Founded and fronted by a former studio engineer for The Beatles and Pink Floyd, the Alan Parsons Project (APP) is among the most technically demanding acts to provide live sound for, according to Timo Hille, audio specialist at PM Blue.
The company was responsible for translating APP’s “symphonic” studio projects from the 1970s and 1980s into the live environment, a challenge that Hille says live technology has taken a long time to achieve.
“Alan Parsons’ sound quality requirements are particularly high,” says Hille. “He and his seven-member band use complex arrangements in which many instruments overlap, especially in the low-mid range between 120Hz and 800Hz. It demands a good mix and a really high-resolution sound system.”
He opted for a pro-ribbon line array by Netherlands-based manufacturer Alcons for dates including Lanxess Arena (cap. 20,000) in Cologne, Tempodrom (3,500) in Berlin and Dusseldorf’s Mitsubishi Electric Halle (7,500)..
Thirty LR18 compact mid-size pro-ribbon line array systems were used as main PA, with 12 LR7 micro line-arrays distributed along the edge of the stage. Nine of Alcons’ BF302 mark II dual 15” subwoofers were placed in the centre as a cardioid (heart-shaped) sub-array, combined with subwoofers at the outer edge of the stage.
“I had good tools at my disposal to adequately cover the halls,” says Hille. “The high-resolution pro-ribbon tweeters are initially unfamiliar to many FOH technicians, because they transmit more high frequency information than conventional compression drivers. But, after a short introduction, the systems were sheer mixing pleasure.”