L-Acoustics adds bite to Vampire Weekend
Tuesday, 24 September 2019
vampireVampire Weekend’s audio crew - Fred Cantin, Matt Andrade, Neil Heal, Justin Stiepleman, Ben Malone, and Nikki Berna
USA - Vampire Weekend is currently touring North America in support of its fourth studio album, Father of the Bride. Much has changed over the past six years, when the band released its previous record, Modern Vampires of the City, but one thing that hasn’t is the group’s continued use of L-Acoustics loudspeakers for its touring PA.
Serving as Vampire Weekend’s FOH engineer for over a decade, Neil Heal has long been a fan of the French manufacturer’s products. “L-Acoustics is simply one of the very best systems out there, and I love the scalability of K1, K2, and Kara all sounding consistently great and working together seamlessly,” he says. “We’re primarily using K2 mains and Kara out-fills on this tour, and I also love the fact that the arrays go down so low, frequency-wise, without ever being muddy. We could almost do shows without the subs, but they’re certainly nice for moving the air.”
For the current North American trek, Solotech FOH systems engineer Ben Malone notes that the typical system configuration for most venues comprises left and right arrays of 18 K2 per side, with adjacent out-fill arrays of 12 Kara on each side for out-fill coverage. Six additional Kara are spread across the stage lip for front-fill, while four ARCS II provide out-fill near the front. A dozen KS28 subs anchor the low-end reinforcement, and the entire system is powered by 24 LA12X and six LA8 amplified controllers.
No stranger to using L-Acoustics Soundvision software to set up each show, Malone has been using the programme’s new Autosolvers for the first time with stellar results. “The Autosplay tool, in particular, is fantastic,” he shares. “The fact that the user can see it trying different angles as it works through calculations is actually a big confidence builder in the tool. It can get things very close to a suitable deployment much faster than via user trial and error, so I’ll use it and then tweak angles a bit from there.”
Back at the FOH mix position, Heal - who spends most of his time behind a DiGiCo SD5 console topped with a pair of compact self-powered L-Acoustics 108P for nearfield monitoring - is very much enjoying the sound that the rig is delivering night after night, especially as the band’s production needs have increased since past tours.
“With the new album, the band’s line-up and inputs have grown massively since the early days,” Heal recalls. “When I first started with them, I think they were a four-piece with 24 inputs; now it’s a seven-piece and, with FX and all, the show’s input count is closer to 120. All the reviews I have read have commented very much on how much bigger, more exciting, and better the band sound after the line-up change. They do sound huge at the moment and the clarity I’m being given every day from the SD5 and K2 combination means I am able to get really good separation on every input.”
(Jim Evans)

Latest Issue. . .

Tweets from our Friends