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L-Acoustics’ Kiva II for Music in the Park

Wed, 26 Jul 2017 09:19

Sinnissippi Park in Rockford, Illinois

The Sinnissippi Music Shell at Sinnissippi Park in Rockford, Illinois is visually striking: a flaring overhead clamshell roof above a modernistic trapezoidal frame around the stage. These kinds of architectural statements, however, often come with challenges for venue sound, and this was no exception.

For this year’s Music In The Park series—which began on 7 June with the Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps and runs through August 3 with the Funk, Party and Dance Band, and hosts artists performing genres from rock to bluegrass to Zydeco and everything in between. Clearwing Productions called on an L-Acoustics Kiva II design to provide a sound system that covers every seat and stands up to weather in a highly exposed location.

The system is made up of ten Kiva II loudspeakers, flown below three SB15m subs in a single centre-hung array, with two SB18m subs on the stage, all powered by three LA4X amplified controllers. That single hang can cover every set in the venue, plus grass sitting areas on the sides and at the top of the hill opposite the stage.

“Ideally, you would always like to have a left-right stereo system, with a hang on either side of the stage. However, it does not always work out that way,” says Mik Moore, systems design engineer at Clearwing Productions, who began working at the Parnelli Award-winning sound-reinforcement provider when he was in college over 20 years ago. “At Sinnissippi Park, given the architecture and the load-bearing limits we faced with this kind of stage design, we had to work with just one line array. Because the seating areas are wide and extend up a hill behind the fixed seats, it was more of a challenge than it looked.”

That challenge was addressed by the L-Acoustics Kiva II ultra-compact modular line array, which generates symmetric horizontal coverage of 100 degrees, without secondary lobes over the entire frequency range. And at just 31 pounds per module, the Kiva II allowed Moore to design a full-spectrum system that covered all of the seating areas consistently and clearly, without putting undue stress on the venue’s support infrastructure and still allowing three 15-inch subwoofers atop the hang. Using Polar Focus rigging elements that fit a motorised lift atop the array and an anti- sway stabiliser bar underneath that keeps it steady in the breeze, the Kiva II system kept Music in the Park rocking without any rolling.

“The horizontal dispersion pattern of the Kiva II is just fantastic,” says Moore. “One of the first big shows of the series had over 3 000 people in the seats and more on the grass around them. The producers told us that everyone heard everything, even off the side and on top of the hill, thanks to the extra 6dB the Kiva II gives us. Like all the L-Acoustics systems we use at Clearwing, we chose the Kiva II because it offered the most versatile solution for a challenging project.”