Robbie Williams’ ‘Take the Crown’ European stadium tour got underway in June this year, featuring an array of equipment from L-Acoustics.
Sherif el Barbari, Robbie's audio system designer and system engineer, designed and spec’d the entire PA system around the requirements of the tour, while Britannia Row, which had already serviced the pop star tours for almost two decades, supplied all the audio equipment.
The full gear inventory included 64 K1, 32 K1-SBs, 44 SB28, 24 V-DOSC, 240 KUDO, 24 KARA, 12 ARCS II and 150 LA-8 amplifiers. A K1 system was deployed in full for this tour. To match the video screen backdrop and gold stage scenery and design, the K1, K1-SB and ARCS II enclosures were all fitted with gold grills.
A flown ring delay system was also deployed in the venues, where the roof structures allowed the system to be hung, significantly improving the quality of sound right to the back of the stadium audiences.
The largest deployment of ring delays was at Wembley Stadium in London, where 126 x KUDO – 14 hangs of nine – were set up. el Barbari commented: “126 KUDO cabinets were used to cover the upper bowl, distributed into 14 hangs of 9 KUDO cabinets. The selective horizontal coverage of the KUDO made it the perfect choice to minimise triangulation time path problems when using multiple sources, which overlap in coverage. The 50° horizontal K-LOUVER setting was used wherever possible to overcome these problems.”
Visiting 11 different countries with such a major production poses challenges even for the most experienced of system engineers, but the use of L-Acoustics' Soundvision software meant these challenges could be predicted and resolved ahead of set-up. el Barbari continued: “The extensive simulations that I was able to do beforehand in Soundvision proved once again to be the most powerful tool to cope with the time limitations one faces in such a big stadium production when it comes to aligning a system comprising of more than 36 arrays and clusters. Without it, I can't think of how we would have been able to run our first show of the tour in the Dublin Aviva stadium where we had a tight noise window of only 2 x 1 hour over two days to align and tune the PA system in a challenging environment.
“I would like to express my sincere thanks to all of the Britannia Row audio crew. They have worked hard to make it all happen. Their efforts and determination is highly appreciated and I will be looking forward to a new challenge to master with such a talented and professional crew.”
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