L-Acoustics reinforces Luke Combs US tour
Monday, 19 August 2019
luke-crewLuke Combs’ audio crew: SES PA/audio tech Jeremy White, PM Jerry Slone, monitor engineer Michael Zuehsow, RF coordinator/audio tech Dan McLaughlin, SES lead audio tech Andrew Steelman, and FOH engineer Todd Lewis
USA - In the two short years since he released his debut album, This One’s for You, Luke Combs has soared in popularity. Recently honoured as the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry, the North Carolina native is now taking a breather between the first and second North American legs of his Beer Never Broke My Heart Tour, which is being reinforced via Special Event Services’ (SES) L-Acoustics K1/K2 loudspeaker rig.
The first stretch of Combs’ arena headlining trek initially ran from March through July and quickly sold out every venue, prompting the musician to add a 29-date fall leg running from late September through early December.
“When putting together my production budgets for the 2019 tour, Michael Brammer from SES and I discussed the PA options in their inventory,” notes production manager Jerry Slone. “When I found out that K1/K2 would fit within our budget, it was a no-brainer. Although I’m currently serving as the production manager on this tour, I’ve also spent many years working with other artists as a front-of-house engineer, so I’m very familiar with L-Acoustics, which made it easy to choose K1/K2 as the rig we'd both need and want to have out with us.”
The loudspeaker complement for the tour is comprised of a dozen K1 flown over as many as six K2 down-fills per side, with 12 additional K2 per side serving as out-fill arrays, plus four ARCS II for side-fill as needed. Robust low-end reinforcement is delivered via a dozen KS28, deployed in a variety of configurations depending on each venue’s geometry. Three LA-RAK II, each housing three LA12X amplified controllers, provide the power and processing for the K1 and KS28 enclosures, while three LA-RAK, each housing three LA8, drive the rest of the L-Acoustics system.
SES System Tech Joe Lefebvre spearheaded the system design for each tour stop using L-Acoustics Soundvision 3D simulation software. “I pre-planned every show I could with the Soundvision room data files that I had access to, and Vic Wagner [L-Acoustics application engineer, touring] was super helpful in hunting down any room drawings I did not have,” he says. “Having the files gave me a great head start on how I wanted to deploy the rig, and Soundvision’s new Autosolver tools are really nice.”
Paired with a DiGiCo SD12 desk at front of house and SD-Rack loaded with new 32-bit input cards, the loudspeaker system’s smooth setup and tuning process ultimately translates into FOH Engineer Todd Lewis having a terrific experience with the rig night after night. “We heard very positive comments from a lot of people on the sound during the first run, including from country star Mark Wills, who told me that he could hear every detail of every instrument, and could close his eyes and know where every player was on stage,” Lewis recalls. “I couldn’t ask for a better compliment than that.”
(Jim Evans)

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