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KV2 Audio hits the road in 2019 with major UK theatre tours
UK – KV2 Audio systems are currently on tour in the UK with a number of major productions, notably Kinky Boots and Motown: The Musical, both supplied by Autograph Sound, as well as Tim Firth’s musical, The Band based on the music of Take That and Matthew Bourne’s convention-busting production of Swan Lake which replaces the female corps de ballet with a menacing male ensemble. These and many more productions are currently gracing stages throughout the UK using a variety of KV2 Audio point source systems.
According to Andy Sharman, head of sound on the current UK tour of Kinky Boots, the real advantage of using a point source rig, especially on tour, is its adaptability. “Every theatre is different,” he says. “Using this design of loudspeaker allows us to adjust the configuration from place to place really easily, while staying within the designer’s original vision. It may be a bit old-school, but in reality, if there’s a part of the room that we need to cover, we just install a loudspeaker and point it there! It sounds too simple to be true, but it works!”
Sharman also highlights the fact that whilst on tour, there is no guarantee that all of the local regional theatres will have the necessary flying points required to accommodate a line array system. However, a modern point source system can be installed quickly and easily just about anywhere and in a variety of configurations for smooth, even coverage in any venue. The Kinky Boots touring set up deploys two KV2 ESR215s and four EX15s on the proscenium, two EX26s and a single EX12 above centre-stage plus one VHD2-18K subwoofer per side. “This gives us even coverage throughout and plenty of headroom for a very lively musical production,” affirms Sharman.
Morgan Rogers is Sound No 1 on the touring version of the irresistible Motown: The Musical and she agrees wholeheartedly. “This is my first production using a KV2 point-source system, and I’m really enjoying it,” she admits. “We’ve moved it a couple of times now, and it’s easy to move and sounds great. I was a little concerned about how we’d manage in the Edinburgh Playhouse which is a notoriously tricky venue from an audio point of view, but we’ve got it more than covered.”
Sound designer, Richard Brooker, is a big fan of KV2 Audio point source systems and has designed a vast number of successful shows using KV2 including a musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night that enjoyed a triumphant run at the Young Vic late last year.
“KV2 manufacture an incredible range of products that have been my go-to speakers since I first tried them back in 2013,” recalls Brooker. “With an incredibly coherent, open and transparent sound, KV2 speakers pack a bigger punch than their actual size right across the board. My personal favourites are the EX range of active speakers which give me the solutions to tricky requirements on any show.”
“Given the shape of the magnificent set that effectively placed the audience on three sides at three different levels, Twelfth Night was a particularly tricky show! I didn’t hesitate to specify KV2.”
Brooker used a combination of KV2 EX 6, EX 10, EX 26 and EX 15 cabinets supplemented by EX 2.5 subwoofers to bring the show to life. “I was able to create an exciting soundscape that faithfully represented the performance from the cast and band and delivered clarity, energy and the excitement of this truly original production to every audience member,” says Brooker. “While we didn’t tour this particular show, I have toured many others using KV2 systems, and as ever, it’s their versatility that saves the day. Because the designs are constructed using a variety of single, stand-alone loudspeakers, it’s easy to adapt the basic design to the specific requirements of the venue. That’s not so easy with a line array system.”
Autograph Sound’s Duncan Bell has the final word: “It’s about choice; line array systems have had a massive impact in theatre and elsewhere but point source technology is (and will likely remain) an invaluable tool for us, especially as companies like KV2 continue to push the point source design envelope, offering sound designers more choice than ever before.”
“Our job as a rental company is to supply sound designers with the equipment they need to realise their design for the show. However, for all but the biggest touring shows, producers have to manage increasing commercial pressures that affect load-in schedules, truck space, crew costs and rental budgets without compromising the quality of their productions. The point source solution addresses these concerns and offers a commercially viable option for us as a rental company, so ultimately, everyone benefits.”
26th February 2019
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