d&b audiotechnik V-Series delivers big box sound at private The Killers gig

Wednesday, 5 October 2022
Melbourne’s Front of House Productions provided full production for a corporate gig for Liberty Financial Group’s 25th company anniversary at Reunion Park, headlined by US band The Killers and supported by Ben Lee and The Veronicas.

By Jenny Barrett, CX Magazine

Melbourne’s Front of House Productions provided full production for a corporate gig for Liberty Financial Group’s 25th company anniversary at Reunion Park, headlined by US band The Killers and supported by Ben Lee and The Veronicas.

The Killers, who have not toured Australia since 2018, flew in especially for this gig, tying it in with promotional interviews for their new single and Australian arena tour later in the year.

Front of House Production (FOHP) have a close relationship with events company Greenfields, until recently Velodrome Events, who are investing heavily in Melbourne’s newest pop-up outdoor live music and performance venue, Reunion Park.

Systems Engineer Jesse Mahoney, who joined FOHP in January, talks us through the no-expense-spared birthday party for Liberty’s guests and employees, “We basically looked after everything on site for Greenfields, same as we had for a couple of festivals that launched Reunion Park in March of this year. Greenfields produced the event and we production managed, handling the audio, lighting, video, and the architectural site lighting to beautify what is essentially a patch of dirt – or a patch of mud in the case of this event!”

 
“The tent went up a week prior and on the Monday we started bumping in production from the stage onwards. The AV build was Wednesday and Thursday, with the gig on Friday. Then it was pack out.” The scaffold stage and big scaffold towers were used to hold the PA, lighting and the IMAG video elements, “The tent didn’t hold anything other than suspending the aerial performers who flew in the midst of crowd.” Then there was the pyro – four confetti cannons for The Killers and twenty-four streamer shots for the happy birthday moment, “It was a lot of production!”

Jesse’s focus was the audio, “We used the d&b audiotechnik V-Series which we’ve had for about five years and recently expanded from twenty-four boxes to thirty-two thanks to NAS Solutions, the Australian d&b audiotechnik distributor. I used twenty-four, twelve each side, plus six a side flown V-SUBS as the low frequency extension of the V and six J-INFRA cardioid A subwoofers on the ground. It was all ArrayProcessed on D20s and D80s.”

 
d&b audiotechnik’s ArrayProcessing is an optional software function within the d&b ArrayCalc simulation software. It uses an optimisation algorithm to determine tailored filters to help control the behavior of a d&b line array system across an entire listening area. ArrayProcessing can be applied to all GSL-Series, J-Series, V-Series, Y-Series and T-Series line array systems.

Jesse was very pleased with the sound, “The ArrayProcessing was magnificent. For a smaller box, the power output per channel of V plus flown V-SUBS is a really economical way to get the big d&b big box sound. Flying the V-SUBS next to them takes the whole array down into the sub-frequencies the same way it would if it was a bigger box like a KSL, for less channel count.”

“It was really good. This is the first time I’ve put it up and thought, yes, this is the way it is supposed to be. We are always struggling with amp channel count because it is very difficult to buy new amplifiers at the moment. We bought some more D20s just so that we could ArrayProcess this particular gig. We had six D80s and eight D20s so it was really quite efficient on the amp channels, with two racks a side. A big sound for a small number of amps.”
 
 
For Jesse it was the ArrayProcessing that took everything to the next level, and not just in terms of coverage, “They don’t tout it enough but when you are ArrayProcessing a PA, if the PA has got the right number of boxes and has been physically deployed correctly, any array will be voiced exactly the same as any other one. You can have a main hang that is very flat and very deep next to a side hang that is very heavily curved and when they are both ArrayProcessed they will be voiced exactly the same. In terms of blending sources into each other it is incredibly consistent from hang to hang, and area to area, not just the coverage zone from the front to the back of the listening field. I’m a systems engineer so I move from gig to gig all the time and I’ve got a sonic signature that I expect the PA to hit. When you are ArrayProcessing you get that every single time you put it up. You don’t have to EQ or fight the PA to get it into that same space like you normally do with unprocessed systems. As a systems engineer that consistency is extremely satisfying.”

FOHP provided the Shure PSM 1000 in-ear monitoring system and used the DiGiCo SD 10 and SD11 for the support acts whilst The Killers used d&b M2 wedges and the Solid State Logic L500 console, “They had their own FoH guy who was doing the work of three as they usually travel with a monitor person for the lead singer, a second monitor person for playback and ears for the band, and a FoH person. He did very well but he was sweating! We made sure that he was comfortable the whole way through, trying to make it happen for him before he asked.”

    
Jesse was also impressed with the IMAG and the lighting, “It was visually pretty spectacular with interactive video elements such as pinball machines, a pinball arcade set up off to the side, a four metre wide blow-up ball in the roof and we built cube wall structures out of fifty-six water drums and put LED lighting in them which was really effective.” FOHP had recently invested in a wide range of new lighting product and much of it was put to use at this prestigious event. Finally like any festival worth its salt there was the mud, “There was a lot of rain and the internal area of the tent was laid with track mat and carpet. We all spent a lot of time wiping our boots and taking our shoes off to try and keep the inside immaculate whilst outside we were sinking in a mud pit!”

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