Blink-182 utilised an Eastern Acoustic Work’s (EAW) Adaptive sound reinforcement system for their North American tour, which played sold out shows nationwide to promote their latest album, California. California-based Rat Sound provided sound reinforcement for the popular punk rock band, which they have done since the band’s rise to fame in the early 1990s.
Jason Decter who has manned FOH for Blink-182 since 2009 said: “I have been involved with EAW’s Adaptive system since it was introduced and felt it not only provided the sonic quality the tour demanded, but was flexible enough to adapt to different venues.”
The Blink-182 tour inventory consisted of 60 Anya and six Anna enclosures supported by 32 Otto subwoofers. Typically, a show would deploy a centre cluster of six Anna modules flanked by Anya columns hung stage left and right. Because both Anya and Anna modules hang straight, the system was easily scaled for venues that required wide horizontal coverage. Adding more loudspeaker columns to the main arrays resulted in a much smoother response throughout the horizontal plane than could be achieved from mechanically articulated arrays.
Decter pursued using the Anya system for the Blink-182 tour after mixing Bassnectar – with tremendous success – on an Anya system at Red Rocks and Alabama’s BJCC Legacy Arena. “I’m typically looking for clean, high SPL and good, fast, transient response,” said Decter. “Pop Punk music is very fast with a high beat count per minute. I needed a system that can take those hits and recover while maintaining fidelity. I’m very impressed with the tonality of the boxes, and the adaptability of the system was exactly what we needed for the tour.”
By using EAW’s Resolution software, the system can automatically define the coverage area after the arrays are hung or identify problem areas in real-time. Once the audience area is defined in the software, the DSP on board each loudspeaker adapts the array’s response to precisely direct the energy of the array for coverage. The sound reinforcement capabilities EAW’s Adaptive system demonstrates made it an excellent choice for meeting the unique challenges that come from working with a timeless three-piece band like Blink-182.
“It was very important that we reproduce the band in a way the fans expect – while still providing them with an experience they won’t forget,” said Decter. “The response from the band, crew, friends of the band, and fans, was overwhelmingly great. We accomplished what we set out to do.”