Scottish synth-pop trio Chvrches recently completed a stepped-up UK tour in support of their latest album, Love is Dead. Glasgow-based concert audio supplier FE Live designed a d&b audiotechnik KSL System to deliver the group’s journey through pop, indie and EDM to audiences in venues of varying capacity.

Chvrches’ Love is Dead‘Having used the d&b GSL System for the first time in America last year, I was excited to specify the new KSL System for our UK shows,’ says Chvrches FOH Engineer, Paul ‘Gal’ Gallagher. ‘I’ve been a huge fan of the J-Series over the years and, despite how good that is, I was blown away with the massive headroom and clarity in tricky rooms this new system offers – it’s a huge leap forward.’

Gallagher believes that the key to sonic success with Chvrches is separation and clarity: ‘The challenge is to keep the sound punchy and loud with the combination of electronic and vocal mix. The KSL System has so much power it’s almost frightening, making the vocal gain quite exceptional. The clarity and directivity is on an altogether higher level.’

FE Live MD, Ryan McIlravey, is touring with the band as system tech having designed a KSL touring package of KSL8 and KSL12 cabinets that can be scaled up for larger venue dates. The main touring package comprised 20 KSL8s, four KSL12s and 12 SL-Sub; this was supplemented with extra KSL8 and KSL12 cabinets for performances at London’s Alexandra Palace and the hometown gig at the SSE Hydro arena in Glasgow.

‘KSL makes this easily achievable with features such as its increased vertical splay angle [10° v 7° with J-Series], which makes it more “box-count efficient” in smaller rooms with limited trim heights. Compression rigging also aids in rapid system deployment from a minimal footprint – great when floor space is limited.’

Paul ‘Gal’ Gallagher

‘I was a bit apprehensive prior to this run about how we would scale the system to suit the different venues all with the same size box,’ offers Chvrches Production Manager, Patrick Reid. ‘After the first few shows it became clear this was not an issue in fact we could have even scaled up or down even further.’

The team used the d&b range of optimisation tools for the tour, including ArrayCalc, ArrayProcessing and R1 remote control software.

‘Ninety-five per cent of the system tuning was done in ArrayCalc,’ says FE Live’s Kevin McAtear. ‘You hardly need a measurement mic anymore if you put the time into accurate venue measurements. ArrayCalc isn’t affected by the ongoing noise from hard working crews, pyro tests, plant and machinery involved with getting today’s large shows ready for doors opening. FE Live trusts ArrayCalc and invaluable d&b tools like ArrayProcessing to optimise the system as it saves time, creates less noise and produces great and easily repeatable results.’

FE Live also used an all-Dante drive system for the tour, with a d&b DS10 network bridge in each amplifier rack, fed from a fibre enabled backbone with primary and secondary switch racks located at FOH, Stage Left and Stage Right. This network also carried OCA data for d&b R1 remote amplifier monitoring and control.

‘The KSL System is the next generation in line array technology; it offers so much control,’ McIlravey concludes.

The UK dates were part of Chvrches world tour, which now travels to Australia, the US, Japan and Europe.

More: www.dbaudio.com

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