Following interest from Phil Jones, FOH/production manager for both Royal Blood and Newton Faulkner, Formidable Audio provided its Mk III Flashlight system for the Ipswich date of Newton Faulkner’s ‘Human Love’ tour.
The house equipment did not meet the production’s needs, so Phil Jones asked Formidable Audio to provide their Flashlight rig on this occasion.
To cover the Ipswich Corn Exchange, a 3-wide TFS 780H array over 6 TSW 721’s was deployed. A fourth TFS 780H was stacked on top of the array to cover the balcony, whilst Floodlight cabinets were used for infill.
Jones was very impressed with the Formidable Flashlight system. “I’ve mixed on Flashlight and Floodlight many times before; I have particularly fond memories of mixing at The Water Rats pub in Kings Cross on an old Flashlight system, and it had the grunt that other systems simply lacked. As soon as I started listening to the Flashlight this time around, it is very different. In fact, it takes a few minutes to get used to it. I stood against the walls and if you’re not in the coverage of the box there are minimal reflections. It’s great.”
Jones continues, “The top end is what gets me. It’s so transparent. It’s a very sensitive PA and all the subtleties of your mix are so prominent. It can catch you out! But, if you give it time, it can be glorious, too. In a ground-stacked configuration, the High Frequency was only about 9ft high and I was worried about coverage when standing at the back. However, I was not disappointed! In fact, I was amazed! It sounded like I was ‘in the gig’ — the High Frequency throws relentlessly. Upstairs on the balcony, where the High and Medium Frequencies were uninterrupted, the detail was excellent.
“It’s a different box. Just two to three weeks into a tour, I found myself changing my show quite a lot processing-wise. For example, the following evening I had a Kara rig and straight-away it sounds great in sound check, but it was just that the magic was missing. The room was dead, yet it’s a very polite system that doesn’t require a lot of work to have it sounding really good. But that’s not what I’m after! I’m after amazing!”
Jones concludes that, “The Flashlight Mk III is not a simple beast; it takes work and if I had it in that room again, I would have had it stacked differently. But the potential is very exciting.”
Gaining such high praise marks the first win for Formidable Audio since appointing its new sales director, Joe Turner. “I’m delighted that Phil chose the Flashlight system,” says Turner. “It was a pleasure to provide it for such a talented engineer and artist. Such musicianship engineered for the audience through the Flashlight system was an absolute joy to listen to. I would urge other bands to hear the sound for themselves.”
“The system was driven by Formidable Audio’s modified BSS EPC amplifiers, although these are not our only solution,” explains Turner. “The BSS EPC’s sound great. However, to continue meeting the needs of our clients, and those of modern touring standards, we are constantly updating our systems and we have a digital option that is compliant with networking protocols such as DANTE.”
Formidable Audio is looking forward to a busy summer and, as such, is looking to increase its hire stock.
“We’re currently looking at refurbishing some TSW 718’s and some more TFL 760H’s. The Floodlight cabs also undergo our upgrades to the 6.5-inch drivers, plus the 1-inch compression drivers, and give us more options for infill, outfill and sidefill,” concludes Turner.