L-Acoustics Boosts alt-J’s Tour

English indie rock-band alt-J headed out in June 2017 on the start of their Relaxer tour in support of their latest album, with the band’s audio requirements supplied by the rental arm of Rat Sound Systems, znc an L‑Acoustics K series rig providing consistency of sound for the diverse venues on the tour.

FOH Engineer Lance Reynolds, Monitor Engineer Brett Heet and Systems Engineer Tom Worley are fully versed in the requirements of a show that plays in vast spaces, such as the Olympiahalle Munich, to outdoor venues such as Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado.

“The simple answer to why we use L‑Acoustics is that I think it sounds the best,” said Reynolds. “It has delivered a very consistent sounding show every day, and I’ve found myself using less EQ and processing with the K series speakers, compared to other systems. There always seems to be better clarity and depth, which I often find harder to get out of other speakers.”

The general system for the tour comprised main hangs of 12 L-Acoustics K1 over 6 K2, with an additional 6 K1 and 6 K2 as side hangs to cover the full 180° audience. Cabinets were also able to be moved to and from the side hangs, which the Rat Sound team found useful for the varying venue configurations. There were 4 Kara flown as a centre fill, providing consistency and coverage directly in front of the stage for what Worley described as the ‘big fans’. 

Rat Sound used L-Acoustics KS28 subs with alt-J for the first time on this tour. They were mostly ground stacked, with 9 stacks of 2 L-Acoustics KS28 at 2.5m intervals positioned in front of the stage, but the ability to fly them was also taken advantage of on occasion and delivered great results.

“The KS28 rigging has improved efficiency and the LA12X amplified controller delivers the power required for a show like this,” explained Worley. “At Red Rocks, for example, we flew 9 KS28 per side, which delivered smoother coverage in the vertical and an improved LF response from the system in the near and far field.”

“Making any system sound the same everywhere is actually a real challenge,” he continued. “I think the advancements in L‑Acoustics 3D acoustical simulation programme Soundvision, as well as LA Network Manager, the remote control system for the LA12X amplified controllers, have really helped us to achieve the consistency we want. Having the ability to drop your touring system into a saved venue space in advance and make small changes on the day makes things a lot easier and faster for me. I also have our set and lighting design drawn as 3D room data, so I can import that and check sight lines, which keeps the promoters happy.”

“Soundvision and LA Network Manager are outstanding tools,” concluded Reynolds. “They’re definitely a contributing factor to why we choose L-Acoustics. Honestly, with those tools and his expertise, Tom gets it right every time.”