Having successfully introduced the Italian-made K-array self-powered live performance speaker lineup to the U.S. market at this year’s Summerfest, Clearwing Productions, Inc. is now putting it through its paces nationwide.
Through the months of October and November, the Milwaukee-based lighting and sound production provider has been exclusively using K-Array’s ultra-compact, light and unobtrusive, yet powerful and intelligible, speaker technology at each of the fall series of regional conferences annually hosted by the National Association for Campus Activities (NACA).
For the six-week NACA tour, Clearwing Productions fielded a K-array system comprising four KH4 self-powered mid-high line arrays, eight KS4 self-powered low-frequency speakers and four Ko70 Overbass Series self-powered dual 21-inch subwoofers.
A pair of KH15 self-powered two-way line array speakers provided front fill.
With the flat panel KH4 and KS4 line array elements measuring just a fraction over six inches deep, the K-array system is easy to fly.
“We’re hanging it off our lighting truss so that makes setup even faster,” says Clearwing Productions engineer Bill Price. “It’s lightweight, compact, durable, roadworthy and sounds great.”
With each mid-high and low-frequency array measuring just 44 inches wide by 24 inches high, the K-array rig is not only lightweight but also unobtrusive – a bonus in the setting of the NACA regional conferences.
“It’s really small,” according to Price, “which works well, because we’re in a corporate setting. So looks-wise it’s not a big, clunky line array.”
The K-array system, which is exclusively distributed in North America by Sennheiser, first made a splash during Summerfest, the world’s largest music festival, which is held in Milwaukee over an eleven-day period culminating in the 4th of July holiday weekend.
At JoJo’s Martini Lounge at Summerfest the system demonstrated its ability to tame an acoustically unfriendly venue.
“It was so directional, with even coverage throughout the whole venue. I was very impressed with it,” Clearwing project manager Chris Balke notes. “It’s a good sounding box – right out of the box!”
The NACA, established in 1960, is a non-profit organization that allows representatives from college and university campuses throughout the United States to preview and book talent for the coming year.
Each regional NACA conference features talent showcases by musical acts, comedians and other entertainers over a three-day period.
This year, the regional conference schedule started on October 1st at Winston-Salem, North Carolina (South) and progressed through Lancaster, Pennsylvania (Mid-Atlantic); Arlington, Texas (Central); Covington, Kentucky (Mid-America); Portland, Oregon (West); Hartford, Connecticut (Northeast); and St. Paul, Minnesota (Northern Plains).
Over the course of each regional conference the K-array system has had to cope with a broad variety of entertainment showcases.
“It’s fifty different acts in a weekend – bands, singer-songwriters, comedians, it runs the gamut,” explains Price.
Despite the relatively compact physical dimensions of the K-array rig, it has had no problem coping with even the loudest acts.