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Lewis Capaldi Performing with d&b KSL System

FOH Staff • International News • March 13, 2020

Lewis Capaldi

BACKNANG, Germany – d&b audiotechnik noted that Scottish singer-songwriterLewis Capaldi is touring with the company’s KSL system this year, chosen for its sound control, clarity and headroom. FOH engineer Andy Bush said that audio clarity and precision are very important with a vocalist like Lewis, who has a lot of nuance. The audio team strives for a fairly flat sound across the frequency range, with controlled and tight low end, clarity in the mid-range and sparkle and air in the high frequencies.

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BACKNANG, Germany – Scottish singer-songwriter Lewis Capaldi is a superstar on the ascent. Capaldi made history as the first artist to both announce and sell out an arena tour before even releasing a debut album. The shows sold out almost instantly (within seconds), and Capaldi will play to over a quarter of a million people at his headline European shows in March 2020.

For this series of breakout concerts — and particularly with an artist, like Capaldi where sound and voice quality is of the utmost importance — the sound crew turned to sound reinforcement products and technologies from d&b audiotechnik.

“For me, the system is all about getting Lewis’ voice, clear, articulate, powerful, and loud enough to comfortably sit above a very loud, enthusiastic crowd without compromising the fidelity or tonality of the show,” said Andy Bush, Front of House Engineer, for Lewis Capaldi tour. “Fans have paid a lot of money to hear his voice and it needs to sound accurate, whether he is chatting to the audience between songs; singing in his quieter baritone voice; or singing in his louder, throatier voice. Every word needs be clear, and having so much headroom available with the KSL System is really refreshing: we don’t have to drive it particularly hard to get excellent coverage with exceptional clarity.”

Bush explained that audio clarity and precision are very important, especially with a vocalist like Lewis who has a lot of nuance. The audio team strives for a fairly flat sound across the frequency range, with controlled and tight low end, clarity in the mid-range and sparkle and air in the high frequencies.

“Lewis has a massive dynamic and frequency range so it’s important to be able to hear exactly what he is saying at all times, regardless of how he is saying it,” added Bush. “For the fans, a large draw of the show is an opportunity to see a live extension of Lewis’ online persona – joking and chatting between songs. Detail & clarity are incredibly important, and the KSL meets these criteria with ease, offering precision and control across the whole venue.”

The d&b KSL System is the versatile, no-compromise, smaller sibling of its ground-breaking big line array GSL. KSL brings to market all the recognizable benefits of its Special Loudspeaker (SL) lineage, including full range broadband directivity, extended LF response and advanced rigging options in an accessible size and performance package.

KSL is designed for sound reinforcement needs of any genre, mobile or installed, from large scale arenas, stadiums and festivals to medium scale applications such as clubs, theaters, houses of worship and performing arts venues. The KSL System employs a combination of techniques to achieve full bandwidth constant directivity pattern control. All SL-Series loudspeakers are constructed using a 2-way active design. This features a low frequency geometry using cardioid technique along with a driver and port layout to produce directivity matched perfectly with the coaxial arrangement of a high efficiency midrange horn and the waveguide mounted high frequency drivers.

“We have played some tricky venues, including some known as being acoustically difficult, and this system did really well,” added Ryan Mcilravey, System Tech, for FE Live. “KSL holds up in venues of all sizes — we have played venues that held 4,000 and venues that held 15,000 and it has performed well in both.”

Mcilravey explained that the touring team often arrive at a venue late morning for a show that same night, but the SL- Series’s quick rigging and the powerful d&b software planning suite make for quick efficient planning and predictable even coverage.

“The crowd’s reaction each night has been great. Using the KSL system is really good fun and I look forward to every show. This is probably my favorite tour I’ve done with Lewis and a lot of that is due to the technology we are implementing,” added Bush. “I always know when I get a d&b system that it will do what I need it to do and that it will give me an accurate reflection of what’s happening in my mix. The system accurately reflects what the mix is doing and that allows the team to be more creative and detail focused. I shall spec KSL for all our forthcoming tours.”

Lewis Capaldi topped the winners at the 2020 Brit Awards, picking up best new artist and best song for his single “Someone You Loved”. The song, which spent seven weeks at No 1 in spring 2019, topped the US charts and earned a Grammy nomination.


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