Photo: Adam Sandler in action at PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, NJ
Lee Pepper has enjoyed years of success as the owner and operator of RRS Audio Productions Inc. in Las Vegas, Nevada, providing live sound production and recording services for some of the biggest names in the entertainment and corporate worlds at venues throughout the city. After re-evaluating his pro audio gear inventories last year, he chose to invest in an L-Acoustics K2 line source array system to deliver better audio fidelity for his clients and branch out more into the touring sound market.
“I was doing steady corporate work and also doing multitrack recording for a bunch of the bands that came through Las Vegas,” says Pepper, who established RRS Audio Productions nearly 12 years ago. Over that time, the list of prestigious artists that that RRS has worked with in the city has grown to include the likes of Adam Sandler, Slash, Joe Perry, Billy Idol, Eddy Money, Joan Jett, Michel Legrand, Frank Sinatra, Jr., Mary Wilson, Tony Orlando, Andy Williams, REO Speedwagon, and many others.
L-Acoustics Regional Sales Manager David Kuhner reached out to Pepper and suggested that K2 would be the ideal system to take his business to the next level while providing maximum return on investment. “I told him that I didn’t know if I could afford it,” Pepper recalls. “But we looked at the ROI and total cost of ownership of K2 and worked out the funding through L-Acoustics’ financing program. It made complete sense and I bought my first two dozen K2 enclosures along with 16 SB28 subwoofers and 12 LA12X amplified controllers in four LA-RAK II racks.”
Soon after, the new rig enabled RRS Audio to handle sound for the $25 million wedding of billionaire Las Vegas casino magnate Frank Fertitta’s daughter, Kelley. The September extravaganza, held at Fertitta’s Red Rock Resorts with 450 guests in attendance, featured performances by John Mayer, Bruno Mars and Seal. Following that, Pepper says, “I started a nice relationship with The Palms Casino Resort and now I’m their exclusive provider. I do all of their outdoor events and pool parties. Every week there’s something going on there.”
More recently, Pepper completed a nationwide tour with comedian and musician Adam Sandler, with whom he has worked for three years. “This is the first time that Adam took gear on tour,” reveals Pepper, who has expanded his complement of L-Acoustics speakers during the past year to also include Kara, Kiva II and Syva, while also adding eight more K2 and 14 more LA12X to his inventory.
Sandler’s 100% Fresher Tour played arenas, amphitheaters and music centers from coast to coast—including shows in Montreal and Toronto, Canada—beginning in late May and extending through the end of June. Pepper also recorded every performance using his RML Labs SAW Studio multitrack rig, having previously recorded and mixed Sandler’s critically-acclaimed 2018 Netflix comedy special, 100% Fresh.
For Sandler’s tour, he says, “We had left and right main hangs of 32 total K2 with an outer hang of 12 Kara on each side, plus eight Kiva II for frontfill.” Additional Kara boxes provided sidefill for Sandler and his musicians, with short throw X12 wedges for vocal monitoring. Two LA-RAK II per side each loaded three LA12X amplified controllers powered the main system with a separate rack driving the monitors.
As an owner/operator, Pepper was also on the 100% Fresher Tour as its front-of-house engineer, and he reports that Sandler takes a keen interest in the sound. “He said to me, ‘When you do sound, it’s much cleaner and clearer. Is it the way you EQ?’ I basically take out most of the low-end frequencies, as the show is primarily spoken word. On the very first few tour dates where we didn’t use our K2 rig, Adam noticed the difference and said, ‘It sounded a little off. What was going on?’ He could totally tell. These days, most rider-friendly systems can sound pretty decent if you spend enough time tuning, tweaking, and phasing. But I think with L-Acoustics speakers there’s just something more honest and natural sounding. K2 always sounds great and it’s been perfect for Adam; it’s the best.”
Pepper originally grew up in Boston, Massachusetts, in a showbiz family—his mother managed many artists—and became involved in the sound business at age 14. Since that time, he has never seen such an explosion in his business as he has since acquiring L-Acoustics speakers. “I was in a 1,300-square-foot building, and now I’m in 5,800 square feet and getting ready to pounce on another building. With L-Acoustics, RRS Audio went from a six-figure yearly revenue to a seven-figure one. I can’t keep the boxes in stock, and every month I’m buying more. It’s really been a terrific investment for me.”