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San Jose Civic is first Bay Area concert venue to house d&b KSL loudspeaker system.

ASHEVILLE, NC (7.02.20)—The San Jose Theaters, a collection of four historic cultural venues managed by Team San Jose, in partnership with LJ Productions, has installed a state-of-the-art d&b KSL loudspeaker system at the San Jose Civic. The system is the first of its magnitude in incorporating ArrayProcessing optimization technology for concert venues in the region.

Installation began in the summer of 2019 and the full system kicked off with back-to-back sold out Deadmau5 shows at the San Jose Civic. The fall and winter seasons also included stellar performances from NF, Caifanes, Snails, Frankie Valli, Lindsey Sterling, REO Speedwagon, Piano Guys, along with regional touring acts, national tours, corporate events, comedians, and children’s touring shows.

The San Jose Civic (2850 seat, 3300 general admission floor) is located in the heart of the Downtown neighborhood and makes up part of the Team San Jose campus, a convenient layout of the San Jose McEnery Convention Center and the four San Jose Theaters. Over the past 80+ years, these four venues have played host to The Who, The Rolling Stones, Frank Sinatra, Diana Ross, Bob Dylan, Barbra Streisand, and many other legends.

“Having the latest and greatest technology such as the d&b KSL system is part of being in the heart of Silicon Valley and we are proud to lead the way in setting a new standard for performing arts production,” states Bob Ouellette, San Jose Theaters Production Manager. “As a nationally recognized touring house, our primary concern is to fulfill the riders for the artists and promoters. d&b is always listed as one of the preferred systems.” The installation of the d&b KSL system was a collaborative effort by both LJ Productions and the San Jose Theaters. Together, they overcame a structural challenge that created a brand-new system design template for future venue installations.

KSL, the newest member of the SL-Series family, delivers full-range broadband directivity and extended low frequency response that keeps sound off the walls and the stage, which results in a high-level of coherency for the audience and a quiet stage for the performers.

The San Jose Civic shares a common wall with the more intimate 468-seat Montgomery Theater which posed a problem as there are many times that challenged production teams to isolate and control sound in the San Jose Civic during simultaneous performances.

The theaters often have performances simultaneously, so controlling the sound in the Civic was important. “We were counting on d&b ArrayProcessing to keep the energy off the common wall,” states Adrienne Felicioni, LJ Productions. “We conducted dB testing before and after the KSL install. There was an incredible drop in sound leakage getting into the Montgomery. Felicioni says the system install was very smooth.  “The amp racks were pre-built and wired at our warehouse.  The room previously had flown delays that were no longer needed since the KSL-Series has great throw and coverage.  Team San Jose Theaters production team at the San Jose Civic were very pleased with the coverage and clarity and looks forward to the Civic’s reopening.”

ArrayProcessing is mainly used to significantly improve the tonal balance and SPL consistency throughout the entire vertical coverage of a line array but can also be used to create zones of reduced SPL or even avoidance of certain areas.

Independent sound engineer, Michael Clifford, adds that the system design and installation has built-in sound quality control in the large upper level of the San Jose Civic, an area that when unused, created an echoing during an event. “We have designed, using d&b ArrayProcessing, a slot to apply a hard avoid on this upper seating. It works flawlessly in eliminating the reflections we used to get from the empty space that now directs the energy evenly throughout the lower seating.”

Clifford also says they were able to build additional slots for various configurations that their most frequent clients use such as different front fill or sub placement requirements. “Since we share a common wall with the Montgomery Theater, in the past, we would have to apply a strict dB limit until their show was over. Now, we simply push a button that redirects energy away from the other theater without any noise complaints from the other venue. In the past, with sub heavy shows, we would have to augment our system with oftentimes double the amount of sub power. As these shows return, they still feel the need to augment, and since we only have 6 SL-SUBs, once they hear the KSL system, they quickly change their minds and put their extra subs back on the truck.”

“Since LJ Productions installed the new KSL rig, visiting engineers have been ecstatic over the audio improvements compared to the earlier system,” adds Clifford. “Some engineers, even grizzled veterans, have become downright emotional after hearing a demonstration of its ArrayProcessing capabilities.”

“The new cardioid KSL rig along with the cardioid SL-Subs surpassed my expectations of its ability to eliminate unwanted sound from wrapping around to the rear of the PA making the stage volume significantly quieter, reducing the overall gain, and improving the signal to noise ratio by leaps and bounds,” adds John Faldetta, owner, LJ Productions.

The system configuration is a combination of KSL12 and KSL8 (totaling 9 x boxes per side), 6 x SL-SUB sub woofers, 4 x Y10P front fill speakers, 2 x V7P out fill speakers, 12 x D80 amplifiers, and 1 x 30D amplifier.