For Avril Lavigne's North American tour in support of The Best Damn Album, Orlando, Fla.-based sound reinforcement provider LMG Inc. is using an L-ACOUSTICS V-DOSC® and dV-DOSC loudspeaker system, supplementing the rig with the manufacturer's KUDO™ enclosures and new LA8 amplified controllers.
"We have 15 V-DOSC with three dV-DOSC down speakers per side as mains, and then 10 KUDO a side as side arrays," explains front-of-house engineer Jim Yakabuski, who has been running Lavigne's sound since midway through her first tour in 2003. "We've also gone back to using a center sub cluster, which has proved very successful for me in the past. There are 12 subs in a single long array in the center, with nothing at all left and right, and only one sub a side about 16 feet off-center to hold up two dV-DOSC that take care of frontfill requirements. My system engineer, Evan Hall, and I are also driving the whole system with L-ACOUSTICS' new LA8 amps, which are controlled by LA Network Manager."
Yakabuski's choices were based as much on coverage as on overall sound quality. "I am finding more and more that the shapes of concert audiences are changing from 10 or 15 years ago," he says. "Even though we have a huge video wall behind the stage that has some fantastic content on it, and a pair of side screens that have the artist's face on it all night long, I find that the concertgoer will still buy a ticket at the side of the stage where they have no view of these screen elements long before they'll buy a ticket further back in the venue."
While the V-DOSC arrays handle most of the venue, this side coverage played a big role in adding the KUDO arrays. "You have to cover a very wide amount of seats along the side, but you also have to cover a very tall swath, as well. The bottom seats near the stage can sometimes be only 15 or 20 feet from the downstage edge, while the top bowl of an arena may be 150 feet away, so having the flexibility to put a huge J-curve in the array and to be able to adjust the horizontal coverage from 55 to 80 to 110 degrees was a big deciding factor in going with the KUDO boxes."
Yakabuski says that he has his hands full with mixing and needs a system that he doesn't have to worry about. "The music and musicianship are very different on this tour. We have a lot more inputs coming down the snake than on previous tours, especially in the drum department. The amount of sound that comes from this band is unbelievable. We only use a couple of electronic loops in the whole show to fill things in a bit. We also have a keyboard player for the first time and, again, we now have live keys and effects coming from his very high-tech rig instead of coming from a sequencer as in past tours."
In addition to doing duty as sidefills, the KUDO enclosures have been used in other ways. Yakabuski and LMG found that with the KBUMP bar, they could turn the KUDO cabinets on their sides and use three or four boxes in outdoor amphitheater situations to get only 30 or 40 degrees of horizontal coverage, and then use the K-Louvers to adjust the vertical dispersion.
"It is a very flexible speaker system and a great choice for the side arrays. It blends very nicely with the V-DOSC as well, so they work great together," Yakabuski adds.
For more information, visit www.l-acoustics.com.