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Tannoy VQ Live A Hit With ‘Who’s Bad’ MJ Tribute Show
17 January 2011 16:19 GMT
Tannoy’s VQ Live high performance, self-powered portable PA system has been winning new fans across the live touring sound sector over the past 18 months since its launch, thanks mainly to its exceptional acoustic performance in such a compact format.
Ted Pierce, FOH engineer for the Michael Jackson tribute show “Who’s Bad”, counts himself as one of the most fervent of recent converts, having had the opportunity to try out the system on the UK leg of their current tour.
Described as ‘the closest you will get now to seeing Michael Jackson Live’, this infectious production comes direct from the US and brings the King of Pop’s music back to the stage. Formed in 2004 by Vamsi Tadepalli, the band have been playing Michael Jackson’s hits, including everything from ABC to You Rock My World, right across America. And now the show is on the road on this side of the pond, with over 30 dates in the UK from Glasgow to the IndigO2 in London.
Experienced system tech Pierce previously specified conventional line array systems on earlier Who’s Bad tours but after reading about VQ Live, and presented with the opportunity to demo it via the UK sub-distributors of the system, JHS & Co. Ltd., he decided to check it out ahead of the first UK gig. His immediate impressions were very positive, as he explained:
“Very first impressions, first day – plugged it in, networked everything together and hit play – I was blown away. The fidelity in the high end is amazing. Honestly, it absolutely blew me away within 15 seconds.”
The nature of the show, where the focus is on live band performance, meant that the demands were suited to a high performance system akin to the requirements of a touring rock band and had to be scalable to deal with varying sizes of venue. Just a pair of VQNET 60 Live tops per side and paired stack of VNET 218DR Live and VNET 215HL Live subwoofers each side were more than adequate to handle just about every venue, with the smaller gigs using just a single top box per side, giving comparable SPL performance as a 4-box flown line array system. Given that VQ Live is fully integrated with onboard amplification, DSP and network control (via Tannoy’s proprietary VNET system), there’s no need for additional outboard power and processing and setting the system up and tuning to each venue is quick and easy.
Pierce was keen to emphasise the instant familiarisation and simplicity of operation, commenting “I’m not trying to sugar coat this at all, but after just two gigs with the system, I’m completely comfortable working with the DSP to tune the room out – its super easy thanks to Tannoy’s VNET software working straight out the box, to locate each device and EQ each individual box in minutes. Last night for example, I ended up taking the inside boxes and dropping them 3dB on the fly, just to give me a little more headroom with the vocal mics – crucial with a ground-stacked system – it’s just so user friendly.”
Judging by his early experiences with the Tannoy system, Pierce is convinced of its merits of having that level of performance self-contained in such a compact box. “In this system I definitely see an advantage in point source systems with the smaller amount of boxes.” He continues “Compared with running line array systems in the same venue last year, one VQNET 60 Live is definitely giving us better performance.”
As well as the VQ Live components, the tour’s system also features a number of Tannoy’s VNET 12HP handling side-fill and monitoring duties, configured and controlled on the same network as the VQ Live boxes, thanks to full VNET integration.