French rental company XCPH recently fielded its premium RCF HDL20-A composite line array for the Vibration radio tour headlining the young stars (and former TV talent show winners) Louane and Marina Kaye.
With support from production coordinator, Jean Louis Couleard, the opening concert at Le Mans was one of six, also including Orleans, Blois, Tours, Angers and Bourges. It saw 7,500 people arrive at the Place des Jacobins in the centre of the city for an event that almost didn't take place, as the tropical storm Henri had crossed the country on the day of the show.
By then the Orleans based production company had rigged the PA comprising two clusters of RCF’s HDL20-A, each with seven elements, and a further six HDL20-A enclosures as front fills. Nine 8006AS subs, in 3 x 3 stacks, provided cardioid pattern control.
“We were almost ready to cancel the concert,” admits XCPH’s sound engineer Nicolas Fournier. “Finally the rigging was made secure but we really appreciated the rain cover accessories provided with the HDL.
“In fact we appreciated everything about the system: it was very easy to set up and its modularity meant that when we were playing small to mid-sized venues we could use just a few speakers in a stack configuration. In addition to that, the mechanics are also pretty clever and that saved us a lot of time.”
Generally, XCPH deploy their HDL20-A in an indoor configuration along with their HDL18-AS single 18’ subwoofers in an array. But for the Vibration tour, they extended this, and beefed up the LF with the double 18” subs in cardio configuration.
Reviewing the attributes of the sound system, Nicolas Fournier notes the extreme power generated from a mid-sized PA that is powered by a 1400W (peak) 2 way digital amplifier, and controlled from a powerful DSP. “We are always impressed by the energy from the HDL20-A,” he said. At the concert in Blois, over 12,000 people attended, with special guest artist Shy’m added to the show. “Once again we kept perfect clarity thanks to a delay cluster of six HD20-A at 40 meters from the stage.
“The 8006AS subwoofers were also incredible, producing an extremely strong and deep bass response. Cardioid control is very easy — it only requires a preset button to be pushed and the internal DSP manages all the pattern behaviour.”
But the main advantage of HDL, he says, is the sweet and natural equalisation, which rarely requires much external processing.
Summing up the reasons why they prefer the HDL20-A, Nicolas Fournier concludes, “For rental companies like us, concerned with tight budgets and cost effective systems, RCF’s HDL20-A guarantees a similar performance to ‘premium’ systems that are two or three times more expensive.”