THE KILLERS GO COMPACT WITH MARTIN AUDIO
Cap Sound fields all-W8LC rig at O2
There were two remarkable facts about The Killers' sold-out performances at the O2 Arena last month.
The first was that their long-time sound engineer James Gebhard was making his debut at the venue, the second was that he took the radical decision to fly his favoured Martin Audio line array system WITHOUT the use of the predominant W8L Longbow enclosure - which projects effortlessly to the rear of the 20,000-capacity arena.
As a result, Capital Sound Hire, the band's audio production company, found themselves specifying delay arrays into the O2 sound reinforcement system for the first time.
In fact the entire coverage, including side hangs, front fills and delays, was made up of Martin Audio's W8LC Compact line arrays - including mighty 20-box hangs as the main reinforcement system - stretching the production company's inventory to the limit. All the full range enclosures were powered by Martin MA4.2s amplification.
With the two delay hangs (each comprising 12 x W8LC's) set 50 metres back down the auditorium, the two main SR stage arrays (comprising 18 x W8LC and a pair of W8LCD Downfills) were complemented by 14 W8LC and two W8LCD's (as side hangs) and six W8LC and two W8LCD as the upstage secondary side hang. These were supplemented by 12 x W8LS Subs up in the air, with a further four floor-mounted, alongside four WS218X's.
Four blocks of two Martin Audio W8LM Mini Line Arrays provided front fills reinforced further by three W8C's to cover the front rows.
Capital Sound crew boss Harm Schopman stated that with most of the system flown, the main task was to pull the image down for those sitting in the nearfield area from a vast hang, trimmed 11m above the stage. He added that because of the length of the drop - and the large vertical coverage angle involved - special ViewPoint array software predictions had to be provided by Martin Audio R&D Director Jason Baird.
Capital Sound Hire have vast experience of working the O2 Arena, with acts as diverse as Take That, The Stereophonics, Kylie Minogue, El Divo and Lee Evans. 'And although this is not the first time we have used delays it is the first time we have taken such a radical design approach,' said account manager, Paul Timmins. 'But I was pleasantly surprised that we achieved what some may have thought as being a suicidal gamble.'
James Gebhard was certainly unrepentant. 'I've loved the W8LC's since first using them on the NME Awards Tour with the Killers four years ago,' he said.
He used them again on a one-off show with the band at the Royal Albert Hall last November. 'I wanted to use LC's because of the way the Albert Hall is designed - you have to treat it like a club. It was a one-off show, and the first time I'd used the Compacts with the flown subs - and it sounded outstanding.
'It's just a question of more boxes and a bit more time involved - but it's well worth it for the result.'
Further information from:
Maureen Hayes, Martin Audio Jerry Gilbert, JGP Public Relations
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Picture caption: The Killers sound crew at the O2 (left to right): Marty Harrison, Paul Timmins, Ian Colville, Craig Bruce, Bjarne "BJ" Hemmingsen, Matt Harman-Trick, Harm Schopman and James Gebhard