FOH Engineer Chris Madden mixes global tour on JPJ Audio's K1 system
SYDNEY, Australia -- P!NK is currently out on a massive 10-month global arena tour in support of her sixth and most recent record, The Truth About Love. Currently trekking across Europe -- following an initial U.S. leg that began in February -- P!NK and her entourage will eventually head down to Australia for the summer months before making their way back to North America for a second sweep that will carry the pop superstar through the end of the year and possibly beyond.
Manning her FOH mix, as he has for the past five years, Chris Madden has specified the use of a full L-ACOUSTICS K1 system for the entire duration of the tour, which is being equipped by Sydney, Australia's JPJ Audio -- the merged operation of Jands Production Services, L-ACOUSTICS' longtime Australian Rental Partner, and Johnston Audio.
Madden, who has also performed FOH duties for Joe Cocker, Sade and Jessie J in the past, originally fell in love with K1 on P!NK's Funhouse Summer Carnival tour of Europe in 2010. "We did quite a lot of shows in Germany for that summer run, all of which were supported by Black Box and their then-new K1 system," Madden recalls. "We achieved fantastic results with the rig and Roger Davies [manager for P!NK, Sade, Cher, Tina Turner and others] was very impressed, so it's been our system of choice ever since.
"From the very first time I heard it, I just thought K1 was the best PA I was ever put in front of. The projection and detail were both immediately apparent. On other systems, certain elements of a mix will disappear off into a mush, but L-ACOUSTICS preserves so much detail across the full spectrum -- and at distances that are truly remarkable."
The main arrays for P!NK's current arena tour are comprised of 14 K1 plus six KARA per side for downfill, with a small middle array of six KARA flown to cover the audience area between the main stage and curved thrust. An additional six KARA spread out under the front edge of the main stage helps pull the sound image down a bit further for the crowd at the front.
With 270 degrees of show seats completely selling out each night, JPJ is also deploying a total of 60 KUDO enclosures to deliver extreme left and right side coverage. Depending on each venue's unique geometry, these are typically hung in either four arrays of 15 or dual arrays of 18 and 12 cabinets.
Low frequency reinforcement is primarily achieved via a combination of eight K1-SB per side flown adjacent to the K1/KARA hangs and a dozen SB28 in six stacks of two across the curved front edge of the stage thrust. Ground subs are set up in cardioid mode with the bottom cabinets rear-firing to minimize LF bleed on stage. Additional two-by-three stacks of SB28 are positioned under the ramps on either side of the stage and fire out toward the far left and right sides of the room, while 19 LA-RAK touring racks containing a total of 57 LA8 amplified controllers drive the entire system.
System Tech Ulf Oeckel, who has toured with Rammstein and Sade, maps out each upcoming venue with L-ACOUSTICS' SOUNDVISION modeling software and keeps tabs on the system every night with LA NETWORK MANAGER, both of which he and Madden report to be "quite intuitive."
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." Product distribution and customer service for the USA is handled by L-ACOUSTICS' subsidiary in Oxnard, California.
Credit for top three photos: Todd Kaplan; credit for fourth photo: Ulf Oeckel
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