Burn The Floor is a fast moving, high-intensity live dance show, which since its formation in 1997 (for Elton John’s birthday party) has performed in over 130 countries worldwide.
Martin Audio partner dBS Solutions first provided sound system support for their 2019 UK tour (with a W8LM line array) but when producers Strictly Theatre Company re-engaged dBS for the 2022 tour, they upgraded to their latest acquisition—Wavefront Precision WPS optimised line array, with scalable resolution—which was accoladed with the Queen’s Award for Innovation.
dBS Solutions MD Chris Bogg says that having previously provided sound reinforcement for the Kevin & Karen tour, featuring Strictly dancers Kevin Clifton and Karen Hauer, this has become a genre in which they have found themselves specialising. “Burn The Floor is loud, high energy rock music … a combination of live band, vocalists and music to track,” he explains.
The latest iteration—featuring a cast of up to 15 (including Kevin Clifton) has been touring UK theatres with up to 20 (2 x 10) WPS enclosures, four DD6 for front fills and four WS218X subs in L/R stacks, while in the stalls four XD15 fill any coverage gaps as necessary. The system is driven in 1-box resolution from iKON iK81 amplifiers, providing the highest level of control for coverage and consistency, with an iK42 assigned to the subs.
“I COULDN’T BE HAPPIER; WPS IS OUTSTANDING, AND I WILL HAPPILY SPEC THIS SYSTEM FOR FUTURE SHOWS.”
Chris Bogg, who designed the system in conjunction with FOH sound engineer Joe Baker, confirmed that the producers have been hugely impressed with the sound system, particularly the evenness of coverage across venues’ entire seating area. “This became more evident at the two venues so far where we have had to play through house systems, and they have immediately noticed a huge difference.”
Joe Baker who shares duties with system/stage engineer James Malcolm, was equally effusive in his praise for the system. “WPS is perfect for the show, and we have received only compliments for the audio quality. The consistent coverage from the very front seat to the very back makes my life as an engineer extremely easy. Knowing every seat is getting the same experience means I can focus on mixing the show.”
Whatever configuration he applies, he is confident the mix that comes out will be 100% accurate. “I know when I open up the system for soundcheck I have very little or no changes to make. There is no compromise with power and tone.
“From design to rigging to soundcheck to show the consistency and intuitive workflow of DISPLAY 2 optimisation software and VU-NET control software and the physical array in the space is something I have never come across before. The results I get in DISPLAY 2 transfer perfectly into the physical environment without any need for adjustment or compromise, while loading the array preset is extremely easy.”
He goes on to say, “Drawing a slice of a venue couldn’t be simpler, and having the option of Survey mode makes the difficult venues easy to map out.This allows me to be extremely precise with what area I want covering and with the Hard Avoid feature this has come into its own with the acoustically challenging venues. The EQ optimisation tool is also truly amazing.”
In summary he says, “I couldn’t be happier; WPS is outstanding, and I will happily spec this system for future shows” … while colleague James Malcolm simply describes WPS as sounding “absolutely stonking.”
Photography by Filiz Moore.