22 June 2018
d&b GSL delivers for Green Day at Estadio Velez Stadium, Buenos Aires.
In 2017 American punk rockers, Green Day, undertook a year-long world tour taking in Australia, Europe, Canada, USA and South America. In November when the band arrived at the Estadio Velez Stadium in Argentina, audience, crew and band experienced an audio first. Here, the PA was the d&b SL-Series, GSL System, the new member of the d&b large format PA family making its South American debut. BALS Buenos Aires Live Shows, one of Argentina’s largest rental firms, was the local provider for sound and lighting. Their GSL system arrived just the week before the Green Day Show – and the results were exceptional.
The Estadio Velez in Buenos Aires is a forty five thousand capacity Sports stadium, now firmly established as a leading venue for global events and tours. The BALS sound crew were more than keen to work with the new system. GSL sits as the defining apex of the d&b line array family delivering power and performance innovations that position it above the iconic d&b J-Series.
When the audio crew for Green Day arrived at the stadium, led by Kevin Lemoine, the band's long standing FOH Engineer, and Clark Thomas, System Tech, they were full of anticipation. As long term users of the J-Series and declared d&b fans, the crew were very much looking forward to using GSL. The team were not disappointed.
"This is the best expression of live mixing I have ever encountered.” Lemoine commented. “Now I want to try different microphones on sources because I can actually hear the nuances of them… the thought of using the GSL on a daily basis cannot happen fast enough… I can’t wait to hear it again.”
For the 49,540 capacity Estadio Velez, the system used fourteen GSL8s and two GSL12s per side as the main arrays, with sixteen J8s as out fills, this was supported by eighteen GSL-SUBs and eight V7P front fills - all powered by D80 amplifiers using ArrayProcessing.
The GSL8 and GSL12 line array modules are unique in their directivity control which is seamlessly maintained over the full bandwidth, from 45 Hz to above 18 kHz. This is coupled with unprecedented low frequency headroom and exceptional resolution in the mid and high frequencies. Complimented by the SL-SUB and SL-GSUB cardioid subwoofers.
After hearing the PA installed at the Estadio Velez, pre-gig the reaction from the BALS audio engineers was a mix of astonishment and disbelief, noting the evenness of coverage on the pitch, the lower tiers, and the tiers at the opposite end, as well as the absence of the low end rumble behind the PA. And that was without subs.
After the concert itself, Kevin commented, “It’s staggering, really, the wonderful amount of pure, clean emotion that screams out of this box. Never have I experienced such a huge amount of control and handling from a sound system. Every minute EQ sweep, every minuscule fader push, every slight bit of effect coloration; all was heard in the truest sense, and as intended with the GSL. “
From a system tech perspective, Clark Thomas was happy with the performance of GSL for a number of reasons. Moving from GSL for mains to J-Series for side hangs, he found the transition was pleasant and smooth. He adds, “GSL is the nicest PA I have ever had the pleasure of working with. It is truly a full range, high fidelity system. It throws quite far while maintaining tonal balance, and I feel it’ll work wonderfully with any style or content.”
By today’s standards, Green Day is a straightforward line-up consisting of three front liners with a couple of guest musicians, amounting to only twenty two channels at the FOH desk. What the band “lacks” in channel count, Kevin makes up in toys, because he works almost exclusively analogue and uses a choice collection of boutique outboard gear. The sonic outcome at The Estadio Velez Stadium to a sold out audience of thirty seven thousand, was exquisitely controlled by Kevin’s able hands. Green Day’s sound is full of dynamic highs and lows. No problem for GSL, which handled the two-and-a-half hour stream of guitar-loaded hits without breaking a sweat.