Broadcast and Entertainment audio provider Plus 4 Audio invests in an L-Acoustics K2 sound system
One of the most successful companies to supply live audio systems to the UK’s television production and music industries, Plus 4 Audio provides sound reinforcement for broadcast shows such as Strictly Come Dancing, The X-Factor, and The Voice. Their recent addition of an L-Acoustics K2 variable curvature line source system gives them a solution to the rising number of arena shows for television.
Plus 4 owner Stewart Chaney’s history with L-Acoustics dates back to the 1990s, when he first heard the company’s V-DOSC system. “I was just blown away by it,” he says. “I was system engineer with it out in Spain for the first time and I think like most people when it was first on the market, I was amazed at what I was hearing. Adding the K2 means we’ve got pretty much every L-Acoustics product,” says Stewart, “from the small coaxial boxes, and smaller line arrays, up to and now including K2.”
Stewart’s history with television also goes back a long way. To him, when dV-DOSC was launched, using it for live-to-air shows seemed obvious. “No one else was doing it,” he says. “Everyone was still using column speakers and all sorts of other things in TV studios for music shows. It seemed odd that we were not trying to do this properly; bringing a concert experience for the TV audience watching a band on stage whilst being sympathetic to the needs of lighting and set design. It would give a great reaction for TV and control the sound in a much better way, with less spill onto the stage and much more focused audio. The advantages were multiple; it seemed strange not to try it.”
So successful was Stewart’s dV-DOSC experiment, he has never looked back, continuing to invest in L-Acoustics. “When K2 came out I honestly thought it was too big for our usual environment,” he recalls. “But we soon understood that it does make sense as we were seeing a general rise in the number of arena shows for television. We were sub hiring systems in for these shows but it just didn’t make business sense to keep doing that, we needed to look at investing in a long-term product with a good lifespan. K2 was the right choice as it’s well-suited to broadcast and music projects as well as being very popular in the dry hire market making it a great investment.”
Since taking delivery, Plus 4 has used K2 on notable projects including the Royal Variety Performance at London’s Royal Albert Hall and Sports Personality of the Year in Belfast. “Last time we did the Royal Variety Performance at the Albert Hall we used a smaller Kara system,” says Stewart. “This time, with Sir Elton John and Jeff Lynne’s ELO on the bill, along with a fully live orchestra, we knew we needed more headroom and more control of the room. K2 was absolutely the right choice for that."
For Sports Personality, the challenge was the orchestra being out in front of the PA. This is where the Panflex directivity comes into its own; by using this unique horizontal steering technology, which combines mechanically adjustable L-Fins with DSP algorithms effective from 300Hz, Stewart was able to direct the sound where it was needed and away from the orchestra microphones.
So pleased was he with the results on two such prestigious productions, that he also chose to use it on the recent National Television Awards at London’s The O2.
Stewart concludes, “Having K2 is really exciting. It completes our L-Acoustics inventory and has opened up new project opportunities for us.”