Decadence Indulge in L-Acoustics

Photo: aLIVE Coverage

For the final 2 nights of 2017, Global Dance, AEG Presents and Live Nation Concerts helped transform the Exhibit Hall at the Colorado Convention Centre, downtown Denver, into Decadence: City Beyond Tomorrow, billed with simultaneous events in Arizona and Utah as ‘America’s largest NYE dance celebration’.

Attracting approximately 18,000 electronic music fans on both 30 and 31 December, Decadence hosted performances from some of the biggest names in EDM, including Armin Van Buuren, Bassnectar, Big Gigantic, Diplo, Galantis, Gramatik, Justice, ODESZA, Porter Robinson, Zedd and nearly 20 other top acts of the genre.

For sound reinforcement, the event’s 3 promoters turned to local L-Acoustics’ certified provider Brown Note Productions which, with the support of K Systems Engineer (KSE) Dan Bowers, supplied identical K1/K2/Kara systems for the 2 main performance spaces, Halls A and C.

Primary arrays for each hall were comprised of 8 L-Acoustics K1 enclosures over 3 Kara downfills per side, complemented by a sub arc of 32 KS28 in 16 stacks of 2. There were 8 Kara plus 4 ARCS II deployed across the stage as front fills and VIP section fills, while 6 more Kara plus 4 SB18 subs served as (the now industry-standard) DJ fill system. Power and processing for all systems were accommodated by 36 LA12X amplified controllers housed in a dozen LA-RAK II touring racks. With each hall being 720 feet deep, 2 waves of delays were also utilised — the first at 168ft out, and the second at 264ft. These featured left and right delays of 6 K2 per side, with 3 K1-SB flown immediately behind each array.

“Because Halls A and C were so deep, Decadence’s promoters asked us to increase the size and SPL of the delay arrays,” said Brown Note’s Ryan Knutson. “By flying the K1-SB behind the K2 delays, we reinforced the LF contour, freeing up more resources in the low end to achieve the desired contour without having to tax the LF resources of the arrays. The K1-SB really gave the mid to rear sections of the rooms the added LF SPL required to help the fans be fully enveloped in full-range audio throughout the room.”

EDM artists and fans love their low end, which was more than generously supplied by Brown Note’s LA12X-powered KS28. “Our deployment of KS28 really reinforced the low frequency content provided by the artists over the 2 nights,” added Sara Knutson. “We never had issues having enough low end or running into gain reduction for long periods of time. The sub arc offered the width we needed to cover the wide rooms and there was a noticeable increase in bandwidth from the previous year’s deployment.”

Across the board, everyone – artist, promoters and audiences – was satisfied with the event’s sound. “The best compliment from the artists was that we didn’t have any comments,” Knutson joked. “The monitor and PA packages were so good that none of them had to ask for any modifications. And the promoters were all really pleased as well. Eric Pirritt, the president of Live Nation Colorado, told me ‘Every inch of that place was covered in perfect sound—it was groundbreaking!’ To get a comment like that from someone who has heard the number of shows that he has certainly says a lot.”