New York (October 12, 2006)–The Red Hot Chili Peppers released Stadium Arcadium this past spring, an album that critics greeted as a return to form after mellower releases in recent years. The ensuing global tour, supported once again by FOH engineer Dave Rat and his company, Rat Sound, is using an unusual loudspeaker setup that doubles up on loudspeaker arrays. According to Rat, the main left and right FOH hang features “two bananas per side” for four arrays each comprised of 12 to 15 V-Dosc over three dV-Dosc. Similarly, the far left and right side hangs are also doubled and consist of nine dV-Dosc per array.
The current Red Hot Chili Peppers tour features V-Dosc array pairs flown on either side of the stage.Rat explains his design philosophy: “My goal was to do something special and unique with the sound for the entire show – not simply create an ‘effect’ that gets used once or twice. After successfully testing a theory on a small scale utilizing home hi-fi gear, Pro Tools, and live Peppers multitrack recordings from the last tour, I chose to implement a plan that revolved around running dual V-Dosc/dV-Dosc arrays covering the same area per side yet feeding different signals through each.
“I have been running the bass and guitar into the outer hangs and dedicating the inner system to vocals, kick and snare with the rest of the drums and cymbals spread between. The concept started as a more tourable implementation of what the Grateful Dead was doing with the ‘Wall of Sound’. I originally was considering three clusters per side but found through testing that most of the advantages could be gained with two. It was the advent of line array systems that has opened the door for multiple systems to be hung side by side and cover the same area without blocking sight lines. The system configuration also, in some ways, resembles the practice of using separate vocal and instrument wedges in a monitor system, just that it is applied on a much larger scale. I have over four months of working with this configuration so far and the dramatic increase in clarity, headroom and control is truly exciting!”