Olympic Stadium, Rome

The Italian rocker has just finished his Start Tour 2019 which began on June 14th with an impressive stage set up in nine Italian stadiums with his five-piece band. With a 29-year career at the top of the charts and a risky vocal chord operation just over a year ago, Ligabue returns on the stage with his electric guitar, his powerful voice, a brand new stage, and 236 RCF TT+ speakers.

The stage is 58 meters long, 22 deep. The backdrop of the stage is a mighty metal structure that supports the three LED screens that recall the two "L" of the artist's name and a huge amount of light sources to create impressive visual effects.

The sound system is RCF's trusted TT+ system, consisting of a total of 236 devices, all interconnected to the RDNet management software, now in version 3.1, that controls and monitors every component of the system.

"We have been using Ligabue's TT + system for a long time and I am very satisfied with the results we get at every concert. Since the introduction of the FiRPHASE algorithms in the DSP, the system has improved the performance even more and always guarantees me the neutral and pleasant sound I am looking for. " 

The sound system designer Emanuele Morlini describes the audio system: “The main system combines 24 TTL 55-A modules for the MAINS suspended in L & R configuration with 100 Hz cut-off frequency (total 48 modules) plus 12 TTL 36-AS subwoofer modules suspended behind the mains in L & R configuration. Operating in a range of frequencies between 60 and 100 Hz (total 24 modules), they are able to extend coverage on low frequencies over the entire listening area." Twenty TTL 55-A modules have been set up to extend the coverage up to 180° on the Left and Right sides (total of 40 modules).
Swedish rental company, Johan & Johan Ljud & Ljus, provides a total event technology package from its base in Sölvesborg — and for the past few years the company has progressively turned to RCF for its sound requirements.

Run by directors Johan Andersson and Johan Hallberg they started out in 2010 and soon invested in RCF’s ART series (ART 312-A). “After the success of that system we decided to look for further RCF solutions,” said Johan Andersson.

The company then graduated to RCF NXL 24-A point source column speakers. Explaining the rationale, Andersson said, “We decided to buy the NXL 24-A because it’s a speaker that we can use on many different types of event—both small and even some larger events.”

But the company was far from finished with RCF. “We decided to step up to the HDL-30 when we started receiving more inquiries to handle bigger types of event,” he continued. “We visited Prolight+Sound in Frankfurt and listened to the HDL 30-A rig, which was on demo, and were happy with the sound.” Before making the purchasing decision they reviewed other brands “but we thought the sound [of the HDL 30-A] was amazing, plus it was a very flexible system and easy to rig.”
Hip-hop is booming on a global scale. During the first edition of the hip-hop producers conference “beatcon” in Düsseldorf (Germany) and gathering in workshops, panels and live performances, the pros of the hip-hop producers scene passed on their knowledge about hip-hop. Beatcon took place for the first time this year and sees itself as an information platform around the production of hip-hop music focusing especially on the technical aspects. Italian sound reinforcement specialist RCF, who supported the event not only as a sponsor but also with the equipment, took care of the sound. On both stages and during the workshops and master classes beatcon trusted in an HDL 30-A line array system, several SUBs, and TT MKII modules.

During this first edition of beatcon, taking place in the event location Boui Boui Bilk, the top producers of the scene showed their skills and workflows on two stages - from producing the beats, vocal recording, vocal editing, sampling to studio and live mixing. The culmination of each day was a live performance by an artist on the SNIPES Stage. The event offered a very versatile program that required a PA able to reproduce a wide variety of formats, sounds and situations flexibly. Therefore beatcon chose equipment from RCF. 

Event service provider Tontechnik Kaufmann with owner Christofer Kaufmann used an HDL 30-A line array system for the SNIPES Stage. 7x HDL 30 modules were placed on 2x SUB 9007-AS (in cardioid mode) left and right of the stage. Additionally, 3x SUB 9007-AS were at the centre before the stage. Two RCF TT 22-MKII served as sidefills. The artists on stage used TT 25 SMA monitor wedges. Because of the event’s concept, with live performances, workshops, discussions and dialogues, the event organisers required a PA that delivers perfect results both in terms of music reproduction and speech intelligibility. During the event, the HDL 30-A system and the entire audio installation showed their flexibility and high-performance.
The Uno Maggio “Free and Thinking” concert in Taranto (Italy) took place, as in previous years, with the spectacular backdrop of the Archaeological Park of the Greek Walls. Dozens of artists alternated on the stage from the early afternoon, including Max Gazzè, Elio, Malika Ayane, Colle der Fomento, CorVeleno, Tre Allegri Ragazzi Morti, Bugo, and Vinicio Capossela.

