K-array enters tour sound market with steerable line array
Following an extensive period of real-world testing, K-array has unveiled its answer to large-format touring in the shape of the ‘next generation’ KH8 line array system. According to the Italian manufacturer – best known for its innovative compact solutions – the tour sound system boasts features including the ability to singlehandedly fly a 12-unit cluster in less than 10 minutes, full IP65/IP45 weather resistance and a peak SPL of 145dB.
The main goal for the manufacturer has been to create a large-format touring system that still remains practical in terms of portability, installation and management. This has led to production of the KH8 line array enclosure and accompanying KS8 subwoofer.
The KH8 is a slim and compact line array enclosure that is self-powered and water resistant (to IP45 standards). Each enclosure houses four 1.4-inch neodymium HF compression drivers with 1.5-inch voice coils as well eight 4-inch woofers with neodymium magnets and 1.5-inch voice coils for the mids, plus another eight 8-inch neodymium magnet woofers with 2.5-inch voice coils for the lows. The drivers are fully controlled by the onboard DSP to provide beam steering capabilities, while the enclosures themselves are mounted to their transport racks in two pre-cabled stacks of three KH8 units, making six units in total. All six enclosures can then be powered from a single power connection.
Its counterpart, the KS8, is a compact, self-powered, weather resistant subwoofer element providing a peak output of 148dB. The sub cabinets can be connected up to a three KH8 unit stack and flown in a cluster with the subwoofer on top. The subs feature IPAL driver and amp technology that incorporates an amp module, a differential pressure sensing device, ‘zero latency’ DSP, and two 21-inch custom designed transducers.
Perhaps the standout feature, however, is that a system of 24 KH8 units can be flown in under 10 minutes, with hangs of up to 12 units flyable singlehandedly in the same amount of time. This is possible because the speakers are anchored in groups of three cabinets within rigid frames. When flown, the units are hung in ‘straight arrays’. A user is then able to change the inclination of individual elements along the horizontal axis to achieve the optimum throw. An additional benefit of this approach is a minimised footprint, maximising the space available behind each array. This reportedly makes it possible to mount the speakers to ‘almost any wall’ or a layer tower.
In addition to manually tilting the enclosures to focus the sound, a KH8 cluster’s coverage can also be steered digitally. Each KH8 unit has eight on-board DSP channels to drive all of its sections independently, while each of the eight channels can load FIR and delays to achieve accurate steering results for any given environment.
Thanks to the pre-wired triple-enclosure transport racks, users only need a multi-cable with LK25 connector to send analogue, digital and data signals, and a multi-cable with Socapex connectors for the power.
Automatic configuration of the system can be achieved off-site via dedicated system software that allows users to design systems according to a venue’s requirements. With one click of a button the software will suggest the most accurate speaker angle for optimum coverage. Another press and the software will compute the best FIR settings to limit overspill. The KS8 subs are also integrated in the aiming and design software, allowing users to design cardioid or virtual arcs, for example.