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Kid Rock Flies the Flag and K1 on Born Free Tour

Kid Rock performing during the Red Sky Music Festival at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha on July 20, 2011

Sound Image carrying L-ACOUSTICS’ flagship loudspeaker system on current shed tour with special guest Sheryl Crow

ESCONDIDO, California — Following a three-month North American arena tour earlier this year, Kid Rock is now out on his second US sweep in support of his latest album, Born Free. Joined by Sheryl Crow for most of the dates, which run into September, Rock and his entourage are also touring with another stellar performer: L-ACOUSTICS’ K1 stadium line source system.

FOH Engineer Steve Cross (left) and System Tech John Tompkins with the K1-KUDO system in the background

Escondido, California-based Sound Image is supplying the tour’s concert sound system, which features left and right arrays of 12 K1 plus three dV-DOSC down, each flanked by an adjacent subwoofer hang of eight K1-SB. Additional arrays comprised of six KUDO per side address the extreme left and right seating areas, while four SB28 per side positioned below serve as front-fill subs for the space not covered by the K1-SB hangs.

Kid Rock celebrating his 40th birthday in Detroit

“My first real outing with K1 was back in mid-January,” says Steve Cross, who has served as Kid Rock’s FOH engineer for the past four years. “It was the very first day of Kid Rock’s Born Free tour and he was celebrating his 40th birthday with a huge stadium show at the Detroit Lions’ Ford Field in his hometown. Not only did we fly more boxes than any other show on the tour so far, but there were at least 15 special guests that showed up to perform with him. So the pressure was certainly on that evening, but Sound Image came out strong and the K1 system sounded absolutely spectacular.”

Half of the massive K1 main arrays at Ford Field in Detroit for Kid Rock’s 40th birthday concert for 60,000 fans on January 15, 2011

Although Cross had only mixed on K1 once before — at the Coachella festival a few years prior — he notes that the current tour spec was ultimately driven by the musicians themselves. “Several of the band members went to see Tom Petty in concert last year and, after hearing that system, they asked us to get in touch with Sound Image and request the same setup. They were tremendously impressed and knew they had to have it.”

“For me, the thing I most appreciate about K1 is that everything sounds extremely natural coming through it. If I put a vocal into a system and know that it sounds proper coming out of the console, I should expect it to sound natural coming out of the loudspeakers — not aggressive or obviously amplified. A good mix is not determined by its volume or looking the right way on an RTA. It’s about accurately sharing what’s happening on stage and K1 does that very well. Even without the subs turned on, the mains reproduce such beautifully full-range, natural-sounding music. They’re a pleasure to work on.”

Sound Image can be found online at, while upcoming Born Free tour dates can be viewed at

L-ACOUSTICS is a leading innovator and manufacturer of high-performance loudspeakers, amplifiers and signal processing devices for touring and installed sound markets. Known around the globe for pioneering and championing the modern line array loudspeaker concept with V-DOSC, the company has received numerous accolades for its K1, KUDO, KARA, KIVA, ARCS, XT coaxial loudspeaker systems and SB line of subwoofer enclosures, all powered and processed with the LA4 and LA8 amplified controllers in fulfillment of a “total system approach.” L-ACOUSTICS products for the US market are distributed by L-ACOUSTICS US of Oxnard, California.

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