Terminal 5 Gets Upgraded To L-Acoustics K2
The Bowery Presents’ largest New York music venue flying high with new house sound system supplied by See Factor Industry
NEW YORK CITY - November 2015 -- Steps away from the Hudson River on the western fringe of Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen, Terminal 5 is the largest venue of the concert and event properties that comprise the New York City portfolio of national concert promoter The Bowery Presents. The cavernous 3,000-capacity Terminal 5 is the number three club in ticket sales worldwide, and hosts the world’s hippest and edgiest artists on a nightly basis.
Audiences coming through the venue in recent months have been hearing an even fresher sound—that of a new L-Acoustics K2 concert reinforcement system supplied by See Factor Industry Inc., which also provided system design, installation guidance and consulting. The new pair of 12-enclosure arrays and other supplementary gear replaces an older system that had been in place nearly since 2009.
“We had definitely gotten our money’s worth from the old system, but we were looking to further improve the sound of the room,” observes Terminal 5 Production Manager Chris Burrows, who has been with the venue since day one. “The choice of K2 was an easy one because, as a longtime touring-sound mixer, I’ve had plenty of experience with L-Acoustics systems on the road. K2 is a very rider-friendly system, and as a production manager I wanted a PA that would be instantly familiar and comfortable to guest front-of-house engineers when they come here. Plus, Lorne Grabe [Terminal 5 FOH engineer] and I wanted a setup that was more like a touring rig than an installed one; we wanted a sense of stability and flexibility that a touring system provides, especially when presenting as many shows as we do in a calendar year.”
Mark Friedman, executive vice president for See Factor, says the system-design element that helps achieve this is the grouping of the LA amplified controllers in 10 LA-Raks—a configuration familiar to touring mixers and system techs. “The amps are all tethered together in the LA-Raks in groups of three,” he explains. “There’s definitely a touring feel to the system at Terminal 5, which makes it rather unique for a club environment.”
See Factor was with Terminal 5 through what would become a nearly two-year evaluation process for a new system, including arranging two separate demo visits for K2 components before the final decision was reached. The installation was scheduled for July, in the middle of the summer when many top-line acts were on the festival circuit.
“That was the best time to do this, before our busy season began in September,” says Burrows, who spent several years on the road with various bands, including moe., which shared stages with members of the Grateful Dead. “The K2’s rigging made this installation very straightforward. It feels like a touring rig, but it’s solidly in place.” It’s also solid sounding. “We listen and we just love what we hear,” he adds. “L-Acoustics speaks for itself.”
Terminal 5’s performance space, which is essentially a large cube with two balconies, can be a difficult, resonant environment; however K2’s Panflex™—a unique horizontal steering technology that combines mechanically adjustable fins with DSP algorithms effective from 300 Hz—nicely keeps the energy away from the walls without blasting the balconies, which are at PA level, while delivering high impact to the floor and excellent coverage throughout the room.
The new system comprises hangs of 12 K2 enclosures on either side of the stage, with eight SB28 subs ground-stacked in a horizontal line below. Further bolstering the club’s beefy low-end reinforcement are four K1-SB LF extension cabinets flown behind each K2 array, adding additional low end impact, while also providing cardioid cancellation for the stage.
Two ARCS II enclosures are flown above the house-left array and a third is positioned above the house-right array to deliver coverage to the venue’s third level. Four Kara enclosures provide front fills; sidefills are four ARCS Focus configured two per side over SB28 subs, with two SB18s as drum fill subs and two ARCS Focus for drum fill tops.
Venue delay speakers, utilized on all three levels, include ARCS II, ARCS Focus, ARCS Wide, 115XT HiQ and 12XT speakers, while four 8XTi over the main bar act as delay speakers for that zone. ARCS II also proved to be an ideal solution for the stage left section which required a sharp cut-off to reduce volume at the bar, while still imparting high, in-pattern SPL to match the main K2 arrays.
On stage, Terminal 5 currently uses 13 115XT HiQ wedges for monitoring, although these will be replaced with L-Acoustics’ new X15 HiQ enclosures by the end of the year. A combined total of 14 LA8 and six LA4X amplified controllers housed in 10 LA-Raks power the entire system.