The Hollywood Bowl. Any touring engineer will probably tell you that it is the best and most intimidating venue to mix in. With a capacity of 18,000, and its 91 year history, the Bowl is in a category by itself.
Always at the cutting edge of audio performance, the Bowl has undergone three sound system upgrades since my first show there in the mid 90’s.
This last Sunday I was fortunate enough to work my 7th show there with Fred Vogel and the rest of the Bowl audio crew on their brand new L’Acoustics K-1 rig.
Dave Kuhn at the Hollywood Bowl.
My first show at the Bowl was with Patti Austin at a jazz festival back in 1995, with analogue desks and the new Sound Image rig.
Since then I have had the pleasure of mixing on their next improvement, an L’Acoustics V-dosc rig, several times, utilizing their previous PM1D, and now on the incredible upgrade that is the K-1.
The board groups have also been upgraded to SD-7’s at both FOH and monitors. However on my last show there with South African singer/songwriter/guitarist Jonathan Butler, our side of the revolving stage was wired to a PM5D.
The first thing that really impressed me was the definition and punch of the system. With only HPF and no EQ Jonathan’s vocal tone was amplified perfectly. Fred told me that there was nothing in the signal path other that the thirty-one LA8 amplifier/controllers. All processing is done in the amps.
During soundcheck I was able to take a quick run around the venue seating area. I was amazed by the even tonal and volume coverage. There was no discernable phasing or dropout.
A more detailed look at the system can be found in last months FOH magazine.
The folks at L’Acoustics and the crew at the Hollywood Bowl have outdone themselves. This is, by far, the best sounding installed PA I have ever heard, and quite likely the best in the world.
– Dave Kuhn