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Knockdown Center Upgrades P.A. for Impact

Arts center and venue chose L-Acoustics system to bring quality sound to shows across all music genres and of varying crowd size.

Maspeth, NY—Knockdown Center, located in a 120-year-old former glass factory in Queens, recently integrated an L-Acoustics concert sound system designed and installed by Boulevard Carroll Entertainment Group.

“We were long overdue to get something more substantial,” says Knockdown Center marketing manager Daniel Martin-McCormick of the new L-Acoustics system. “Especially with a very busy calendar that covers a wide array of different genres, including a lot of electronic music that really needs powerful sound, as well as world-class pop and metal performers who also need a different type of impactful.” 

Knockdown Center has hosted concerts by artists including LCD Soundsystem, Louie Vega and Hot Chip, as well as art exhibits and events such as comedian Eric Andre’s 40th birthday party.

READ MORE: Brit Row Takes L-Acoustics’ New L2 System to Soho House Festival.

In addition to its highly varied show lineup, Knockdown Center also has to accommodate a wide range of event scales, Martin-McCormick says. “Sometimes it’s 3,200 people, sometimes it’s 1,800, or even under 1,000. So, the new rig had to be something that would cover that full range. It couldn’t under-power a larger show or overpower a smaller one.”

The main system comprises 14 K2 boxes divided into a left-right array with two A15 per side as out-fills. In addition, seven K3 per side, as well as two A15 per side, are arrayed as delay speakers further down the length of the main hall. These, along with four A15 fills and four Kara II front-fills, become the main P.A. system when only a smaller portion of the room is used for an event. 

Only the system’s KS21 subs and Kara II front-fills need to be moved for this reconfiguration; the rest of the retuning is done via presets in the LA Network Manager software and P1 processor. A combination of LA12X and LA4X power the entire system, including an assortment of X12 speakers used as wedge monitors on stage.

“This is a challenging venue in that there are a lot of possibilities for reflections, including the brick walls, the floor, lots of wooden and iron beams, and more,” explains Daryl Moore, Boulevard Carroll Entertainment Group’s head of audio. “There are also a lot of empty spaces in the rafters where sound can get lost. Combining that with their need to adjust for different-sized events and shows was pretty complex. Fortunately, the L-Acoustics systems were more than enough to meet all those needs.”

The maiden voyage for the new system took place on July 29, when the venue hosted Outlier with Bonobo doing a DJ set and performances by Jacques Greene, Romare, O’Flynn and Juan Maclean. “Knockdown Center’s first shows with the new rig have covered a wide range of styles, and the sound has more than kept up with them all,” Moore says. “The bands and artists have absolutely loved the sound.”