Marco Borsatto at Rotterdam’s De Kuip stadium

Superstar Dutch singer Marco Borsato recently performed his anthemic back catalogue to 240,000 fans over five nights at Rotterdam’s De Kuip stadium – a performance that required full-spectrum coverage across the entire open roof stadium from a d&b audiotechnik SL-Series loudspeaker system.

Borsato is a national treasure in The Netherlands, thanks to a hit-making, multi-award-winning, 20-year career. He is one of a handful of artists with the fanbase clout to play five nights at the 51,000-capacity De Kuip (affectionately The Tub, the nickname for the Stadion Feijenoord), which is among the country’s largest venues.

Utrecht-based d&b partner Peak Audio provided a system, with Anthony Kappel as System Designer and Chief System Engineer alongside colleague Bart Schouten as System Designer and Project Manager.

Marco Borsatto at Rotterdam’s De Kuip stadium

‘As an early adopter of the SL-Series, we’ve had the opportunity to gain a lot of experience with the cabinets, and even more when designing and specifying both GSL and KSL for the Marco Borsato concerts,’ Schouten says. ‘We benefitted a lot from the accurate simulations we achieved using d&b ArrayCalc, and we were confident we could get the best result possible for a concert in a stadium like De Kuip.’

In addition to the ArrayCalc software, the team also used d&b ArrayProcessing to accurately determine the behaviour of the SL-Series line array across the entire listening area within De Kuip. ‘ArrayProcessing proved indispensable in achieving accurate simulation in the design phase, providing a powerful tool, especially when applying temperature and humidity changes during the gig,’ says FOH engineer and System Designer, Barak Koren.

Koren, Schouten and Kappel specified 40 GSL8 cabinets for the main LR arrays, and a further 40 for out fill and delays. These were complemented with a series of KSL8 for the main fly fand far fill. GSL12s were used for front fill, with SL-Subs positioned around the stadium. One 180 d&b D80 amplifiers fed the set-up.

‘The GSL and KSL system enabled me to mix with a big dynamic range – soft piano songs and massive pop arrangements – and obtain the clarity of the vocalist across the whole venue,’ Koren reports. ‘It offered great projection with very smooth polar pattern off axis.

Marco Borsatto at Rotterdam’s De Kuip stadium

‘We also achieved this with minimum sound pollution outside of the venue – as the open-air stadium could spill sound out into the residential neighbourhood. We had great results and no complaints, despite the high sound levels within the venue and full spectrum coverage. The only system that can deliver these requirements is the SL-Series.”

Concert reviews praised Borsato’s ‘frenzied sing-alongs’ and ‘dramatic ballads’, noting how the venue sounded like ‘one big choir’.

‘The GSL and KSL System sounded clear, detailed and tight in the low end,’ says Koren. ‘The coverage was good, and even, so it was easier to mix. We got great reviews, so we probably did something right! The controlled low-end frequencies are the biggest benefit for stadium sound. That creates clarity that gives the ability to mix softer with the same level of sensation.’

Morte: www.dbaudio.com

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