Country Music Hall of Famer George Strait is back out on the road with Reba and Lee Ann Womack for their second sweep of the US this year.
Dallas-based Onstage Systems is again providing concert sound reinforcement.
For this leg of the tour, George Olson, Strait’s FOH engineer and lead system tech, chose to upgrade the in-the-round setup with the addition of 48 KUDO loudspeaker enclosures and 16 SB28 subs from L-Acoustics.
The KUDO are divided into two pairs of 12-box hangs that address the steeply raked seating sections to the near left and right of the stage – areas that proved a bit challenging for the out-fill arrays deployed on the previous trek.
“KUDO’s ability to be splayed up to 10 degrees has allowed us to cover the full range of side seats – from the front row to the top row – much more smoothly and easily,” says Olson.
“The adjustable directivity of the box has come in handy, too. Our square stage is oriented at 45 degrees like a diamond, so when George, Reba or Lee Ann are out on the point, the PA is actually behind them.”
“I’m using the K-Louvers on the very bottom boxes to bring the audio right up to the barricade, which has been a nice little trick.”
According to Olson, the KUDO are all housed in custom-built “chariots” that simplify their transport and setup.
In addition to riding four-high on a truck between venues, these carts – each containing four KUDO – are hooked together on stage in groups of three and very quickly flown.
The FOH engineer also swapped out Onstage’s legacy L-Acoustics subwoofers with 16 new SB28 subs, which are positioned four per corner in a stereo cardioid configuration.
“With this sub setup, I’ve totally nulled all of the low-end energy in the middle of the stage that used to give my background singers and other players fits throughout the years,” he says.
“The other cool thing about it is that it provides a nice little ‘bounce’ of solid low end there at the point, right behind the subwoofers, which reinforces what the artists are hearing in their in-ears.
“We’re definitely getting more output from the SB28s. Even though I lost some SPL by going with a stereo cardioid setup, the new sub has so much more output to begin with.”
“We find ourselves turning the sub aux send down a bit and still getting more low end than we’ve had before. The sound is much tighter and deeper. Bass guitars, kick drums and other low-frequency elements all sound so nice and full now.”
Onstage also added two more LA-RAK touring racks to the tour’s inventory, bringing the total up to 18. “The entire tour is now exclusively driven by LA8 amplified controllers, which I’m really enjoying,” Olson notes.
The tour will take a two-month hiatus during November and December, then head back out for at least three more months starting in January.
The engineer expects that the current equipment complement will remain unchanged for the duration of the tour.
“However,” he adds, “I wouldn’t be surprised if the entire rig got changed out to KUDO someday because they’re performing so well where we’re using them.”