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Noizboyz add extra dimension to Ziggodome with TiMax

Leading audio consultants and system designers, Noizboyz, chose TiMax SoundHub to add an immersive extra dimension to the live sound profile of Dutch Indie band, Kensington, for three recent sell-out gigs at Amsterdam’s 17,000-capacity Ziggo Dome. Noizboyz have been Kensington’s designers for four years, working with them in the ‘Ziggo Dome’ and ‘Johan Cruijf ArenA’.

Following a demonstration with Phlippo Productions for client, Friendly Fire as well as Kensington, Noizboyz Pieter Doms and Thomas Van Hoepen, together with Nathan Leenders from Phlippo (Friendly Fire’s preferred supplier) were given ‘carte blanche’ to create an audio system for the gigs.

Showcasing the dramatic difference in aural effect between stereo output and an immersive spatial mix set up, created as an A/B (stereo mix/immersive mix) macro built on a Digico desk, Noizboyz convinced Kensington’s FOH engineer Ilja Traas and Kensington’s production manager Marcel Buurman of the benefits for audiences.

However, as Pieter Doms points out, “Carte blanche is never carte blanche”.  Audio system set up is dictated by the needs of the staging and the band and not vice versa. So, following negotiation, Noizboyz won agreement for four loudspeaker arrays across the stage, with outer arrays thirty-two metres apart and inner arrays, nine.

Fortunately, Noizboyz had put their trust in the flexibility and adaptability of TiMax which handles this typical sort of production constraint easily and effectively. Pieter, claims, “Without TiMax this just wouldn’t have been possible. I could try but it would take me months to accomplish something similar.”

The eventual loudspeaker configuration comprised four arrays of eight L’Acoustics K1 underhung with a further eight K2s.  Supporting each array from behind were four KS28 sub bass units providing low end. A further 24 KS28 sub bass units were ground-stacked and front fill support was provided by six stacks of 3 Kara’s. Sixteen K2s serviced the sides with a 270-degree outfill comprised of nine Kara speakers and two SB18 subs. Two delay hangs for the furthest reaches of the venue comprised six Kara K2s.

The show was driven by L Acoustics LA12x amplifiers fed by a Dante network through Lab Gruppen LM44’s and Luminex gigacore switches, with everything mixed on a Digico SD7.

During Kensington’s rehearsal days at the venue, Pieter and Ilja tried out and tested TiMax in situ and finally combined ideas for an audio set up each was happy with. Using the Panspace feature in TiMax the pair placed the different inputs virtually on the stage and as Pieter notes, “That’s the golden trick of TiMax and its Panspace: if you can show it, they’ll hear it!”

By picking out the right details of different songs to highlight using TiMax, Pieter and Ilja found they were able to create a next level experience that wouldn’t adjust the overall mix too much. Pieter admits, “When we hit the ‘back to stereo’ button, we quickly discovered we’d made a big step in the live experience for concerts!” And the fans seemed to agree as all three shows received a great deal of positive feedback.

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