The entire RCF audio system was supplied by Francesco Epifani of the Phoenix Service, who describes the set-up: “The audio configuration for the event consists of a TTL 55-A vertical array of 16 modules per side and a TT55-A array side consisting of 10 modules per side. On the ground, stage front, were 36 TTS 56-A subwoofers in eight groups of three in line, in a cardioid configuration. For an even distribution of low frequencies over the entire field, the drivers have been distributed with a digital arc with an aperture of 110 degrees. ”Six TTL 33-A were also added as front-fill on the front profile of the stage.” 

Epifani continues “The venue is very long, so we added two delay towers, each consisting of six TTL55-A. The distance of the first tower from the main stage is about 55 meters. Regarding the distribution of the signals, I received a pair of stereo signals from the FOH mixer and a pair of stereo signals from the second mixer used as a ‘service line’. I also added a mono analog backup signal from both the FOH mixers. These were all transported via a Galileo 616 that I use as the main matrix and from which I send six signals to two Drive Racks placed under the main system via analog transport (Main Left, Main Right, Side Left, Side Right, Sub, Front Fill)."

The delay towers were controlled by a single drive rack that received two mono signals, one for each tower. The whole system was managed through an RCF Control8 which allows monitor and control of all the speakers via RDNet. All the processing of the audio signal such as delays, equalization and other interventions, was also carried out via RDNet.
When Oakham School, a historic independent co-educational school that dates back to the 16th century, wanted a new sound system for its Queen Elizabeth Theatre they approached Pearce Hire, from whom it had rented gear in the past, for advice. 

That was six months ago, and the result has been the installation of an RCF compact HDL 6-A by the Peterborough based company in this 220-seat drama theatre, complete with fixed raked seating.

Powered by a 1400W 2-channel class-D amplifier this compact, active line array, packed with RCF’s purpose designed transducers, was a logical recommendation, meeting all requirements for vocal intelligibility and with a high dynamic for live and recorded music. Said Andy Howling, who heads up Installation and Sales at Pearce Hire, “The previous system sounded tired, coverage was poor and it was no longer fit for purpose. They needed to upgrade.” Theatre technician Phil Norton agreed. “It was time to replace our current system and we wanted something that would be suitable for big musicals and a system that would reflect the excellent standard of our theatre productions.”
Exclusive restaurant chain IZAKAYA, which maintains several locations in Europe, offers a high-class and sophisticated Asian cuisine and combines it with a bar concept setting new standards continuously. Offering an exquisite gastronomic experience combined with various events IZAKAYA is a true hotspot in Amsterdam. At the beginning of 2019, IZAKAYA renewed its audio system and installed 12 C3108-96 modules in Custom White. The Dutch audio specialist 24/7 Amsterdam was responsible for the technical implementation.

The C3108 is an extremely versatile, unobtrusive, full-range 2-way loudspeaker system that integrates perfectly into the atmosphere of the IZAKAYA. With its wide dispersion angle, remarkable performance and efficiency, it offers a wide range of professional applications and is perfectly suited for the mixed use of the location. Due to its compact size, it is predestined for unobtrusive wall mounting or ceiling installation. The system delivers perfect sound and high performance without acting in the foreground within the location - just the way it should be. The mixed use of the IZAKAYA location in Amsterdam as a restaurant, bar, enriched with many events, including live music, demands a lot of flexibility talking about the sound system.
RCF USA, together with On-The-Road Marketing, have the ULTIMATE live demonstration experience planned and you're cordially invited!

Tuesday July 23rd, 2019
Wednesday July 24th, 2019

508 WEST 37 ST
NEW YORK, NY 10018

Tuesday July 23rd, 2019 (7-10pm)
RCF USA // LIVE IN NYC // 2019 starts with an evening of amazing music and great sound! Join us for an informal gathering of live music from 5x Best of Westchester Winners, NAKED SOUL, showcasing three complete RCF HDL line array systems. If you’d like to attend and hear this showcase performance, select the “RCF Show Admission” ticket when you register. When your registration is approved, please have your confirmation with you when you arrive at SIR studios. Food and drinks will be provided. (21 and older. Street parking and travel fees not included.)

