June 16, 2014, by PSW Staff
Production Resource Group (PRG) has officially begun upgrading to the new L-Acoustics K2 platform with the purchase of two line source array systems. Delivered in mid-May, the sale comprised a total of 48 K2 enclosures and 24 LA8 amplified controllers.
PRG’s inaugural K2 deployment came almost immediately, with two dozen enclosures put into active duty for the 25th annual National Memorial Day Concert on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. in late May. This year’s event, hosted by actors Joe Mantegna and Gary Sinise, featured an all-star lineup of performers, including the National Symphony Orchestra, Jennifer Nettles, Megan Hilty, the U.S. Army Chorus and Air Force Singing Sergeants.
Having supported this annual holiday event for over two decades now, PRG’s new K2 rig replaces the call for V-DOSC used in years past. “PRG has been anxiously waiting for the arrival of the L-Acoustics K2 system and it went right to work at the Capitol for Memorial Day,” says Randy Hutson, GM of PRG Chicago and vice president of PRG Audio. “We’ve been looking for a speaker system that is versatile yet meets the needs of our most demanding clients and L-Acoustics has delivered with the K2. It is a high-powered, full-range speaker that weighs less, has a small footprint, offers excellent audience coverage with superb audio qualities and can easily support multiple markets, from music concerts to corporate events.”
“The K2 gives us more reach into large-scale venues, such as arenas and stadiums, but does so at significantly reduced weight without sacrificing power,” adds Mark Boettcher, project manager at the Memorial Day event and a senior engineer at PRG. “At the same time, its lighter weight means it can go into venues like ballrooms and expo centers that have a lower-load rigging capacity.
“Also, the K2 enclosures have the same width as the L-Acoustics K1, so it has complete rigging compatibility with K1 and K1-SB enclosures. That allows us to use K2 for downfill on K1 arrays. And all of that has significant economic implications, making the K2 extremely cost-effective. There’s just so much in the way of flexibility with the system.”
At the National Memorial Day Concert on the U.S. Capitol’s massive West Lawn, the K2 rig was configured in left and right hangs of 12 enclosures each. These were flown from towers, also used for fixed and moving lighting fixtures, positioned 105 feet downstage of the stage deck. Eight SB28 subs deployed in an end-fire array configuration provided the low-end reinforcement, while 16 coaxial 12XT wedges served as stage monitors. Thirteen LA-RAK touring racks, each loaded with three LA8 amplified controllers, furnished power and processing for the entire system.
In addition to the K2s, the project also used a total of 24 ARCS II loudspeakers—two hangs of five each for the invited-guest main stage, two more hangs of five for the reverse satellite stage, and two hangs of two each flanking the K2 arrays for wide horizontal coverage. Twenty-four dV-DOSC loudspeakers, in four stacks of six enclosures each coupled with a single SB28 sub, provided delay while two more stacks of four dV-DOSC were used as guest area fills positioned on a tower on either side of the stage, also used for lighting fixtures and video screens.
With K2’s new PANFLEX variable horizontal coverage technology, the familiar challenge of surface reflections was easily overcome. “The stage was playing directly into the face of the Capitol building, which is flanked by stairs on either side, but centered on a large, ornate glass window—beautiful, certainly, but nothing we wanted to purposefully fire acoustic energy against,” notes Chris “Sully” Sullivan, L-Acoustics east coast application engineer. “To solve the problem, we viewed the obstacle in SOUNDVISION, predicted which elements in the K2 array were going to hit it, then simply shifted the K2’s pattern asymmetrically for just those loudspeakers in the middle of the array. We reduced the reflected energy in excess of 6 dB, and that was just the direct reflected energy. Combine that benefit with the reduction or elimination of the myriad of tangential off-time tertiary reflections and that becomes a massive win for the whole audience.”
This year’s Memorial Day concert also saw another first. Previously, the show’s FOH had been mixed using a total of three consoles, all connected with multiple copper-cable snakes. This year, PRG ran the entire show on just a pair of DiGiCo SD7 consoles, with six DiGiCo SD-I/O racks and an SD-Mini I/O rack, connected by two fiber-optic cables, with the FOH mix handled by Patrick Baltzell. “This really unified operations at the site and, combined with the much lighter K2 system, gave us the same amount of punch in a smaller and more efficient footprint,” Baltzell notes
The same system will be deployed for the July 4th concert event in the same location. “The K2 will set the benchmark going forward as its predecessor V-DOSC did when it was released years ago,” Hutson states. “Along with K1, this gives L-Acoustics the leading edge in line arrays and we at PRG are very excited to add K2 to our extensive inventory of L-Acoustics products. They listened to our needs and have delivered an innovative product that will perform for years to come.”
Production Resource Group (PRG)