Three recent sell-out gigs at Amsterdam’s 17,000-capacity Ziggo Dome saw Dutch Indie band Kensington bring an immersive extra dimension to their live sound with the help of audio consultant and system designer Noizboyz, and Outboard Electronics’ TiMax SoundHub.

Noizboyz has handled Kensington’s sound design for four years, working with the band in the Ziggo Dome and Johan Cruijf ArenA. Following a demonstration with Phlippo Productions for Friendly Fire as well as Kensington, Noizboyz’s Pieter Doms and Thomas Van Hoepen, together with Nathan Leenders from Phlippo (Friendly Fire’s preferred supplier) were given carte blanche to create an audio system for the gigs.

TiMax treatment for Kensington at 17,000-capacity Ziggo DomeShowcasing the dramatic difference in aural effect between stereo output and an immersive spatial mix set-up, created as an A/B (stereo mix/immersive mix) macro built on a DiGiCo mixing desk, Noizboyz convinced Kensington’s FOH engineer, Ilja Traas, and production manager, Marcel Buurman ,of the benefits for audiences.

However, as Pieter Doms points out, ‘Carte blanche is never carte blanche’. Audio system set-up is dictated by the needs of the staging and the band and not vice versa. So, following negotiation, Noizboyz won agreement for four loudspeaker arrays across the stage, with outer arrays 32m apart and inner arrays, nine. Noizboyz had put their trust in the flexibility and adaptability of TiMax, which handles this typical sort of production constraint easily and effectively. ‘Without TiMax this just wouldn’t have been possible,’ Doms says. ‘I could try but it would take me months to accomplish something similar.’

The final loudspeaker configuration comprised four arrays of eight L-Acoustics K1 underhung with a further eight K2s. Supporting each array from behind were four KS28 sub bass cabinets providing low end. A further 24 KS28 sub bass units were groundstacked and front fill was provided by six stacks of three Kara’s. Sixteen K2s serviced the sides with a 270° out fill comprised of nine Kara speakers and two SB18 subs. Two delay hangs for the furthest reaches of the venue comprised six Kara K2s.

The show was driven by L Acoustics LA12x amplifiers fed by a Dante network through Lab.gruppen LM44 amplifiers and Luminex gigacore switches, with everything mixed on a DiGiCo SD7 console.

During rehearsal days at the venue, Doms and Traas tried out and tested TiMax in situ and finally combined ideas for an audio set-up each was happy with. Using the Panspace feature in TiMax the pair placed the different inputs virtually on the stage and as Doms notes, ‘That’s the golden trick of TiMax and its Panspace: if you can show it, they’ll hear it.’

By picking out the right details of different songs to highlight using TiMax, Doms and Traas found they were able to create a next level experience that wouldn’t adjust the overall mix too much. Pieter admits, ‘When we hit the ‘back to stereo’ button, we quickly discovered we’d made a big step in the live experience for concerts.’

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