Wednesday July 24th, 2019 (9:30am - 5pm)
We continue RCF USA // LIVE IN NYC // 2019 with a day of system demonstrations, lead by our product expert and VP of Sales and Marketing, Tarik Solangi. First demo starts at 10am, with additional demos at Noon, 2pm and 4pm. This is a great way to hear various RCF system configurations in an open and controlled environment. We’ll have sales and technical staff available to answer your questions. When your registration is approved, please have your confirmation with you when you arrive at SIR studios. Food and beverages will be provided throughout the day. (Street parking and travel fees not included.)

The Evangeliums Christen Baptist congregation Paderborn is a congregational chapel which maintains its own house of prayer in the German city. For the audio system renewal the congregation, together with audio service provider Musik Aktiv Musikequipment GmbH from Paderborn, decided on a new HDL series line array system from RCF. Musik Aktiv tested several systems available on the market and decided on the HDL 10-A as the most suitable system for this project. The system was planned and designed by the German department of the RCF Engineering Support Group and installed by the community members themselves.

Frank Schallenberg, owner of Musik Aktiv, on opting for RCF: "For this project, we use RCF because we appreciate the competent support from their sales department. A decisive point we have experienced with many other projects already installed. The RCF engineers are very conscientious and detail-oriented in all they do plus the quality of the components, no matter in which category, is very high. When using RCF equipment, we experience practically no complaints or repairs. If there should be a difficult situation, the flexibility of the RCF team always gives you the feeling you are in good hands."
Situated in the German town of Osterode am Harz, the Stadthalle Osterode hosts many varied events throughout the course of the year. Central to the cultural life in the region since 1973, and renovated a few years ago, the theatre has firmly established itself on the local landscape and frequently welcomes well-known stage names in both the classical as well as modern dramatic world, as well as big names from all music genres.

In addition, fairs, exhibitions, balls, and other occasions frequently take place in the large hall, with seating for 872 (or around 2,000 standing).

However, the venue does not only promote its own events but rents out to third-party promoters. And so when it came to installing a new permanent sound system it had already been exposed to a range of PA systems from local rental companies.

The one that stood out was RCF’s HDL 20-A highly popular composite line array. And so a team from the Stadthalle approached Georg Hofmann, Product Manager Commercial Audio and Installed Sound, at dBTechnologies—RCF’s German distributor.
Simply put, the Whisky a Go Go, located on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, CA, is quite possibly the most iconic live rock music venue in the US and, perhaps even, the world. It first opened its doors on January 16th, 1964 and has famously acted as a launching pad for bands as diverse as the Doors, the Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, Steppenwolf, Van Halen, No Doubt and many, many others. Heck, even Led Zeppelin made their US-debut there. To say that playing the Whisky is a right-of-passage for bands would be a massive understatement. But its legendary status goes even further than simple nostalgia. Nowadays, even well-established artists, like Kiss, Mötley Crüe and Slash are flocking to the Whisky to launch world tours by first playing before intimate audiences at the club. One may wonder why they would do that. One reason is because of the club’s ongoing status as the place to play. Another is, perhaps, a chance to offer an up-close, personal experience for die-hard fans. The ultimate reason may now have to do with the sound system. With a newly installed PA, provided by Italian speaker manufacturer RCF, the Whisky is once-again asserting itself as the world’s preeminent rock club.

In early 2018, the fine folks who run the Whisky decided it was time to overhaul its sound system. And so, in September, RCF Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Tarik Solangi, visited the club at the behest of the Whisky’s Ultimate Jam Night host Paulie Z (Zablidowsky, formerly of Z02 and currently fronting a reformed Sweet), who identified the need for the system to be upgraded, not only because of the sonic properties (there were issues with the previous system being old and outdated), but also because there were some serious sightline issues. “The old system hung very low, and if you were upstairs, you literally lost two sides of the stage,” explains Solangi. “So, it really killed the sightlines.” Solangi, a sound engineer himself, was already familiar with the club, so he knew right away what he wanted to install—RCF’s HDL 30-A Active Two-Way Line Array Modules, a compact bi-amped system designed for medium to large venues. “The 30-A is such a great, musical, rock and roll box,” he continues. “It really has a great sound for live rock music, and I knew that, with just a minimal number of boxes per side, we’d really be able to increase the sightlines.” Whisky’s senior engineer Eddie Oertell, who has been working at the club on-and-off for more than 30-years, also admits that the low profile of the HDL 30-A was a big selling point. “Anywhere in the club, you can see the stage now,” he concurs. “The PA is not covering the band anymore, so the sightlines are improved immensely, and everyone is really excited about that.”

