d&b SL-Series delivers on Dave’s We’re All Alone In This Together arena tour

Dave's most recent tour assisted by d&b's SL series. Photo: Jordan McLachlan

A d&b audiotechnik SL-Series sound system was chosen by FOH Engineer, Charles Bidwell to power Dave’s arena tour shows. 

Bidwell, has this time opted for 16 GSL12 three-way line array loudspeakers for the main hangs, with 14 KSL12 loudspeakers for sides, while front fill was handled by a sextet of Y10P point source loudspeakers.

No less than 20 SL-SUBs handled the deep lows required for Dave’s hip-hop stylings and a further eight KSL loudspeakers were employed in each of three delay hangs to provide ample coverage for the large capacity venues. The d&b inventory for the tour was supplied by d&b partner SSE Audio, part of Solotech. 

The KSL and GSL systems are part of the d&b SL-Series, the only modern line array system able to achieve horizontal directivity control over the entire audio spectrum. Thanks to its impressive cardioid dispersion pattern, the SL-Series delivers quieter stages for performers, maximum clarity and power for the audience, and minimal noise for those beyond. 

“There’s an awful lot happening on-stage during this show,” explained Bidwell, “Dave, who raps, sings, plays piano and now guitar, a live band that consists of drums, bass, guitar, keyboards and six backing vocalists. All supported by 16 channels of playback and enormous video wall interludes.”

“I need to glue all of these musical elements together into a show that flows perfectly from track to track and then make sure that Dave’s vocal is placed front-and-centre. With the SL-Series, there’s a real sonic transparency out of the box and the workflow is fantastic, so it makes a tour of this scale as straightforward as possible. The ArrayCalc simulation and R1 remote control software are extremely powerful and flexible tools. The PA flyers were using the ArrayCalc Viewer app on iPhone to quickly reference the ArrayCalc design specifications on the fly. It works brilliantly, so once everything is designed correctly in ArrayCalc, when you unmute the SL-Series you’re immediately presented with the clarity and raging power that d&b are known for.

The ArrayCalc Viewer app provides data such as splay angle, amplifier channel ID and cabling information, flying frame height and the height of the lowest edge, frame angle, horizontal aiming, Pickpoints, weight and load status. Any change to the system design can be distributed to each user immediately, ensuring an efficient and user friendly approach to rigging, and supporting the system setup as a whole. 

“The integration of the system and the software is key to delivering the kind of consistency we need on a tour of this scale,” Bidwell continued. “It’s one thing being able to get one venue to sound great, particularly if you’re doing multiple nights there. But to be able to move around the country and know that the experience you’re giving the audience doesn’t change is really important.”

“We ran the GSLs in compression mode and the arrays were very quick to get set and fly. They go up very fast, which is always really welcome on big tours like this where there’s so much going on at each venue.”

Summing up his thoughts on the tour, Bidwell pointed out: “It really doesn’t matter where you use d&b, the core experience is the same. Incredible power balanced with exceptional clarity, no matter the setting – so it’s easy to scale up and work in the way that suits you. Alongside the performance of the SL-Series, that really made for a thoroughly rewarding tour.”