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For the UK leg of the tour the band’s production team opted to use d&b audiotechnik’s GSL PA system from the ground-breaking SL-Series.
The GSL system is provided and supported on tour by Capital Sound, part of Solotech UK Group. As long-standing clients of Solotech, the band’s sound team was able to draw on the company’s continuing investment in d&b systems to specify an extensive GSL/KSL setup for this major tour.
“The first time I used the SL Series was at a festival in Memphis,” says The Killers’ front-of-house sound engineer, Kenny Kaiser, who works closely with monitor engineer Marty Beath on all aspects of the band’s touring sound spec. “We just turned up and used it, and I was floored – it was awesome.”
The Killers production team worked with Solotech Senior Technical Advisor Robin Conway to finalise the system specification for the 2022 stadium tour. The design has main hangs of 16 x GSL8 and 4 x GSL12 cabinets left and right, plus 10 flown SL-SUBs per side and 14 x GSL8 and 2 x GSL12 left and right for side arrays. For delays, the smaller KSL8 was deployed in hangs of 16 cabinets per side.
On the ground are SL-GSUBs, stacked six-wide and two-high, their arrangement of 21” speakers extending the system’s characteristic cardioid pattern control down to 30Hz. “Low end is always an issue in stadiums,” says Kaiser, “but the control here with the flown subs and the G-SUBs, it’s just great.”
Kenny Kaiser and Robin Conway both confirm that setup and optimization with d&b’s ArrayProcessing software is straightforward. Conway says, “It’s a powerful system that does throw a long way. And with ArrayProcessing, that takes care of the frequency response front-to-back. It means the system tech can focus on the finer details and how the arrays interact with each other.”
The system’s performance in these large venues has been enjoyed by the sound team: “I’ve been impressed by the evenness of the coverage,” says Kaiser. “Compared with previous d&b systems I’ve used, [the GSL] sound is smoother, more uniform.”
As with all the SL-Series, the GSL employs a combination of cardioid techniques which result in the rejection of energy to the rear, meaning a more comfortable working environment onstage – as well as lower off-site sound emissions. Kaiser comments, “The back end is quiet and it’s really clean on stage, which makes life easier for everyone. Marty can get his mix out without fighting, so everyone’s happy. And when everyone else is happy, I’m happy!”
The d&b audiotechnik system was supplied as part of a full touring package from Solotech. The tour fell at the busiest time of the year and the package was testimony to the flexibility of the UK operation. The system was put together in the group’s Wigwam warehouse, with the package designed and managed by Jack Langfeld and Oliver Twiby in Heywood.
At FOH Kenny Kaiser opted for a Solid State Logic L550 console. In a previous interview, Kaiser commented, “I’ve been on that thing since it came out and I absolutely love it. It sounds great, it’s an easy workflow for me and it’s rock solid. I haven’t had any serious issues, and for the minor issues I have had, I can pick up the phone and I get a call right back within minutes telling me what’s wrong and how to fix it.
Over on monitors, Marty Beath also selected an SSL L550: “I love this thing. There’s a depth that no other digital consoles have,” he said of the console. The Engineer explained that he used to be on the DiGiCo SD7, but when Kaiser changed to the SSL, the tour package size became “ridiculously large”. He commented: “I needed SD racks and he needed the 32 preamps – so in order to reduce our environmental footprint, I decided to change consoles. We’re very conscious of the environmental side of things; we try to save space and weight wherever we can.”
Kenny Kaiser was delighted with the tour: “The GSL goes up really quick. The team arrives on site about 3pm, and it’s always up, checked and verified in three hours. In terms of tourability, I’d give it ten out of ten – honestly.”
“We’ve had comments from guests and promoters on the tour, saying it’s some of the best sound they’ve ever heard at their. As for the Solotech crew, they have been absolutely amazing – great to work with.”
Robin Conway summed up the project for Solotech: “The Killers are a well established Capital Sound client, so it was great to work with, Production Manager Michael Olberg and the production team once again. Many thanks to the entire Killers crew and our own Solotech crew who brought together a great show during one of the busiest summer’s on record. We look forward to working on their next project, whenever that will be.”
The Killers tour continues through the forthcoming European festival season, and then on to North American and Australasian shows later in the year.
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