As part of its music and arts promotional campaign, Caffè Nero is hosting a series of free gigs at its UK outlets by some of the nation’s budding artists, with singer-songwriter Jamie Abbott taking a compact K-array KB-1 system on his travels across the country’s high streets.
Having been nominated as the retailer’s Artist of the Month for July, Abbott’s tour has incorporated visits to 30 Caffè Nero outlets. Accompanied by bass player Tom Kenrick, Abbott required a high quality portable system that could be deployed and packed away again quickly.
Distributed in Britain by Sennheiser UK, the K-array Blueline KB-1 is comprised of a 12” sub and eight 3.15” mid/high loudspeakers in line array format; the two elements linked by the familiar speaker pole. Designed to offer portability and compactness, it uses materials and techniques associated with high-end systems in order to deliver professional audio quality at a compact price.
An onboard digital four-input mixer, signal processing and software control (via a linked PC) are designed to render the system particularly versatile for smaller live shows. Instantly recallable settings for input levels and the onboard EQ, multi-effects and compressors are key features, while its software control also allows modification to the extent and coverage of sound in the vertical plane.
“I’ve been working with Grammy Award-winning producer Kipper who uses Neumann equipment in his studio. So the link to Sennheiser and K-array came through him,” said Abbott. “I’ve been happy to use the tour to give it a thorough road test and it works really well, we’re getting a great sound at the gigs.
“I am terrible when it comes to the technology side of things and the KB-1 is really easy to use. It’s also a very compact system and goes up really quickly.”
Abbott and Kenrick are also utilising Sennheiser e 835 microphones on the tour and have noted the way in which they work with the KB-1 system.
“The KB-1 has presets for particular microphones which is a nice touch. It has saved further time because we don’t have to worry about setting up the EQ on the mics,” Abbott said. “I am also looking forward to being able to control the system via the forthcoming iPad app. That will make it even more convenient.
“It’s been a month of rigorous testing,” he concluded. “It’s already fallen off one of the trollies and is still working fine. The casing is really robust, so any mishap shouldn’t cause a problem for the gig, which is a huge bonus for us. It also created quite a lot of interest. It’s very discrete, but sounds fantastic and people were intrigued by that.”
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