The Red Hot Chili Peppers took their funk-rock sound around the arenas of Europe towards the end of 2016, with Czech rental company High Lite supplying a combination of L-Acoustics K1, K2 and Kara systems.
High Lite started working with the band in 2011 and has been their chosen European PA supplier ever since.
FOH engineer for the tour was Dave Rat, whilst Mark Vanderwall manned the monitor position, and Jim Lockyer, who also designed the PA system, took on the role of systems engineer.
“The band’s management has always been committed to quality audio on tour. They know this is how the artist reaches their audience,” explained Lockyer. “To that end, they move about the arena during the show to listen in different locations, to make sure the paying ticket holder gets their money’s worth. If there is ever an issue, I'll be the first to know about it. Thankfully that is very rare.”
The decision to use L-Acoustics products stems from the collaboration between Jim and FOH engineer Dave Rat.
“We had used it on the previous Peppers tours and always had great results,” Lockyer continued. “We both feel that as far as fidelity, controlled coverage patterns and the fact that these products can deliver high volume, full range sound without the need for additional flown subwoofers, it fits our needs. Also, the excellent software prediction tools that Soundvision provide allows us to accurately map venues for amazing coverage.”
The system comprises 14 K1 with six K2 under hung per side for the main system. The first side hang comprises two K1 and 14 K2 per side, while side hang two features 12 Kara per side. An additional two ARCS II per side were flown for in fill, whilst front fill comprises 12 Kara. Sub bass is handled by 36 KS28 subs, 12 each left and right, sitting across the front of the stage. Amplification is provided by a total of 60 LA8 and 13 LA12X units.
“I added two K1 boxes to the top of the array to raise the high-end density for the long throws into the corners, as each box has three high frequency drivers with only a five-degree vertical coverage,” Lockyer explained. “For our third hang upstage, I chose Kara boxes; because of their high output, 110-degree coverage and small size, they are perfect for the shorter throw and higher vertical coverage needed. The combination of the three arrays allows us to achieve 270 degrees of coverage in most venues.”
“When I am mixing, my goal is to connect the artist with the audience in the most immersive and exciting ways possible,” said Dave Rat. “The reason I choose an L-Acoustics system is that having a sound system which offers clarity, uniform coverage and especially a smooth reproduction of the entire audible spectrum is absolutely critical to achieving my goal.”