Nightwish European tour with d&b SL-Series: Perfect sound in all arenas!

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After 34 dates in North America and a lively festival summer, the Finnish metal band Nightwish could be seen at numerous shows in several European countries in November and December 2018. First-class sound was provided by a d&b audiotechnik SL-Series sound systems, provided by Go Audio Rental GmbH, Hamburg.

GSL and KSL: Dream team on tour

The main arrays on the tour consisted of 16 GSL tops; 14 GSL8 (top) and two GSL12 (bottom). For the side-PA, ten KSL8 and two KSL12 (bottom) were used per side, delivering a smooth transition between GSL and KSL.

On the Nightwish tour 24 SL-SUBs provided a powerful, even and extraordinarily defined bass reproduction. The cardioid subwoofers were distributed in the form of twelve double stacks in an equidistant grid along the front edge of the stage and were operated as sub-arrays.

In the past, you often had to struggle your way through jobs with horrible means. Fortunately, there are always highlights like the SL system from d&b audiotechnik. With its combination of hardware and software I got the opportunity to do things on this tour that were previously impossible.Erich Weihrauch, System Engineer

Erich Weihrauch, who accompanied the European leg of the Nightwish tour as system engineer, explains his design approach: "In combination with the d&b SL systems, ArrayProcessing gives me the opportunity to convert an existing concert venue in such a way that disturbing factors are minimised, and all guests can perceive the music as coming from the centre of the stage. I can distribute the sound energy so cleanly without making major compromises on tonality that I can offer listeners a very similar, good-sounding experience on almost any seat within given physical limits. The audience wants to experience something, that's what counts! With the d&b SL-Series, I transport the entire spectrum of music presented on stage to even the furthest away areas of the arena. The d&b drivers can do this, and it's a big advantage that the SL-Series doesn't radiate any relevant energy to the back compared to the front.“

With d&b SL systems and ArrayProcessing, I can achieve results even in acoustically challenging venues that concert goers have never heard before. Compared to other systems, I don't need any intermediate measurements to determine the filter values for the different listening positions: my time correction measurements are enough, which saves a lot of time.Erich Weihrauch
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Of course, the guests are happy when the sound result in their go-to venues is drastically better than they have ever heard before - I noticed this because people often approached the FOH position and praised the sound. Longtime Nightwish fans had never heard their favourite formation so clean and with such crystal clear sound before.“

Tonally, the new d&b systems play really beautifully towards the front. I haven't heard such precise depth graduation as with the SL Systems [GSL and KSL] before. You can aim absolutely cleanly so that the arena isn't excited unnecessarily.Bernd Wittenberg, Managing Director Go Audio

Wittenberg went on to praise the patented SL-Series rigging, “The SL-Series is an absolutely rounded product! It's incredibly practical that the systems can be set up on the ground in a very small space, which is incredibly fast. For both GSL and KSL we use the compression mode with the necessary compression frames. Just pull up the arrays, pull the hand chain hoist and you're done! The entire audio setup is in the truck after the show with three people in a mere 50 minutes - previously it took much longer with other systems, and you could often start the setup much later, because more space was needed on the ground.

On the extraordinary cardioid performance of the Series Wittenberg added: “Regarding the pronounced backward damping of GSL and KSL, I can only say that it is so quiet to the rear that the dimmer technicians can now hear when a fuse flies out during the show – you can’t summarise it better than this; it's unbelievable!"

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