Entec debuts d&b C3 at Royal Albert Hall
Tuesday, 8 April 2003
Entec debuts d&b C3 at Royal Albert HallAli Viles, Paul 'Rambo' Ramsay, Richie Gibson, Ian Horne (Madness FOH engineer) and Stefano Serpagli.
UK - Entec Sound installed a large d&b system - including the new long-throw C3 speakers - into London’s Royal Albert Hall for last week’s six-night Teenage Cancer Trust event. This was the first time the C3 has been used in this high profile venue. The TCT shows, featuring some of the UK’s top bands and performing artists, were organized by Harvey Goldsmith and a hand-picked production team. The aim was to raise funds and awareness for the charity, which is greatly supported by Roger Daltrey.

Entec’s innovative system design was a collaboration between their own Tristan Johnson and d&b’s Ralph Zuleeg. The pair designed and flew the PA and set up the system, before leaving the running and day-to-day tweaking to Entec’s crew chief Ritchie Gibson. Johnson explains that the RAH was the ideal venue to put the C3 through it’s paces in terms of throw distances, which can be deceptively large! Their goal was to reduce the centre cluster size and improve sightlines, whilst still getting a clear sound image everywhere in the glorious Victorian space. The result was a resounding success.

Bands ranged from Madness to Eric Clapton, Coldplay to Supergrass and The Doves to Richard Ashcroft - all of whom brought their own FOH engineers. So another key element to the audio set up was in ensuring total system flexibility and the ability to deal with a huge diversity of musical - and engineer’s mixing - styles. The main system was configured in two elegant left and right centre clusters, each a mixture of d&b C3s, C4 tops and subs - the C4 sub works well in the Hall, C7 tops and B2 subs, with Max’s for front-fills. A further eight C7s were flown stage left and right to cover the rear of the choir stalls, and four E3s covered the front. Johnson reckons they saved at least eight boxes and 2ft of space per cluster by using the C3s.

Entec supplied a Midas XL4 at FOH for the main band and a Heritage 3000 for the each night’s opening acts. Entec’s head of sound Dick Hayes studied all the various bands’ spec sheets beforehand, and made sure all their stipulated effects were supplied in the FOH rack. These included a TC M5000, Lexicon PCM 91/81 and SPX990 digital reverbs plus industry standard stalwarts like the Eventide H3000 harmonizer and Roland SDE 3000 delay, and the usual compliment of Drawmer gates, BSS, DBX and Summit compressors. The effects rack was shared between the two FOH desks.

They used XTA DP226 system processors for time alignment with Klark Teknik EQ, the speakers being powered by the proprietary d&b amplifiers. Monitors consisted of an Entec APW wedge system, and some bands used their own IEMs. Entec also supplied a selection of mics including Shure, AKG and Audio Technicas, a Shure UHF radio mic system and KT and BSS DI boxes. Monitor desks were a Midas XL3 for the supports and another Heritage 3000 for the main acts. Lighting was supplied by LSD Fourth Phase and video equipment by both XL Video and PSL.

(Lee Baldock)

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