Although the “visuals” are undeniably the reason that the annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show draws such massive attention, the sound may be Victoria’s real secret weapon.
The most recent show at New York’s 69th Regiment Armory venue featured live music from Ellie Goulding, Selena Gomez, and The Weeknd; powered by an L-Acoustics K2 line array, designed by ADI:Audible Difference and deployed by SR provider Solotech.
The main system comprised six hangs of eight K2 enclosures each, with 36 Kara enclosures as a surround setup covering the far sides of the Armory.
Low-end power was provided in the form of six stacks of three SB28 subs each located under the bleachers, with the bottom sub reversed to achieve a cardioid effect.
In addition, 18 ultra-compact 5XT coaxial loudspeakers were nestled into the fascia along the sides of the runway as carefully camouflaged front fills. Thirty LA8 amplified controllers, housed in 10 LA-RAKs and managed by LA Network Manager software, powered the system.
“This was a lot of PA for a relatively small area, but it had to be powerful and sound great,” observes Solotech audio projects manager Patrice Lavoie.
“Victoria’s Secret doesn’t stage a ‘typical’ fashion show; it’s much more high-energy with live artists and needs to have the same kind of punch as a rock show. K2 was the perfect box for delivering the full-range impact we needed for a wide range of musical styles.”
Lavoie says that K2’s broad frequency response and tight directivity provided exceptional coverage to all in attendance. “The K2’s waveguide was perfect for the way the runway stage was positioned inside the hall,” he explains. “It focused the sound on the seats—and not the walls—keeping everything very clear.”
Equally key was the system’s low weight and rigging flexibility, which allowed the Solotech crew to fly the arrays tilted forward above the lighting trusses and not be visible on camera, certainly an important consideration for TV and awards shows.
When system designer Erich Bechtel of ADI:Audible Difference, who has been Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show lead audio designer for the past seven years, asked Solotech for a recommendation, Lavoie says he never hesitated in suggesting K2.
“It did a fantastic job on this show,” he says. “K2 sounded as good as the models looked.” And when the models are Victoria’s Secret Angels, that’s saying a lot.