Ryan Ainsworth, who has been engineering at the Whisky for the last six and a half years, was also incredibly impressed by the HDL 30-As, not only because of improved sightlines, but also because of their sonic properties, particularly when compared to the previous system. “We went from having this very large, point-of-source system that was so monstrous, it took up a ton of space and ruined the intimate experience of the club because of how low it hung,” he explains. “Then we went with the little, tiny HDL 30-A boxes and they directly compete with the previous system, which was much, much larger in size and that’s the thing that most surprised me—it’s cool to hear those HDL 30-As put out massive sound.”

Oertell and Ainsworth, along with Leonard Contreras, shuffle mixing responsibilities at the Whisky with their bread-and-butter road gigs. Oertell is with GWAR, mostly, but has also served as front-of-house (FOH) for Slipknot, Mudvayne, Anthrax, Ronnie Spector (of the Ronettes) and POD. Ainsworth acts as FOH for Butcher Babies and is an occasional fill-in for Oertell with GWAR. Contreras has served as FOH/monitors engineer with System of a Down, Slayer, Los Lobos and Stone Sour to name a few. Based on that track record, it’s safe to assume that these guys know a thing or two about sound, particularly rock and roll, and yet, even they seemed amazed at Solangi’s ability to quickly assess the room and make discerning recommendations. “Tarik came down to the room and looked at everything,” recalls Oertell. “Then we talked, and he gave me his opinion on what he thought would be right for the room. It only took him like ten minutes. His vision for it was unbelievable.”

Part of that vision included cleaning up the low-end, so, in order to do that, Solangi decided that the subwoofers had to go underneath the stage in a cardioid configuration. They installed RCF’s SUB 9006-AS Active High-Power Subwoofers in a cardioid configuration under the stage, which really cleaned up the low frequency by projecting the low end into the center of the room. “The cardioid sub configuration under the stage helps take that energy and direct out into the crowd instead of letting it swell up under the musicians on stage,” explains Ainsworth. Oertell further affirms this sentiment, saying that clarity and low-end are two improved factors resulting from that install decision. “The low-end is rounder and fatter,” he says. “I was blown away by the clarity and tightness of the low-end—it is pretty impressive.”

Solangi and his RCF team worked with the Whisky’s in-house team, as well as RCF’s pro partner, Above The Ground Productions, on the installation, which took a mere one day, believe it or not. RCF product specialist Steven Cochran tuned and aligned the system using network controlled RDNET software. Additionally, knowing the volume that most bands who play the Whisky perform at, they added RCF’s TT45-CXA Active High-Output Stage Monitors to even out the stage volume. “The monitors are very in your face and punchy and they really allow the musicians to hear themselves better on stage, without having to crank the volume,” explains Ainsworth, who is usually FOH for Ultimate Jam Night. “The thing about those shows [Ultimate Jam Night] is that you never know what you’re going to get. Things can change completely from song to song, from a rotating cast of musicians to multiple genres to different types of instrumentation and the RCF system allows me to have continuity—I know what the system is going to put out, even if I don’t necessarily know what’s going to come off the stage.”

According to Oertell, one of the things they discovered, once the system was installed, was that the room now sounds like the room. “I think that’s one of the things that made the Whisky famous over the years,” he explains. “It’s a good sounding room, especially for rock bands. The room has a natural ambience to it and a great PA, like the RCF solution, just enhances that—it’s a no-brainer.”

Ainsworth says all of the engineers coming through the Whisky now are just completely blown away. “They’re all like, ‘Wow,’” he attests. “The room sounds amazing, and that’s what we strive for—it’s to have every engineer that comes through, walk away with a good feeling, knowing that it was a good time, a great show and that the PA sounded amazing—and it’s all due to RCF.”

On that note, Solangi became one such engineer who had the opportunity to mix on the system, a short while after the install, while on tour with Zebra. “The reason why I went out with them was because I wanted to mix them on the Whisky’s system. It was one thing to spec the system and do the installation, but it was another thing to come back in, a month and half later, and mix a band in that room. The RCF system was so clear with so much headroom that it was really a pleasure to mix there. It exceeded all of my expectations.”

Inside the Whisky a Go Go

Location: 8901 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, CA
Established: 1964
Line Array System: HDL 30-A, Active Two-Way Line Array Modules (8)
Subwoofers (under stage): SUB 9006 (6)
Floor Monitors: TT45 CXA (4)
Front Fills: HDL 6-A (3)
Side Fills (not shown): NX45 (2)
Audio Engineers: Ryan Ainsworth, Eddie Oertell, Leonard Contreras
System Designers: Tarik Solangi, Jim Reed
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