[Image shows Sound Linear’s Kalle Hogrefe (R) with Reinhard Steger, audiovation]
Sound Linear bought its very first NEXO system – the Alpha – in 1993, and has stocked the brand exclusively for the past 20 years. Despite its loyalty to NEXO, the company feels STM will be a game-changer like no other system before.
“We saw the possibilities of STM immediately,” says Sound Linear’s Kalle Hogrefe. “Its modularity allows us to use different components of the system separately, making it suitable for large and small events alike. And we can use it for a whole range of different music, from classical events, through to singer/songwriters and rock and roll.”
In a very short time, Sound Linear has already deployed its STM system for a variety of events and tours, including dates with British bands from the 1970s on their reunion tour Sweet, Smokie, Showaddywaddy and Boney M.
“At this stage, we’d only taken delivery of the M46 Main and B112 Bass cabinets, so we used six STM sets per side for venues of around 4,000 people,” says Sound Linear’s system tech Jonas Telesch. “With just six per side, the system sounded great, easily handling up to 6,500 people at the Volkswagen Arena Braunschweig.”
This was followed by a tour for German artist Ina Mueller, where nine M46s and B112s (nine sets) per side were used with six S118 subs in venues ranging from 2,000 – 6,500 capacity. “Before we got the STM, we had to transport two systems around with us to handle the different venues on the tour, ranging in size from 2,000 to 12,000 people, and we had to change for every show,” continues Telesch. “The FOH engineer also had to change his way of mixing every day because he had a different PA. With STM, we’re hanging the same system in a bigger or smaller configuration, yet the sound is consistent.”
Sound Linear’s STM was used on German Pink Floyd tribute band, Floyd Reloaded. “We had a situation where one day we were at the Olympiahalle in Munich using 12 stacks per side for 10,000 people, and it sounded great,” says Telesch. “The next gig was in Berlin at a 2,000-capacity venue, and we couldn’t hang very much from the roof, so we flew eight M46 per side, and kept the B112s and subs on the ground, with another two M46s stacked on two subs for effects. This gave us the same sound as in Munich.”
Offering this level of flexibility, NEXO’s modular line array represents a bright new future for the live sound rental industry. Designed to boost profitability by combining versatility with exceptional sound quality, throw and ease of rigging, STM draws on NEXO’s classic Alpha Series of point source cabinets, sharing the basic principles of scale through modularity. The initial touring range incorporates the M46 Main cabinet, B112 Bass cabinet, S118 Sub-bass cabinet and M28 Omni-purpose cabinet, allowing users to build systems for audiences from 200 to 100,000.
Next up for Sound Linear’s STM is a short tour for radio station RTL featuring Earth, Wind and Fire, Chic, Sister Sledge and Kool and the Gang, plus simultaneous dates for German rap star Bushido and the legendary James Last and his Orchestra. “We’ll pretty much be able to use our STM system for all of this,” says Telesch. “For hip hop we need lots of bass so we will use almost all the system, while for James Last we only need the M46 mains and some S118 subs so we can scale it as we need it.”
Already, Sound Linear can envisage a future where its inventory consists solely of STM cabinets. “One system really does fit all,” says Hogrefe. “It’s so difficult to make money in what we do these days, and we’re confident this will change the face of our rental company.”
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