04 October 2017

V-Series package is the go-to solution for Barrowland Ballroom

Glasgow’s Barrowland Ballroom is one of Scotland's premier concert venues. Known for its acoustics and sprung dance floor the 2,100 capacity venue has played host to the likes of David Bowie, The Clash, and U2.

Glasgow sound hire company, FE Live Audio, has rolled out the rig for several high profile gigs at the venue. As Managing Director, Ryan Mcilravey, explains, the company has built a reputation as the go-to guys. “ArrayProcessed V-Series is the go-to system for that space, so we win a lot of show contracts that demand the high performance it offers. V-Series is light enough to fly in many of the regular Glasgow venues, whereas a lot of the alternatives are too heavy, making it unfeasible to do this whilst having the line length that many FoH engineers desire.”

FE Live Audio handled the audio production for a run of multiple, sold out homecoming shows totaling eight nights in the ballroom by four of Scotland’s biggest bands: Twin Atlantic, Frightened Rabbit, The Fratellis, and Fatherson.

The series of concerts called for a system that would deliver exceptional coverage, and create a stadium sound in this historic, and albeit more intimate, venue. ArrayProcessing allowed the FE team to constantly optimize the system throughout the shows to suit the changing humidity and temperature of the room using the ArrayCalc simulation tool and R1 Remote control software. “It’s a very cold venue during sound check,” explains Mcilravey, “and can go from fourteen to fifteen degrees celsius, to nineteen to twenty during the opening act, then jump as high as twenty four to twenty five for a headline band – especially one that draws an active crowd like Twin Atlantic.”

Thankfully the highly integrated way in which d&b software works together as a package makes it very quick and easy to make changes and reload ArrayProcessing settings on the go. “At other venues, we do this on show day and take as many measurements as we can, but we’ve done so many shows at Barrowland now that we have a number of presets, so we can preload the slots for the different levels of humidity and temperature. It’s easy enough to make adjustments as we need to, then just reimport the AP settings. There’s no drama or loss of audio in doing it this way.”

Another factor at the ballroom is that the trim height is relatively low for a venue of its size. Mcilravey explains: “I was sceptical about using a flown system at first, but with V-Series we can adjust the frame angle in very small increments so it’s as close to the roof as we can get it while still fitting in a full eight box array. ArrayCalc is viewed by many in the industry as the most accurate simulation tool available and never fails to amaze me with how accurate the results are in going between software and reality.”

Mcilravey’s parting words are testament to the overall V-Series package: “The great thing about this system is that in addition to the ground breaking ArrayProcessing capability the sixteen V-SUBs and four J-INFRAs in use here have a cardioid dispersion pattern, so there’s no old school omnidirectional subs being used; this helps keep noise complaints from the nearby residential areas a very rare occurrence.”