L-Acoustics Arrays Fly With Victoria’s Secret’s Angels
Large K2 system, designed by ADI and deployed by Solotech, reinforces NYC event, including performances by Ellie Goulding, Selena Gomez and The Weeknd
NEW YORK CITY - January 2016 -- Although the “visuals” are undeniably the reason that the annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show draws such massive attention, the sound may be Victoria’s real secret weapon. When the Angels strutted down the runway of their most recent show at New York’s venerable 69th Regiment Armory venue near Gramercy Park, they were joined by live music from UK singer/songwriter Ellie Goulding (six consecutive #1 singles including “Burn” and “Love Me Like You Do”), film/television/music star Selena Gomez, and Grammy-nominated, multi-platinum game-changer The Weeknd. To get that level of music power across required its own kind of star power: an L-Acoustics K2 line array PA system.
Viewers at home—the event was broadcast on CBS during prime time on December 8—saw a great show, but those in the Armory’s arena heard an even more amazing one thanks to a large K2 system designed by ADI:Audible Difference Inc. and deployed by SR provider Solotech.
The main system comprised six hangs of eight K2 enclosures each, with 36 Kara enclosures as a surround setup covering the far sides of the Armory. A show like this needs low-end power and L-Acoustics provided plenty of it in the form of six stacks of three SB28 subs each located under the bleachers, with the bottom sub reversed to achieve a cardioid effect. In addition, 18 ultra-compact 5XT coaxial speakers were nestled into the fascia along the sides of the runway as carefully camouflaged front fills. Thirty LA8 amplified controllers, housed in 10 LA-RAKs and managed by LA Network Manager software, powered the system.
“This was a lot of PA for a relatively small area, but it had to be powerful and sound great,” observes Solotech Audio Projects Manager Patrice Lavoie. “Victoria’s Secret doesn’t stage a ‘typical’ fashion show; it’s much more high-energy with live artists and needs to have the same kind of punch as a rock show. K2 was the perfect box for delivering the full-range impact we needed for a wide range of musical styles.”
Lavoie says that K2’s broad frequency response and tight directivity provided exceptional coverage to all in attendance. “The K2’s waveguide was perfect for the way the runway stage was positioned inside the hall,” he explains. “It focused the sound on the seats—and not the walls—keeping everything very clear.”
Equally key was the system’s low weight and rigging flexibility, which allowed the Solotech crew to fly the arrays tilted forward above the lighting trusses and not be visible on camera, certainly an important consideration for TV and awards shows.
When system designer Erich Bechtel of ADI:Audible Difference Inc., who has been Victoria's Secret Fashion Show lead audio designer for the past seven years, asked Solotech for a recommendation, Lavoie says he never hesitated in suggesting K2. “It did a fantastic job on this show,” he says. “K2 sounded as good as the models looked.” And when the models are Victoria’s Secret Angels, that’s saying a lot."