The iHeartRadio Theatre New York City is the ultimate ticket you can’t get. The Manhattan venue, the East Coast counterpart to the company’s flagship Los Angeles venue, regularly hosts a steady stream of A-list music artists, from Mary J Blige and Ed Sheeran to Muse and Blink-182.
When it was deemed that the theatre’s sound system was not up to par with the best touring systems used by top-notch artists, the decision was made to install a new L-Acoustics house loudspeaker system in the intimate, 200-seat space.
With tickets to shows reserved for iHeart’s own subscribers, the bands’ fan clubs and other exclusive channels, what those fortunate ticketholders experience is a close-up interaction with some of the best musicians in the world, standing on a stage that’s barely a foot off the floor, and sharing the show with millions who’ll watch it streamed live through the iHeartRadio app and the more than 850 iHeartRadio stations throughout the country.
Since April, fans at the shows have now been hearing artists through an L-Acoustics sound system installed by See Factor, a leading New York rental and installed-sound provider specializing in live clubs and theatres. The new system comprises two hangs of three ARCS II speakers per side augmented by four KS28 subwoofers under the stage, all powered by three AVB-enabled LA12X amplified controllers. Three X15HiQ coaxial loudspeakers are used as a fill for the theatre’s raised VIP section.
The sound onstage is equally potent, with eight X12 and four X15HiQ loudspeakers used as monitors, buttressed by a pair of SB18 subs. The X Series speakers are powered using a mix of LA8 and LA4X amplified controllers.
iHeart’s technical director, Stephen Wyker, says the previous sound system had been the iHeartRadio Theatre’s weak point since it opened in 2008. “When you look at the calibre of artists that are performing here regularly, the sound system was not at that level,” he says. “Now, it’s like night and day. It’s amazing!”
Wyker previously guided the technology at Webster Hall, another legendary New York music venue where an L-Acoustics Kara sound system met rider requirements for artists globally. He says there was never a doubt that L-Acoustics was destined for the iHeartRadio Theater eventually. “We wanted the performers and the audience to have the best sound experience possible, and now they do,” he says. “The fidelity is incredible.”