From left: Monitor engineer Jared Swetnam, FOH engineer Scott Eisenberg and system engineer Andrew Dowling (Sound Image) onstage prior to a show.
Imagine Dragons, the alternative rock band from Las Vegas, have spent the majority of 2013 on their Night Visions tour performing in North America and Europe. Their hit single “Radioactive” boasts more than 4 million downloads and counting.
Sound Image, based in Escondido, Calif., was chosen to provide sound reinforcement for the U.S. portions of the tour. The Nashville office heads up the production.
“When we received the bid, it came down to determining which system would provide the SPL, flexibility and sonic quality the band required,” explains Andrew Dowling, systems engineer for Sound Image. “The band needed the ability to do full size sheds and arenas as well as smaller venues.”
Front-of-house engineer Scott Eisenberg and Production Manager Eric “Shakes” Grzybowski ultimately decided that the Adamson Energia E15 line arrays would provide everything the band required.
“The Adamson boxes are light while still putting out a ton of horsepower,” Dowling says. “It allowed us to get the volume the tour needs even in venues where hanging a huge line wasn’t an option.”
Because the venues range from seating 800 to 17,000, the tour is equipped to handle just about anything. The production is on the road with 42 Energia E15 line array modules, 12 T-21 subwoofers, and 14 Spektrix loudspeakers—eight for front fills and six for underhang off of the main arrays as needed.
“Most of the time we hang the E15s, but it’s nice that they can be stacked if necessary,” Dowling continues. “We’ve been in some odd venues that have required less than conventional configurations to get the larger than life sound the band wants. But no matter the scenario, those boxes perform.”
The E15 is a 3-way system, with two 15-inch neodymium Kevlar cone drivers, two 7-inch Kevlar cone drivers, and two 4-inch Adamson NH4 compression drivers. The stated frequency response is 60 Hz to 18 kHz, horizontal dispersion is 90 degrees, and vertical dispersion is 6 degrees.
The T-21 subwoofers are arranged in stacks three high, on touring carts with two stacks assigned per side. The wheeled carts are designed for easy placements: arc delay, left-right or side by side, depending upon what works best in the room.
The T-21 subwoofer is loaded with an Adamson Symmetrical Drive multilayer 21-inch Kevlar driver. The double spider design utilizes a 6-inch dual voice coil and powerful neodymium magnet. With a maximum SPL (continuous) of 140.5 dB, the T-21’s provide more than enough driving low end for the alternative rock band.
“From a system engineer’s perspective, I like that the system flies really quickly and comes down fast,” Dowling says. “Angles can be preset on the ground before points are set which is a real time saver.”
“From a FOH engineer standpoint the system seems to make the snares and kicks come alive while the vocals sound incredibly smooth,” Eisenberg says. “It behaves naturally and maintains a good transient response. You don’t have to work hard to tighten up the low end and the top end isn’t too bright. It works out really, really well.”
“The guys wanted the show to be larger than life,” Dowling concludes. “No one is disappointed. The band is on top of the world. The Adamson system and all of the other gear delivers night after night after night—no one could ask for more.”