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d&b KSL system powers Lewis Capaldi’s European tour

"The KSL system is really good fun"

Scottish singer-songwriter Lewis Capaldi – the first artist to both announce and sell out an arena tour before even releasing a debut album – relied on d&b audiotechnik for the sound on his European tour.

“For me, the system is all about getting Lewis’ voice, clear, articulate, powerful, and loud enough to comfortably sit above a very loud, enthusiastic crowd without compromising the fidelity or tonality of the show,” said Andy Bush, FOH engineer for Lewis Capaldi’s tour. “Fans have paid a lot of money to hear his voice and it needs to sound accurate, whether he is chatting to the audience between songs; singing in his quieter baritone voice; or singing in his louder, throatier voice. Every word needs to be clear, and having so much headroom available with the KSL system is really refreshing: we don’t have to drive it particularly hard to get excellent coverage with exceptional clarity.”

Bush explained that audio clarity and precision are very important with a vocalist like Capaldi, who has a nuanced performance style. The audio team strived for a fairly flat sound across the frequency range, with controlled and tight low end, clarity in the mid-range and sparkle and air in the high frequencies.

“Lewis has a massive dynamic and frequency range so it’s important to be able to hear exactly what he is saying at all times, regardless of how he is saying it,” added Bush. “For the fans, a large draw of the show is an opportunity to see a live extension of Lewis’ online persona – joking and chatting between songs. Detail and clarity are incredibly important, and the KSL meets these criteria with ease, offering precision and control across the whole venue.”

KSL is designed for the sound reinforcement needs of any genre, mobile or installed, from large scale arenas, stadiums and festivals to medium scale applications such as clubs, theatres, houses of worship and performing arts venues. The KSL system employs a combination of techniques to achieve full bandwidth constant directivity pattern control, and all SL-Series loudspeakers are constructed using a two-way active design. This features a low frequency geometry using cardioid technique along with a driver and port layout to produce directivity matched with the coaxial arrangement of a high efficiency midrange horn and the waveguide mounted high frequency drivers.

“We have played some tricky venues, including some known as being acoustically difficult, and this system did really well,” said Ryan Mcilravey, system tech, for FE Live. “KSL holds up in venues of all sizes — we have played venues that held 4,000 and venues that held 15,000 and it has performed well in both.”

Bush continued: “The crowd’s reaction each night has been great. Using the KSL system is really good fun and I look forward to every show. This is probably my favourite tour I’ve done with Lewis and a lot of that is due to the technology we are implementing. I always know when I get a d&b system that it will do what I need it to do and that it will give me an accurate reflection of what’s happening in my mix. This allows the team to be more creative and detail-focused. I shall spec KSL for all our forthcoming tours.”