Having established itself as the go-to sound production provider for Western events in Alberta, Canada, and neighbouring territories across the border in the US, Kesler Sound has played a key role in changing the dusty rodeo cliché to modern-day a multimedia event that incorporate a loud and varying soundtrack alongside live performers, announcers, and the traditional livestock entertainment that draws large crowds season after season.

Kesler Sound’s latest innovation is the adoption of Powersoft’s M-Force transducer in custom-made subwoofers, a development that has changed services for this type of event. ‘The Rodeo-style event has been changing – it’s much more of a production than it was in the past,’ explains Kesler Sound founder, Kurtis Kesler

Kesler Sound‘In addition to the abundance of music we have going during the events now, we also have to accommodate announcers and live entertainers. The dynamics are always changing, and it pushes systems – hard.’

Kesler, who has spent the past 12 years building his own sound systems and providing audio for Western events, realised early on that their demands were different from a typical live concert or performance – not only do they require a high-quality system that is clear and audible over distance, but they need to be rugged to handle the dust and mud, and the fact that inclement weather would ever cancel an event. ‘We’re out in the dust every day and the show goes on whether it’s rain or shine,’ Kesler says. ‘We’ve designed all of our systems to be IP65 rated for dust and rain so that no matter what happens, they’re still reliable under these conditions and are still able to maintain sonic quality.’

A large part of this quality has been his application of Powersoft’s M-Force transducers in his custom boxes, a design which has used M-Force’s high-efficiency moving magnet design to deliver the crisp low-end that Kesler requires at a power level and quality that has allowed him to forgo the traditional double 18-inch design and ultimately save space and cost.

Kesler initially contacted Powersoft about M-Force in 2016, designing his first box and testing it out at his shows that summer. Impressed by the quality, he found himself tweaking his designs back and forth while sharing his findings with Powersoft. ‘They were so welcoming, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without that,’ he says. ‘Even though I was a small company that was just starting out, they were always supportive and responsive to any questions or ideas that I had.’

Kesler SoundKesler’s sub has been tuned for a crisp and tight low end rather than a seat-shaking one, allowing him to accommodate the wide variety of music choices that are now found at the types of events that he works.

‘In a rodeo, you can go from classic rock, to country, to pop, so you have to be able to cover everything,’ he says. ‘Although it has the ability to drop to 30Hz for a nice rumble if needed, I was focused on a box that could do all types of music equally. By using M-Force I was able to get better detail and articulation out of it than I would a traditional double 18-inch. They’re really amazing.’

Kesler’s M-Force loaded subs have also allowed him to dramatically cut down on the number of boxes required for the events he works, which he says would traditionally require quadruple the number of boxes for a 5-6,000-capacity event. Doing so has not only allowed him to deliver the same power and quality with less equipment, but it has also made his work more cost-effective as he requires less transportation and set-up to deliver the high-quality sound that he has become known for – something that occasionally requires him to win over a few sceptics. ‘

My favourite reaction is showing up to an event and having people say, ‘You only brought four subs with you?’ only to have them hear it and have their socks knocked off,’ Kesler says.

Kesler runs his systems with Powersoft’s ArmoníaPlus software using a single Cat5 cable that encompasses a digital AES signal, analogue audio signal, and full system control. As he’s continued to innovate he’s made his systems smaller and more efficient, all while continuing to design them to be rugged and weather ready for whatever nature has to throw at him. ‘I got so hooked on the challenge of designing these things,’ he says. ‘It’s always changing and that’s what’s exciting to me, and if you’re able to come at it with fresh ideas people really see what you’re capable of, and that’s really rewarding.’

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