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‘An expanse of creative freedom’: Kraftwerk tour Tokyo with d&b Soundscape and KSL combo

The combined use of KSL and Soundscape was a world first and an ideal complement to the visual 3D experience offered by the Kraftwerk performances

Kraftwerk recently put on four sold-out shows in Tokyo with d&b audiotechnik Japan providing immersive sound solutions.

The sound solutions included KSL loudspeakers with D80 amps and d&b Soundscape. The combined use of KSL and Soundscape was a world first and an ideal complement to the visual 3D experience offered by the Kraftwerk performances.

The main hangs flown at the concerts were five KSL arrays, each consisting of six KSL8 (top) and two KSL12 (bottom). Behind each of the five main hangs were two flying SL-SUBs. They supplemented the KSL arrays in the low frequency range and delivered evenly distributed bass throughout the entire hall. The KSL Systems were driven using d&b ArrayProcessing.

The surround reproduction came from 20 point source loudspeakers from the d&b Y-Series consisting of six Y10P (110° x 40°) and 14 Y7P loudspeakers (75° x 40°). Each side of the hall had seven positions supplemented by six rear positions.

The d&b loudspeakers were driven by 32 high-performance four channel D80 amps. Their integrated DSP modules were used for system equalisation. The amps received their signals over four DS10 audio network bridges.

MSI JAPAN was in charge of the technical equipment for Kraftwerk’s stage shows in Japan, while the KSL loudspeakers and the SL-SUBs were supplied by Arxiduc Audio Co. Ltd. and d&b Japan.

The AV concept was to present concert-goers with a stereoscopic 3D projection flanked by an immersive audio experience. This was achieved by using a d&b DS100 signal engine coupled to the mixing console system by MADI. Serge Gräfe controlled the individual signals by using the En-Scene user interface provided in the R1 Remote control software.

In addition to En-Scene, Serge Gräfe also used En-Space room emulation for the concerts in Tokyo. “I just love that thing,” he said. “Take an example: On the Spacelab track, I love pushing the synthetic pads in En-Space – it sounds seriously cool. En-Space generates room acoustics that I just can’t get in conventional stereo reverb.”

Craig Lovell, who supported the Tokyo shows, commented: “The Kraftwerk shows here in Tokyo were very impressive. Using Soundscape always puts a smile on my face, and this was no different. Soundscape opens up an expanse of creative freedom that you just don’t get in traditional LR configurations. Think of it as an audio canvas to play with. There is ample room to place the sources anywhere on stage without the need to make significant EQ adjustments to make them fit in the mix. The surround content then enhanced the performance further. It was subtle and perfectly combined with the 3D visuals.”

Gräfe concluded: “At the concerts in Tokyo, it was the first time I used d&b KSL loudspeakers. I really appreciate the balanced sound pattern and I’m a fan of the distinct rear attenuation. On top of that, what I found great with the KSL was its fine resolution; treble reproduction is just simply out of this world. At present, my top favourite combination is KSL Systems with Soundscape.”