After a seven-year hiatus from touring, Phil Collins is back out on the road again with his First Final Farewell Tour, which kicked off in Milan on June 1 following rehearsals in Neuchâtel, Switzerland. Aside from benefiting from a full L-Acoustics amplifier and loudspeaker system, the production notably marks the touring industry premier of the manufacturer’s newly-launched 115XT HiQ as the stage monitor of choice.
The loudspeaker rig is comprised of 32 V-DOSC, 24 dV-DOSC, 28 SB218, six dV-SUB, eight 112XT and eight 115XT HiQ cabinets, all supplied by Swiss V-DOSC Partner Hyperson and powered by L-Acoustics LA48a and LA24a amplifiers. The basic system consists of main L/R V-DOSC arrays with dV-DOSC downfill enclosures (15 at 3 per-side) accompanied by flown SB218 subwoofer arrays (eight per-side) with offstage coverage provided by two flown LL/RR arrays of dV-DOSC (nine to12 per-side).
As for the stage monitors, the new L-Acoustics 115XT HiQ was chosen to complement the system with two pairs of 115XT HiQs used for two of the three drum kits on stage and a single 115XT HiQ serving as a floor wedge for bass player extraordinaire Leland Sklar. Alain Schneebeli, director of Hyperson and monitor engineer for Phil Collins, explains, “The 115XT HiQ is an excellent choice and we are very pleased with its high performance. As a drum monitor, it works exceptionally well, even without additional subwoofers.”
The front-fill system was also an important aspect of the sound design and a distributed 112XT front-fill system (versus L/R stereo infill) was selected as more desirable from a localization point of view in order to lower the image to the performers onstage for the audience down front. To make the 112XTs as visually discrete as possible, custom portable shelves were constructed for the stage lip so that the stage remains clean. The 112XT front-fill system also provides more flexibility for larger arena installations where the 3+3 dV-DOSC downfills might be required for the offstage dV-DOSC hangs in order to have sufficient vertical coverage. In this case, the 112XT front-fill system will have the necessary reserve required to take over without any problem.
A final aspect of the front-fill system was a central ground-stacked subwoofer array consisting of 3+3 dV-SUBs. In this case, the goal was to create an overall LCR subwoofer configuration in order to have the necessary time alignment flexibility to have as even low-end coverage as possible in the venues.
Soundvision, L-Acoustics’ new 3-D modeling software that debuted at NSCA, is being employed to perform acoustical simulations for the majority of stadiums and arenas visited by the tour. This software is proving to be invaluable in optimizing the system coverage on a venue-by-venue basis, and being able to precisely predetermine all the installation parameters is providing better results as well as greatly reducing setup time.
The First Final Farewell Tour will travel throughout Europe and the UK during June and July before heading to the States in late August for a sweep of major US cities. The tour is expected to go well into 2005 as it traverses the globe. For more information, go to www.l-acoustics-us.com .