Following interest from Phil Jones, FOH/production manager for both Royal Blood and Newton Faulkner, Formidable Audio supplied its MkIII Flashlight system for the Ipswich date of Faulkner’s Human Love tour last month. The Corn Exchange house system was considered to be unsuitable for the gig’s needs, according to Jones.
Formidable, which officially launched last year and has an inventory of refurbished Turbosound Flashlight cabinets as its key selling point, provided a 3-wide TFS 780H array over six TSW 721 subs for the date. A fourth TFS 780H was stacked on top of the array to cover the balcony, whilst Floodlight cabinets were used for infill.
“I’ve mixed on Flashlight and Floodlight many times before,” says Jones. “I have particularly fond memories of mixing at The Water Rats pub in Kings Cross on an old Flashlight system, and it had the grunt that other systems simply lacked. As soon as I started listening to the Flashlight this time around, it is very different. In fact, it takes a few minutes to get used to it. I stood against the walls and if you’re not in the coverage of the box there are minimal reflections.
“The top end is what gets me,” he continues. “It’s so transparent. It’s a very sensitive PA and all the subtleties of your mix are so prominent. It can catch you out! But, if you give it time, it can be glorious, too. It sounded like I was ‘in the gig’: the high frequency throws relentlessly. Upstairs on the balcony, where the high and [mid] fequencies were uninterrupted, the detail was excellent.
Jones concludes: “The Flashlight MkIII is not a simple beast; it takes work and if I had it in that room again, I would have had it stacked differently. But the potential is very exciting.”
Gaining such high praise marks the first win for Formidable Audio since appointing its new sales director, Joe Turner. “I’m delighted that Phil chose the Flashlight system,” says Turner. “It was a pleasure to provide it for such a talented engineer and artist. Such musicianship engineered for the audience through the Flashlight system was an absolute joy to listen to. I would urge other bands to hear the sound for themselves.”
The system was driven by Formidable Audio’s modified BSS EPC amplifiers. But these are not the only options: “To continue meeting the needs of our clients, and those of modern touring standards, we are constantly updating our systems and we have a digital option that is compliant with networking protocols such as Dante,” notes Turner.
Formidable Audio has a busy summer ahead and, as such, is looking to increase its hire stock. “We’re currently looking at refurbishing more TSW 718s and TFL 760Hs,” reveals Turner. “The Floodlight cabs also undergo our upgrades to the 6.5” drivers, plus the 1” compression drivers, and give us more options for infill, outfill and sidefill.”