Several shows in open-air venues in New Zealand by multi-genre band Six60 on the “Saturday’s” tour in early 2021 were supported by a concert-level sound reinforcement system utilizing L-Acoustics components provided and supported by Auckland-based College Hill Productions.
“Our relationship with Six60 began several years ago,” says College Hill’s Operations Manager Reeco Adriaansen. “Both their FOH engineer, Chris Tate, and monitor engineer, David O’Brien, are part of the College Hill team, and this helps us to ensure that we are always on top of the band’s needs, especially for their bigger shows and multi-date tours.”
Most venues on the tour were flat-field, festival-style sites, which required a system capable of long throw. “L-Acoustics K1 was the only system with the required throw and it has the added bonus of being able to deal effectively with unpredictable elements such as wind and rain,” says Johnny Keirle, front of house system design and system engineer for College Hill.
During the initial show design phase, a clean-looking stage was specified, so the sound team was asked to fly the PA wide and as far upstage as possible. “We had proposed a 20-cabinet hang, but we were asked to compromise due to weight limitations,” explains Keirle. “We reduced that to a 14-cabinet hang, eliminating four K1-SB and two K1. We adjusted the main hang design approach and made minor mechanical adjustments to our now 14 cabinet arrays to get the most impact from the reduced length.”
The final configuration comprised left/right hangs of 10 K1 and four K2 each. Two K1, 12 K2 and four K1-SB subwoofers were deployed for side fill. Eight V-DOSC were flown for L/R delay with five additional V-DOSC floor stacked for the center delay. As there was no possibility to fly subs, the team had to rely exclusively on floor sub arrays, positioning 24 SB28 in 12 stacks of two subs in an arc that followed the irregular shape of the stage lip, working around the barrier line and stage access pathways. Main fill was catered for by 12 dV-DOSC positioned as four stacks of three in the main pit area, with a further six ARCS placed on the outer edge of the pit.
The system was controlled by a total of 66 LA8 amplified controllers and a P1 processor, which was used with the M1 measurement suite for system alignment and optimization during setup and as hardware for console inputs and matrixing, plus for RTA and SPL metering in NWM. The P1 sensor was also used for air compensation control throughout the show.
“There’s nothing else on the market that was up to the job,” says Six60 front of house engineer Chris Tate. “In fact, we had members of staff coming to us post-show to express their amazement at the system, with the venue manager telling us he hadn’t heard sound that good in his entire 15-year career at the venue. This speaks volumes about Johnny and the rest of the team’s work as well as how good L-Acoustics systems are.”
The Six60 “Saturdays” shows have proven so popular that additional dates have been added through April, including an Auckland show at Eden Park on the 24th, where they will be the first musical act to play in New Zealand’s largest sports stadium.