British electronic pop act Pet Shop Boys are touring North America for the first time since 2002, performing to packed houses with a set featuring hits from their 20-year career and new material from their latest album Fundamental. Houston-based LD Systems deployed Electro-Voice X-Line, X-Array and remote-control Precision Series amplifiers for the tour.
“We already know how well the X-Line works as a rock box,” says Mike “Monk” Shear, systems tech for LD Systems, “and it’s doing an equally impressive job handling the electronic music on the Fundamental tour. What sets the X-Line apart from other big arrays is its smooth HF response. Digital signal reproduction can be a bit harsh in the high frequencies, but this rig sounds seamless and warm up in the mids and highs—we can hear the HF details without pushing them too hard. In that sense, X-Line has proved an ideal choice for this tour.”
“I rate X-Line very highly,” says FOH Engineer Colin Boland (Sarah Brightman, Russell Watson). “It’s so easy to get a good mix on this system. I can hear the slightest EQ adjustments through these boxes.”
“That level of responsiveness helps me work more efficiently, so I can direct more of my time towards getting coverage right in the room, which really helps in some of the older theatres with steep rakes and deep balconies on this tour,” adds midtour FOH sub Holger Schwark (Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra). “I’ve heard line arrays from multiple manufacturers, and X-Line is simply a cut above: Quality audio is built into each component.”
“The P-RL amps also save us a ton of time,” Shear says, “and they’re a big reason a tour like this can be handled by a minimal crew. I fire up the amp racks on the deck, walk out front with my laptop, and tweak my power settings and check the loudspeaker components in real time with IRIS-Net while FOH runs pink noise, all without running back and forth to the deck to turn amps down before repeating the process. We don’t need an extra crew guy to yell back any problems from the room while I make amp adjustments at the rack—I can do it all myself from any point in the house. In that sense, the RL amps have definitely had a positive impact on touring in the last few years.”