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L-Acoustics uses world’s largest AVB system on Arcade Fire tour

A fully Avnu-certified ecosystem of more than 100 AVB devices was provided by supplier Solotech

L-Acoustics is using the world’s largest audio video bridging (AVB) system on Arcade Fire’s current tour.

The Canadian indie rockers’ Infinite Content tour will head to Mexico and South America at the end of November, having just completed the North American leg of the tour.

Supplied by L-Acoustics’ North American provider Solotech, the tour is carrying 92 AVB-equipped L-Acoustics LA12X amplified controllers, 48 K1 and 80 K2 loudspeakers, 56 KS28 subs, eight ARCS Wide and eight X8 coaxials.

Solotech’s senior audio project manager David Brazeau said: “We conducted some A/B testing here in the warehouse with L-Acoustics last year and discovered that AVB brought a sonic advantage, bringing better translation from analogue to digital.”

Processing is being handled by a pair of redundant Meyer Sound Galaxy units, one driving analog lines over copper for system fallback. All of the equipment from L-Acoustics and Meyer Sound is certified through the Avnu Alliance and networked via the AVB/TSN protocol using Avnu-certified 11 Extreme Networks switches.

“It is exciting to see the power of AVB bring together this magnitude of devices into one reliable, flexible, yet massive touring rig,” said Avnu Alliance Pro AV Segment chair Patrick Prothe. “Having L-Acoustics and Meyer Sound equipment working together in the same setup via AVB is a testament to Avnu certification.”

One of the many benefits of implementing an AVB network has been the reduction in the number of connections, according to Marc-Olivier Germain, owner of Méduse Audio, the designer of the system and the audio system technician on the tour. “I used to drive the amps with AES, and would usually have a network just to do the remote control,” he recalls. “By using AVB, I eliminated one of the two XLR connections on the amplifiers, so there’s less patching and less material to carry around.”

Plus, because every amp is connected via Cat 5 cable, any system reconfiguration and patching is done in the software. “You don’t need to do any physical connections once your network is set up.”

Germain’s loudspeaker design complement includes 12 K1 over four K2 flown at each corner of the 25-foot by 25-foot stage above a four-sided video wall. “By flying the system in this configuration, I stay clear of the moving lighting elements,” he said.

Marc Benard, L-Acoustics’ Head of Application, electronics, said: “Solotech did pretty much everything on their own without having to dig into advanced networking technologies. This is certainly a direct benefit of AVB’s ‘automated real-time networking’ DNA. This is impressive when we consider the size of the system and the importance of this tour. On this project, I particularly liked the fact that AVB Avnu-certified products were used from different manufacturers as opposed to a closed backbone, and there were zero interoperability issues.”