When Grammy award-winning singer, songwriter and producer KEM created his “What Christmas Means” 2013 Tour, the production – featuring both original compositions and holiday classics performed by KEM, Patti LaBelle, with Ron and Ernie Isley and narrated by comedian Anthony Anderson – brought with it some unique sound challenges. Part concert, part theatrical presentation, the show’s artists frequently switched between speaking parts with headset wireless mics, and musical numbers with handheld mics accompanied by a full band
Jim Gibbons, audio production manager and FOH engineer for the multi-city show, which toured venues such as the 5,000 seat historic Fox Theatre in Detroit and Constitution Hall in Washington DC, brought in Livonia Michigan-based Thunder Audio Inc. to provide a touring system package to meet the show’s unique sonic demands.
The system that Thunder Audio provided for the show featured the powered RCF TTL-55A line array system. The system was configured with two 10-segment TTL-55A line arrays with up to six TTS36-A dual 18” subwoofers per side and six TT052a used as front fill speakers. All boxes in the system are active, reducing production cartage needs for amplifier racks. Thunder Audio provided touring staff for the deployment of the system and engineering support for each of the tour dates.
RCF’s TT+ high definition active line array system, designed specifically for the theatre and touring markets, proved to be the perfect solution for the show’s demands.
“When you have speaking parts and singing parts in the same show, and utilize both headset and handheld mics, the articulation is quite different and there is a much greater chance of feedback,” explains Gibbons. “The RCF system provided extremely clear, smooth, articulate sound for the speaking aspects, and was powerful, transparent, with smooth coverage and full sound for the music portions.”
Gibbons noted that the onboard RDNet Control, RCF’s communication protocol that allows for monitoring and parameter control of the system as well as the individual components within, made the system very easy to adjust and monitor. “The interface enables you to adjust EQ, delay, and crossovers remotely and monitor boxes for any problems,” says Gibbons. “It also allows you to adjust each box separately.”
Gibbons also noted that the RCF boxes are “very powerful yet compact enough for easy truck pack,” “and the rigging was easy to adjust and fly”.
Greg Snyder, Thunder Audio’s Production Manager and system designer noted “the RCF system sounds great, is packaged great and fits theaters and arenas so well for us. It was an easy decision for us to deploy this system for this tour.”