The sound behind Asia’s ‘magical’ first post-COVID arena concert

Taipei recently hosted Asia’s first post-COVID arena show, in the form of a sold out concert from Taiwan pop star Eric Chou.

The star’s ‘How Have you Been?’ mini tour saw all 42,000 tickets sold across four shows (August 8 and 9 in Taipei, and September 5 and 6 in Kaohsiung). The first of the four concerts took place at Taiwan’s biggest venue, the Taipei Arena, kitted out with an L-Acoustics K Series sound system, delivered by Winly Engineering & Trading.

“It was an absolute pleasure to be working with Eric once again on what became the first large-scale live event in Asia since social distancing measures were first introduced,” said Winly system engineer, Mike Lee, who has contributed to the system design of virtually every concert at Taipei Arena in recent years. Lee and his colleague Andre Lai, monitor engineer and head of the sound crew, used L-Acoustics Soundvision to design and configure the sound system. “We really appreciate how Soundvision helped us with the design, as well as implementation stage,” explains Lee. “Not only did it make our work much quicker, it also delivered a highly accurate simulation of the system performance.”

“Taipei Arena is such an iconic venue; it really is a pinnacle of Taiwan’s entertainment industry,” Lee continued. “With these concerts, we had a deep sense of responsibility to deliver an event like no other in its audio splendour, so thousands of fans could once again experience a truly spectacular live show.”

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The full system comprised main L/R hangs of 12 K1, topped with four K1-SB subwoofers and completed by four K2 down for nearfill coverage. The flown arrays were complemented by four groundstacks of four KS28 subs, evenly spaced in front of the stage. Two hangs of six K2 per side, positioned slightly behind and to the outside of the main hangs provided sidefill. Four Kara, each placed atop the ground stacked KS28, did frontfill duty. Delays of two hangs of six Kara extended coverage to the far end of the arena.

“We used K1 as the main speaker for its volume, strong impact and low frequency control, which makes it the top large-scale sound systems on the planet,” Lee explained. “We chose K2 for optimum distribution, whilst Kara is known for its lightweight, diminutive form factor and strong SPL. Using KS28 subs offered us extended bandwidth down to 25Hz, as well as outstanding low frequency resolution and exceptional SPL.”

He continued: “That night, we felt the heart of the events industry in Asia start beating again. If there was any thought that the appetite for live shows was diminishing, it was turned to dust with the energy and excitement of thousands of fans who all came together to celebrate live music.

“Thanks to L-Acoustics, we were able to deliver this significant event and, in the words of Chou, there is no feeling more rewarding for a composer than to say ‘da jia yi qi chang!’— ‘let’s sing together!’ in Mandarin – and then for everyone to join in. After nearly half a year, it was magical to be part of that experience once again.”