FOH Engineer Spotlight: Behind the PA Sound with Chris Butterworth FOH Engineer Spotlight: Behind the PA Sound with Chris Butterworth...

Chris Butterworth, the accomplished Front of House (FOH) Engineer for Fontaines D.C., recently shared his experiences and insights from the band’s U.K. arena tour with L-Acoustics. He focused on his use of the K Series-based PA sound system, provided by L-Acoustics Certified Provider Adlib.

Chris began his career in Sheffield after studying Music Production at Leeds College of Music. He has always been drawn to music and sound engineering due to his creative yet methodical approach. His journey brought him to the band Fontaines, D.C., at The Leadmill in Sheffield. This quickly evolved into touring, including memorable performances at Glastonbury.

FOH engineer, Chris Butterworth mixes the sound for the concert sound system

The PA Sound System Setup

Chris reflects on the tour’s audio setup. “For the dry venues, we deployed a K2 system with KS28, alongside A Series in-fills and X8 lip fills. K2 was brilliant every night! It’s smooth across the frequency spectrum and extends really low down, which is ideal for loud rock bands.”

His mix for Fontaines D.C. is a testament to his skill. Ensuring that even amidst the “roaring guitar-led avalanche of audio” coming from the line array speakers, details like ghost notes and reverb tails shine through. Thanks to the depth and capability of the system, of course. “The system is very capable of delivering this hard-hitting sound. But it still has the depth to allow me to place each element of the mix in its own space,” he explained. This highlights the importance of having a professional sound system that can handle the nuances of live performance.

The Response

Fontaines D.C.’s rapid rise and the overwhelming response from audiences at festivals and concerts have been highlights for Chris. He recounted a particularly memorable moment at Leeds Festival, standing in the FOH tower, surrounded by a massive crowd, as a pinnacle of his career thus far.

Looking forward, Butterworth is excited about taking Fontaines D.C.’s dynamic live show to audiences in Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. He will continue to push the boundaries of live sound engineering with the support of top-tier PA loudspeakers and line array speaker systems.

Chris proves that the right combination of passion, skill, and cutting-edge audio technology can create unforgettable live music experiences. His work with Fontaines D.C. on their U.K. arena tour, leveraging the power of L-Acoustics’ K Series, accentuates the significance of professional audio systems in achieving the best sound for live performances.

Check out another FOH Engineer Spotlight here.