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Live Sound

QSC Gets in the Vans

QSC doesn’t do car audio, but it is a mainstay for Vans.

Chicago, IL (September 25, 2019)—Vans’ shoes and clothing remain a skate punk sartorial mainstay to this day, and ensuring that the brand keeps its name out there, it holds House of Vans events around the country, mixing together everything from skateboarding to street art to musical performances.

Outfitting Audio in Fender’s In-House Venue

For many of those events, Vans’ North America lifestyle events manager Chuck Radue fields a QSC TouchMix-30 Pro digital mixer, KW153 and K12.2 active loudspeakers, and KW181 active subwoofers.

Radue often makes use of the TouchMix-30 Pro’s ability to be remotely controlled via an iOS or Android device. “That comes in handy everywhere,” he says. “We do an event here in Chicago called Sessions, where we have open skating, live street art, and several local bands. The audience can literally skateboard to the music, and needless to say, you don’t put a front-of-house mixing position in the middle of that! So, we often place the mixer stageside or in other less-than-ideal locations. Then, the engineer or I can roam around with an iPad and work the sound.”

The multi-track recording capabilities of the TouchMix serve two other types of events, which Radue explains. “For Share the Stage, bands showcase with us and we record all their tracks through the TouchMix, then put them to video. We present those videos to a guest artist or producer — last year it was Schoolboy Q — and the winning band gets to open for that artist at one of their House of Vans shows. Then we have our Sidestripe Sessions music content series, which you can look up on These are videos with established and up-and-coming acts in a space designed to look like they’re playing inside a Vans shoebox. Again, everything goes through the TouchMix and then we just hand the hard drives off to the video department.”

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At Vans global headquarters in Costa Mesa, CA, the “shoebox” set started out as a jam room for employee use. K12.2 loudspeakers are the monitors of choice in the shoebox, and they’re also the go-to mains at House of Vans’ many pop-up events. “We just put them all over the spaces,” notes Radue. “The coverage and clarity is just incredible. The EQ presets built into the K.2 Series are always very useful. We find we can almost always optimize the sound to the room using that menu right on the back of the speakers, instead of doing a deep dive into mixer settings such as EQ and compression.”

House of Vans •