Ice Cube Makes UK and Ireland Return with Adlib and L-Acoustics K Series Ice Cube Makes UK and Ireland Return with Adlib and L-Acoustics K Series...
UK & IRELAND – February 2024 – Ice Cube, one of hip-hop’s most enduring and influential figures, recently made his long-awaited live return to the UK and Ireland, performing a run of six live shows with an L-Acoustics K Series rig supplied by UK production specialist, Adlib.
Over the past three decades, Ice Cube has transformed from an American rapper in the 1980s as a member of the ground-breaking group N.W.A., with which he was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2016. Known for his sharp lyrical skills and powerful storytelling, choosing a concert sound system to keep up with Ice Cube’s specific style is required when he enters the live arena.
For his return to the UK and Ireland, promoter TEG Live Europe selected Adlib to provide full technical production for the six shows. It was the first time Adlib had worked with the artist, and to ensure the sound at these shows delivered a fittingly powerful punch, an L-Acoustics K Series rig was specified.
Adlib deployed a system made up of two main hangs, each side consisting of 12 K1 and up to 6 K2 down. A total of 36 KS28 were used, ten boxes were flown behind, and eight were groundstacked below each main array. Four KARA II and four A15 Wide were used in combination for the front fill system. The entire system was run via Milan-AVB across 46 LA12X amplified controllers.
“K Series is renowned for its consistent frequency response across various venue configurations,” says Jay Petch, Adlib Account Manager, explaining the key factors in the design and placement of the system. “The challenge with this show was delivering this consistency down as low as 30Hz for all audience members. The primary low-end frequency in a couple of the songs is a sustained 32Hz!”
Ensuring the sub design could reinforce Ice Cube’s bass-heavy repertoire was essential. “The artist didn’t request cardioid, and with ten flown KS28 per side, we had a line of subs almost as long as the main K1 hang,” explains Petch. “Flying the subs ensured even low-end coverage around the arena while also meeting the sub-requirements of the show, right to the furthest and highest seats. The ground sub was predominantly used to cover the first 20 meters of audience and was configured as a broadside array.”
Petch adds, “As new suppliers to Ice Cube and his team, we wanted to reinforce the fact that they were in safe hands with one of the most trusted and recognized brands in the industry, which is why L-Acoustics was chosen for this project.”
Also crucial to the tour’s success was L-Acoustics Soundvision software, which enabled the team to create the perfect design for each venue. “In the pre-tour design stage, Soundvision was important in previewing the necessary box counts to cover the largest deployments of the tour in London and Manchester,” system tech Dave Cartwright elaborated. “Beyond this, Soundvision was invaluable in getting the sub design correct before even leaving my desk, let alone flying anything on the first date.
“Adlib holds extensive room data for all venues on this tour, and we used this to design a standard system for the tour, changing side hang locations slightly depending on the venue. We ensured the IMAGs and K2 side hangs, which were in close proximity, were working together and not against each other, making minor changes to the rigging plots to ensure this was the case. Without Soundvision, these adjustments would not have been so apparent.”
“I built a base room file, including the stage and IMAGs, and a base speaker file. Daily, while on the road, I could import this into Adlib’s room file and then quickly set trim heights, adjust box counts, and refine the design. The Autosolvers in Soundvision help accomplish this rapidly,” continues Cartwright. “This also ensured that what I imported into LA Network Manager was consistent and worked efficiently with how the LA12X were prepared and deployed for the tour.”
While this may have been the first time Ice Cube has taken to the road with Adlib, his experience with the supplier and the L-Acoustics system it provided suggests it’s unlikely to be the last.
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