Rammstein goes large with L-Acoustics and SSE

Drummer Christoph Schneider delivers his hallmark aural assault on tour with an L-Acoustics PA – Photo Jens Kock

Germany’s Rammstein, icons of Neue Deutsche Härte style rock, have recently launched their first ever stadium tour, mounting 34 dates across 17 European countries, and announcing an additional round of 27 European stadium dates for 2020. This epic run of larger-than-life Rammstein shows supports the release of the band’s untitled seventh studio album – the first since 2009’s Liebe ist für alle da. To cover the massive crowds, and rival the monumental pyrotechnics, an L-Acoustics K Series PA system was provided by SSE Hire, whose parent company Solotech supplied the video systems.

Jordan Franks, Hire Administrator at SSE, says that the intense schedule combined with the scale of the shows were key early challenges for Rammstein tour management, which meant it had to be careful to choose partners that could deliver. “SSE has a wealth of experience supporting stadium-sized tours around the world,” he says. “For this one, SSE and Solotech have been able to share logistics, equipment, and expertise. That makes the tour a milestone project across the Solotech Group.”

Rammstein’s main PA comprises L-Acoustics K1, K2, K1-SB and ARCS II to deliver the band’s signature onslaught of sound. © Jens Kock

The initial specification for the PA came from the tour’s System Engineer, Andreas Vater. SSE Project Manager Miles Hillyard then worked with Vater to refine the system design, taking into account each of the venues’ unique features and complexities. “L-Acoustics tech support assisted with some design aspects too,” says Franks. “It was a group effort to bring the entire project together and everyone involved couldn’t have been happier with the support and service received from L-Acoustics.”

The two main PA hangs were made up of 18 K1 and four K2 down on each side, with four delay towers of 16 K1 and four K2 each. The eight roof delay hangs each used 12 K2 and the front fills were made up of 16 Kara and 16 ARCS II cabinets. Two hangs of 20 K1-SB were flown, along with another 68 ground stacked KS28 subwoofers, to provide the rumble and thunder the band required. A total of 180 LA12X amplified controllers provided all the power needed, and audio transport was handled via Milan AVB. FOH and monitor consoles were all Avid S6L.

“Rammstein is the biggest AVB tour SSE has carried out to date,” says Franks. “We are extremely proud to have worked on such a ground-breaking production.”

“It was an interesting and exciting tour to work on,” adds SSE Crew Chief Nick Pain. “The scale of everything on this tour was bigger than most stadium tours, from the size of the stage to the number of speakers and amplifiers we were using on a daily basis. One of the band’s main concerns on this tour was audio quality. Good system design and a suitable number of cabinets ensured that we could provide high quality audio in every seat of every venue we visited.”

Rammstein’s main PA comprises L-Acoustics K1, K2, K1-SB and ARCS II to deliver the band’s signature onslaught of sound. © Jens Kock

“There were some challenges getting a handle on this immense AVB network during production rehearsals, but we received excellent support from L-Acoustics and data distribution manufacturer, Luminex. When the tour went out, the system was remarkably stable the whole time.”

According to Franks, Rammstein’s Production Director, Nicolai Sabottka – along with the rest of the production team – were delighted with the PA, from the design right through to the final delivery on the tour itself.

“It was clear L-Acoustics was the right choice of system,” he concludes. “SSE and L-Acoustics have worked as trusted partners for many years and we’re looking forward to that continuing as we look to the 2020 Rammstein tour dates.”