Jamie Abbott plays the coffee shops
UK - As part of its music and arts promotional campaign, coffee shop chain Caffè Nero is hosting an ongoing series of free live gigs by up-and-coming artists at its UK outlets. July has seen guitarist/singer-songwriter Jamie Abbott nominated as the retailer's Artist of the Month, accompanied by a compact K-array KB-1 audio system as he travelled across the UK.

Abbott's tour has visited 30 Caffè Nero outlets, tying many of them in with sets at local radio stations. This has meant that he was often playing two or three gigs in different towns or cities on the same day.

Accompanied by upright bass player Tom Kenrick, Abbott needed a high quality but portable system, which could be deployed and packed away again quickly.

Distributed in Britain by Sennheiser UK, the K-array Blueline KB-1 comprises of a 12" sub and eight 3.15" mid/high loudspeakers in line array format, the two elements linked by the familiar speaker pole. Designed with compactness and transportability in mind, it uses materials and techniques associated with high-end systems to deliver professional audio quality at a compact price.

An onboard digital four-input mixer, signal processing and software control (via a linked PC) makes the system exceptionally versatile for smaller live shows. The desired sound is quickly and easily achieved by instantly recallable settings for input levels and the onboard EQ, multi-effects and compressors. The software control also allows modification to the extent and coverage of sound in the vertical plane.

"I've been working with Grammy Award-winning producer Kipper who uses Neumann equipment in his studio. So the link to Sennheiser and K-array came through him," says Abbott. "I've been happy to use the tour to give it a thorough road test and it works really well, we're getting a great sound at the gigs.

"I am terrible when it comes to the technology side of things and the KB-1 is really easy to use. It's also a very compact system and goes up really quickly."

Abbott and Kenrick are also using Sennheiser e 835 microphones on the tour and have appreciated the seamless working between them and the KB-1 system.

(Jim Evans)

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