ML Executives supplied EAW KF760 Series line arrays, as well as other EAW concert loudspeakers, for the just-completed Iron Maiden Matter of Life or Death world concert tour.
ML Executives, directed by Gary Marks, dispatched line-array technician Michael Hackman to oversee the house system during the arena tour’ s journey from the U.S. to Japan and then home to Europe with concluding dates at Earl’ s Court in London. Brantley Sound of Nashville supplied the loudspeakers, amplification and system processing for the U.S. leg.
The system stayed fairly consistent from show to show, with front left and right arrays usually comprising 14 EAW KF760 and two KF761 near-field modules. These were flanked by sidefill arrays of six KF760s above two KF761s. Geometric differences presented by each arena account for slight array structure variations.
“The EAW line arrays have headroom to spare and can be made to sound not so ‘ hi-fi,’ but rather more of an appropriate extension of heavy guitar-based metal rock, a particularly good match with a band of this nature,” Hackman says. “Another thing I really like about the KF760 box is that it goes up very quickly. You just roll it in, hook it up and lift it in the air. Particularly on bigger shows, where we often have to wait for everything else to go in and then wait more for fly points, the faster it goes up, the better.”
EAW SB1000 dual 18-inch-loaded cabinets produced plenty of subbass energy, generally floor-stacked three over three per side. It was to have been four subs high, but the late addition of four-over-four sets of EAW KF750 three-way touring loudspeakers atop each sub stack changed that plan.
“As an old-school band, Iron Maiden likes having P.A. ground stacks as well as the flown arrays to enhance the particular P.A. ‘feel’ they’ve grown used to. It gives them an added vibe onstage that’ s coming from the house, particularly when they walk out on the stage thrusts,” Hackman explains.
As usual, Hackman utilized the EAW Smaart platform for measurement and analysis and, specifically, its impulse function to help clear up all system time-alignment issues. After alignment, he then deployed Smaart as a spectrum analyzer.
“Our overall mission was keeping all of these output sources acting as a single cohesive unit,” Hackman concludes. “We’ve been doing some pretty large shows over the past three years with this system configuration, and it’ s served our clients quite well.”