Pop/rockers Maroon 5 embarked on the European leg of their arena tour in late May, where a comprehensive L-Acoustics K1 and K2 PA system helped to ensure audiences moved like Jagger.
The Los Angeles-based band generally tours with Southern California Sound Image. For the European leg, Sound Image called upon UK partner SSE Audio to provide audio. “I go way back with SSE, to my time with Wet Wet Wet, Morrissey and S Club Seven,” says Front of House engineer Jim Ebdon. “Their packaging and line system is brilliant, so it’s always a pleasure to work with them.”
With huge demand for tickets, and a 70 metre long runway leading to a B stage, SSE chose a system based on 12 L-Acoustics K1 per side as main hangs, with six K2 underneath, plus side hangs of six K1 and six K2 each. Twelve SB28 subs per side were deployed in a traditional L-R configuration, three of which were turned out 90° off stage to even out the low end distribution. Rear hangs of 12 Kara per side ensured that seats could be sold past the 180º line, while six Kara lipfills and eight Kiva frontfills completed the system, which was powered by LA8 amplifiers.
SSE Project Manager Pete Russell explained, “We needed to ensure that the main hangs didn’t swamp the runway and B Stage. We used Soundvision, which proved that the K2 cabinets gave us more control of the horizontal dispersion pattern.”
SSE System Tech Perttu Korteniemi added, “We’ve been using the widest 110° setting on the K2 waveguides and have just used the array delta plate to adjust the azimuth angle slightly. The results have been excellent, giving an even coverage without any feedback issues from the vocal mics.
“The only real challenge was the need for good sight lines to the B stage, so there were no delays – we had to make sure there were enough cabinets for the throw in the main hangs. But K1 does that really well, the transition between K1 and K2 is seamless and the sonic quality really consistent,” he continued. “Set up and load out times were limited, but the way we had it set up made it really easy.”
“SSE’s L-Acoustics systems are great, they are tried and tested. I don’t have to do anything to them – I don’t even have to think about them,” says Jim. “I was mixing on the K2s because the FoH position was a little closer than I ideally wanted it to be, but because the sound is so consistent between the K1 and K2 it wasn’t a problem. I could just get on and mix!”