Kensington Presents, founded in 2013, promotes eclectic pop-up shows to intimate audiences at various venues in the Los Angeles area. With locations often changing from one show to the next, the promotion company relies on a versatile Bose Professional F1 Model 812 Flexible Array loudspeaker system to ensure that every performance is heard at its best, whatever the venue.
Kensington Presents, established by three creative talents with years of experience in the music business, event production and marketing, working with major brands and agencies, started out presenting potlucks and live music on the porch of a Victorian house near downtown L.A. six years ago. The events soon outgrew the backyard setting, moving to venues such as The Viaduct, a pop-up space under a road bridge in downtown L.A. that is managed by the California State Parks Department; the York Manor, a renovated historical landmark in L.A.’s Highland Park neighborhood; and Hot Shot Muffler, a former auto repair shop resurrected as a multi-purpose event space by the Kensington Presents team.
Earlier this year, at the York Manor, Kensington Presents called on freelance engineer Raul A. Recendez to run the Bose F1 system for a show headlined by Sean Watkins & Friends (featuring its namesake, one-third of the Grammy Award-winning band Nickel Creek), and also including Austin, TX act Matt the Electrician, and L.A. band Motor Sales. The show was co-promoted by the Bluegrass Situation.
Recendez had not previously visited the York Manor, which holds 220 people and was originally built as a Methodist church in 1913, but this was not his first time with the Bose F1 system. He previously worked with East L.A. equipment rental company Swing House, where, he says, “We had a pair of F1s and used to take them out for intimate gigs or small corporate events. I think they’re great, especially for the intimate venue settings. You get a full range line array with those F1s.”
The Kensington Presents system for the Sean Watkins & Friends show consisted of an F1 Model 812 mid/high array loudspeaker per side, each paired with a 2 x 12-inch F1 subwoofer cabinet. The F1 subwoofer includes an integrated stand to support the Model 812 array. The F1 Model 812 and subwoofer each incorporate a 1000W amplifier.
Recendez, who works regularly at the Lodge Room in Highland Park and the Peppermint Club in West Hollywood, as well as for independent wireless audio specialist Telesonix, explains that the Bose F1 array cabinet can be quickly configured by hand to select from four vertical coverage patterns to suit the needs of any venue. The mid-high array is divided into eight segments that can be reconfigured to create a straight, J, reverse J or C coverage pattern.
For instance, says Recendez, “If there are people sitting on stairs at the back, say, you can flip the top sections of the speakers to cover the top of the stairs,” by creating a reverse J pattern. Alternatively, in a venue with a raked floor, the top and bottom sections of the array can be pushed in to create a C pattern, providing even coverage from front to rear. A custom waveguide generates 100 degrees of horizontal coverage regardless of the array configuration. When the operator changes the array coverage pattern the system automatically optimizes the equalization to maintain an ideal tonal balance.
At the York Manor the Bose F1 system was paired with a compact Midas X32 digital mixer located backstage, which Recendez controlled using an iPad. The Midas remote mixing app enabled him to experience the coverage of the Bose F1 rig from anywhere in the venue, which measures approximately 40 feet by 40 feet. “I really enjoy it,” he says. Having an iPad really helps an engineer. You can walk around where people are sitting and listen to how it sounds from where they are sitting or standing and dial it in the way it should sound.”