MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin — Whether you call him the Space Cowboy, Gangster of Love or simply Maurice, one thing you can’t call Steve Miller is unproductive. After two dozen albums and more than 40 years of performing live, the highly prolific musician returned to the road for two weeks in late-April, along with special guest Gregg Allman, to do a string of US concert dates promoting his brand new record, Let Your Hair Down.
Although Steve Miller Band (SMB) often performs with a V-DOSC system, the SMB production crew and Milwaukee-based Clearwing Productions chose to carry an L-ACOUSTICS KUDO-KARA system out for this tour leg’s ten shows.
According to SMB System Tech Tom Martinez, the crew flew a dozen KUDO enclosures per side for main PA with six-KARA arrays addressing both the extreme left and right crowd areas. Furthermore, eight small L-ACOUSTICS coaxial systems broadcast smooth coverage to the audience in front of the stage, while six SB series subwoofers per side — typically groundstacked in a cardioid configuration — delivered the low end. All systems were powered and processed by L-ACOUSTICS’ LA8 amplified controllers.
“We’ve used KUDO for a few one-offs in the past but it was nice to finally carry it for a couple of weeks and really see what it was capable of,” says Martinez. “We primarily stopped at amphitheatres, arenas and performing arts centers on this trip, so KUDO’s size and performance fit those venues perfectly. And I have to add that KARA also sounded fantastic. This was the first time we had used those systems and they were brilliant. They provided such a seamless transition between the main arrays and the side hangs.”
Scott Boorey runs Steve Miller Band’s FOH mix
Scott Boorey, Steve Miller’s personal manager and FOH engineer for the past 18 years, shares Martinez’ fondness for the rig. “KUDO provided a lot of nice open air on the upper end — it gave a particularly beautiful chime to the ride cymbal, among other things — and I really appreciated its smooth mids,” he says. “Steve typically plays a Strat, which can sometimes cause a lesser system to bark, but the KUDO sounded lovely. Other than that, the imaging was amazing, the bottom end was tight and punchy, and I thought the rig worked equally well both indoors and outdoors. I loved it and look forward to using it again.”
KUDO and KARA were also applauded by SMB Production Manager Brett Enzensperger who notes that the enclosures were ideal from a logistics perspective. “We needed to fit the entire tour into two tractor trailers, and two-thirds of one of those was occupied by our backline, risers and sets,” he says. “As much as we like V-DOSC and dV-DOSC, they simply would not have packed into the limited space we had available, so this was a winning solution.”
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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