Rightway Audio Consultants creates 360° L-Acoustics sound system for Hong Kong’s God of Song
K1, K2 and Kara cover Jacky Cheung’s three-hour spectacle for audiences across China
Almost 400 L-Acoustics cabinets were deployed as part of a mammoth PA system for Jacky Cheung’s 2017 A Classic Tour, which took in 21 venues, both indoor and outdoor, across mainland China at the beginning of the year, and continues through Hong Kong, Sinapore and Taiwan. The show is performed in the round, with both complex stage machinery and the task of ensuring complete coverage of the audience offering a challenge for rental companies Haona, who supplied the system for the China dates, Unusual in Singapore and Taiwan’s Winly, who worked alongside L-Acoustics Chinese distributor, Rightway Audio Consultants to realise a complex design.
A Hong Kong-born singer, songwriter and actor, Jacky Cheung is one of the city’s ‘Four Heavenly Kings’ – a term created by Oriental Daily News in 1992 to describe the four biggest male entertainment artists in Hong Kong. Over his 30-year career, his popularity has known no bounds - he even set a Guinness World record in 2011 for the largest combined audience for a live act in 12 months, with a total audience figure of over two million, for his Jacky Cheung ½ Century World Tour.
For A Classic Tour, Cheung’s live performances were an electrifying three hours that combined his vocal talents, which have earned him the moniker ‘God of Songs’, with elements of both the theatre and circus.
Everything about the show’s production values were in keeping with his celestial reputation, from the four-sided stage - containing a central, sectional decagon which transformed with every song to resemble a three-tiered cake, a circular staircase, a rotating compass or a walled fortress - to the audio, video and lighting systems, which were suspended above the stage. For the outdoor venues and select indoor venues where weight loadings were an issue, the system was flown on a complex truss system, ground supported by four towers, one at each corner of the stage.
“We based the audio design on the predictions we had made using L-Acoustics’ Soundvision 3D acoustic simulation programme,” explains Daniel Kwan, audio designer and Front of House engineer for the tour. “Soundvision is an incredibly useful tool, as it meant we could easily predict how the system would react when we moved from venue to venue. This was particularly useful when selecting the position and model of the speakers and meant that we could always ensure the entire audience area was fully covered.”
The show design included a considerable number of moving elements for both lighting and staging, which had an influence on the number of cabinets used, and their position. “Due to the complex stage design, we decided to use six arrays of K2,” Daniel adds. "In the case of the ‘ground up’ production, the weight of the speakers is a huge consideration. K2, being powerful and lightweight and with its stable horizontal polar response of 110 degrees, is the perfect choice to deliver great impact and coverage to every single member of the audience.”
The overall system comprised 48 K1, 120 K2, eight Kara, 24 KS28 and 24 SB28 subs, with 24 X15 HiQ and 24 115XT HiQ providing stage monitoring, all driven by a combination of 96 LA8 and 12 LA12X amplifiers.
“Our standard system for the Chinese leg of the tour comprised six hangs of 14 K2 suspended from the main truss, again with 110° horizontal dispersion to cover the venue. However, the tour went to some vast indoor venues and outdoor stadiums where we added four K1 cabinets on the top of the K2 hangs to reach the far rear area. For outdoor stadiums, we again used K1 to cover the upper area auditorium, with K2 covering the bottom level. Using Soundvision makes it much easier to work out an accurate quantity of speakers for each location we visited and the angles we needed to set.”
Working with monitor engineer Mike Huang, Daniel ensured that any feedback issues were reduced to a minimum and that the system was properly balanced.
“By using this system, as well as ensuring great audio quality, both load in and out were very fast and convenient,” adds Daniel.
The tour received rave reviews from both audiences and the media, with comments that it was the best sounding system they had heard.
“We are proud to have been involved in such a successful tour,” Daniel concludes. “This is in no small part due to our L-Acoustics system. I am impressed with its sonic quality and predictability. It gives me full confidence that it will provide the best solution, as always.”