wedges for each musician.”

FOH engineer Fabrizio Piazzini also praised the Tannoy mains: “In this application, the point source loudspeakers were very smooth and allowed for coherence and a smooth transition from the entrance of the venue to the middle of the floor.”

The choice of Lab.gruppen IPD and PLM Series amplifiers also fit well with the limited power available in the venue, Studybaker explains: “We needed optimal power, but with as little current draw as possible because we had to tie in to forty Amperes. But the IPD 2400’s breaker emulation limiter allowed us to limit the current draw so we didn’t trip any breakers.”

In addition, the integration of IntelliDrive Controller software in the Lab.gruppen IPD amps, the fact that processing and amplification were included in the same units and the ability to monitor the system using LAKE 6.1, allowed for optimal control for ringing out the monitors.

Ultimately, the system worked seamlessly and let the engineers and technicians on site focus on getting the job done instead of worrying about the viability of the infrastructure. Although this was the first year Tannoy and Lab.gruppen gear figured so heavily at the British Embassy, it appears that it won’t be the last. “From what I’ve heard this was one of the best sounding venues of its size at SXSW 2014,” Studybaker says. “So it looks like we’ll be returning to do it again in 2015.”

info: www.tannoy.com
info: www.labgruppen.com
info: www.lakeprocessing.com

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