No End to the Affair with L-Acoustics on Ben Howard tour
Horizontal directivity of K2 adapts perfectly to wide range of venues
Singer-songwriter Ben Howard’s UK tour is keeping rental company Nitelites on its toes; with a band full of studio engineers, there really is no room for error. “It’s good for us, because it keeps us sharp,” says Nitelites’ director Andy Magee, who has chosen a substantial L-Acoustics system to deliver the quality of audio his artists demand.
Following his sold out UK tour in November and December, taking in venues such as London’s Brixton Academy and Manchester’s O2 Apollo, Howard completed a hugely successful UK arena tour in April, with three nights at London’s Alexandra Palace, Birmingham’s NIA, Glasgow’s SSE Hydro and Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena on the schedule.
The team at Nitelites met with tour production manager Chris Pollard, and it was agreed that an L-Acoustics K2 system would satisfy the criteria for nearly all the venues on the December tour.
“One really great thing with K2 is the new changeable horizontal directivity,” explained Magee. “We were going from very wide to very long venues, so being able to change the horizontal directivity and get more energy in the far field was great. With other fixed directivity products we would have struggled to get that.”
The general setup was 16 K2 deployed for the main PA, with K2 side hangs, a centre cluster of 16 or 18 SB28 subwoofers, ARCS II left and right ground stacked and Kara as fills. The main system was looked after by Jamie Moore, with Lee Saddington taking care of monitor engineer Barrie Pitt and his system, which included L-Acoustics SB28, with ARCS II or Kara for side fills.
For the arena dates, Nitelites increased the size of the PA, running up to 92 L-Acoustics cabinets, using a combination of 16 K1, plus K2 side hangs, with Tim Wann taking over systems engineer duties.
“Since I started with Ben in 2012, we’ve always used L-Acoustics,” explains Andy. “On some of the smaller shows we did last summer we used Kara, and for the festivals run we had either K1 or V-DOSC. On Ben’s last tour, there were one or two small shows of around 1,500 capacity, everything else was between 2,500 and 8,000 and K2 was perfect for every one of those.”
The reason behind this dedication to L-Acoustics, says Andy, is “it just delivers! I’m always more satisfied with the results and consistency we get with L-Acoustics over other systems we’ve used. I like as much control as possible and the K2 helps me do that.”