ArrayProcessing steps in as Japanese star bows out.
When Yokohama based rental company Arxiduc Audio was contracted to service the farewell concert of Reon Yuzuki one of Japan’s most revered Takarazuka Revue stars, Arxiduc took the courageous decision to implement ArrayProcessing immediately after launch and without technical training. “We well know d&b’s quality so I decided to use ArrayProcessing without any worry,” explained Yutaka Nakamura, head of the sound department at Arxiduc. With thousands of fans in attendance at the Saitama Super Arena and a potential live viewing audience in the millions, this was no small undertaking.
Arxiduc CEO, Hirohide Kobayashi: “I started my career as a monitor engineer and the moment I bought my first d&b M4 wedges and realized I no longer had to waste thirty minutes EQ’ing them every day, I have been a committed user. We now own V and E-Series as well as monitors, but for the Yuzuki concert we needed substantially more equipment.” With the help of Junta Yamazaki at d&b partner Audio Brains, Kobayashi put together a consortium of d&b providers, including Links from Kyoto, and At Sound, local to Saitama.
“Adding ArrayProcessing into the equation was not complicated,” explained Nakamura. “It added just one extra page to the ArrayCalc workflow. I filled the ten available ArrayProcessing slots with measured results from different points in the arena based on system performance without ArrayProcessing. Applying each one in turn, I compared them all to the performance of my installed design without ArrayProcessing. I finally went with -2dB at the first point, and in the back area
-4dB with full ‘Glory’ mode: that means best frequency response over widest area. I did try ‘Power’ mode just for the experience; this compromises the frequency response in favour of maximizing power. This is the more appropriate mode for heavy metal, though my experience showed that the compromise was actually very small. But I already determined we had more than enough headroom in ‘Glory’ mode.”
Naturally the broadcasters took an interest; Takeshi Suzuki from Audio Visual Communications Ltd Tokyo was chief AV technician. “I’m very familiar with d&b audiotechnik products and was happy to agree to Arxiduc using our event for a first time experience of ArrayProcessing. The results were very good and we could see the positive benefits by the way the audience reacted on camera, so it was double effective for us. Live viewing of the event was distributed by Live Viewing Japan and they were also pleased.”
The audacious experiment proved successful for all. “I know of other technology like this,” said Kimio Nishihara from Link, “but they never sound natural. The d&b system sounded natural, not just at the desk, but here, there, and everywhere.” Nakamura was equally impressed: “ArrayProcessing has demonstrated another dimension of system performance, sounding great from first row to the most back seats. I am certain the way it functions, working the entire array as a complete system, rather than applying different level and filter settings for individual cabinets, is what makes it so effective.” Kobayashi took another perspective: “I do not want to compromise sound quality with budget, otherwise the reputation of Arxiduc is not increased. With tools like this the ‘less is more’ concept is a reality.”
Image of concert courtesy of Takarazuka Creative Arts.