Ben Howard — O2 Brixton Academy, London, UK

Project Description

For the US leg of Ben Howard’s transatlantic tour, L-Acoustics was the number one choice for the Only Love star, with a left-right K2 system, chosen for its rock solid predictability, providing sound on all tour dates. Ben Howard and his front of house engineer has been talking for a while about creating a surround sound-esque vibe, and when the tour moved back to home turf in the UK, culminating in a four-night London residency at the O2 Brixton Academy, they chose to use L-ISA Immersive Hyperreal Sound technology to present the English singer-songwriter’s fans with an especially intimate show and create a sense of proximity with the performer.

Sound Design Solution

For the Brixton Academy shows, five hangs of 12 Kara were flown across the front of the stage, along with two flown sub arrays of three KS28 each. Four Syva and four X12 provided surrounds for the ground and balcony levels respectively. Sound engineer Andy Magee mixed the show on his own DiGiCo SD5 console. Magee had 110 inputs and 90 busses on the SD5, with 64 outputs going to the L-ISA Processor in a combination of inputs, output groups and auxiliary outputs.

L-ISA Design L-ISA Design
L/R Design L/R Design
L-ISA Design L-ISA Design
L/R Design L/R Design

Technical Information

TypeTheatre
Venue35m deep x 40m wide
Stage16m wide x 1.15m high
FOH20m from D.S.E

Constraints

Min trim height9m (from stage)

Sound Design Target

Program typePop Music
SPL max average>= 105 dBA
SPL ditribution6 – 9 db
Frequency contour8 dB (@ 100hz)
Frequency contour8 dB (@ 40hz)

L/R Coverage

Strong Imaging

Weak Imaging

L-ISA Coverage

Strong Imaging

Weak Imaging
Photographer: Luke Dyson

“Ben loves how this technology sounds. His reaction was that L-ISA gave us exactly the type of capability we’d wanted to create for years. There were small guitar sounds that we could move around the room, allowing us to envelop the audience, leaving them immersed within the sound field with the reverb effects coming from behind. It was quite special. Ben doesn’t want to ‘stand still’ musically. He wants to push boundaries when it comes to his live shows. L-ISA has made that a reality.”

— Andy Magee, front of house engineer for Ben Howard