The Killers once again took Capital Sound‘s MLA PA on their current world tour, with the UK leg culminating in two nights at London’s O2 Arena.
Promoting their fifth studio album Wonderful Wonderful, the band were playing through a familiar Martin Audio set-up comprising main hangs of 17 x MLA elements plus 2 x MLD Downfills per side, with side hangs consisting of 12 x MLA plus 1 x MLD Downfill per side. Also deployed were secondary side hangs of 10 x MLA Compact enclosures on each flank. This was to ensure that while the main side hangs provided coverage up to around 8ft-12ft upstage of the downstage edge, the secondary hangs would infill the complete side stage seats with audio coverage.
Mixing at FOH was Kenny Kaiser, and alongside him experienced system tech Toby Donovan.
As for the low frequencies, five MLX subwoofers were flown on each side at a 45° angle between the main and side hangs, while a further 21 x MLX were set across the front, in spaced 7 x 3 array ground stacks, with the bottom enclosure reversed. Flying the subs at 45° ensured good low-end reinforcement round the sides and enabled Donovan to keep the electronic dispersion of the sub array on the ground fairly narrow and the delay time short, thereby keeping the sound punchy.
To complete the coverage, six of Capital Sound’s favoured Martin Audio DD12’s were used as front fills. Through his work with American West Coast-based Delicate Productions, a long-term Martin Audio partner, Kaiser was entirely familiar with MLA, having also worked with earlier systems such as W8L Longbow.
On this tour, explained Kaiser, “my main focus is clarity – and I mix tonality second. When we’ve had some challenges like at Glasgow Hydro or at Brixton academy, using ‘Hard avoid’ [in DISPLAY software] just cleaned everything up.
“I’ve been sitting at like 108dB – I had a peak at 112dB at the O2 Arena, so there’s tons of power in this thing and I’m barely tickling the green meters. The sound is really thumping, I think everyone in the band is super happy – when they come out front and listen they’re pleased.”
Donovan added: “We’re using the latest version of the DISPLAY software to generate the presets which somewhat dictates the coverage the PA achieves through the venue – as well as other factors like SPL profile or if you want to achieve any particular avoidance areas of balcony front, or make the stage a bit quieter. We’re just allocating most of the DSP in order to achieve a decent smooth SPL profile through the venue.”