Gearforce and d&b behind Trevor Noah’s return to Rogers Arena


One of Vancouver’s biggest and most popular comedy festivals, JFL NorthWest, returned to the city in late February 2022. One of the highlights of the festival was comedy superstar Trevor Noah. Daily Show host Noah performed at Rogers Arena as part of the festival and his critically acclaimed tour, Trevor Noah: Back to Abnormal. The arena, which seats more than 18,000 people, is back at full capacity.

speed strength (Vancouver) provided a d&b audiotechnik KSL loudspeaker system for mains and J-series loudspeakers for output fills, both using ArrayProcessing and complemented by SL-SUBS. As part of the SL series, the KSL line array is specifically designed for medium to large scale PA applications and offers full bandwidth directivity control to deliver quiet stages for performers and high intelligibility for audiences. . Using d&b ArrayProcessing ensures that every member of the audience enjoys the same remarkable sound quality, no matter where they are seated.

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Trevor Noah is currently one of the hottest comedians in the world with over 20 tour stops scheduled in Europe and North America from May to October. “When we were discussing the design of the system, the tour manager made it clear that one of the most important aspects for Trevor is that his voice is heard in every seat of the building,” said Rob Nevalainen of Gearforce. “They place great importance on high quality sound, which is why they chose a d&b system with ArrayProcessing to ensure even coverage of all seats in the room. For this show, the COVID restrictions were lifted two weeks before the concert, and the promoter decided to set the stage back even further to have the ability to sell more tickets. We had no concerns that the system would still be able to deliver the same experience to every seat in the sold-out arena. It was the first full-capacity event at Rogers Arena since the onset of COVID. The Gearforce techs and local team were very happy to be back in a situation where they could drive a big sound system.

d&b audio, Trevor Noah

(Image credit: d&b audio)

The system installed by Gearforce was a combination of KSL and J speakers comprising 16 x KSL per side (12 x KSL8 and 4 x KSL12) and 14 x J-Series per side (12 x J8 and 2 x J12). On floor 6 x SL-GSUB in sub-array and 6 x Y8 speakers used for front fill, 1 x J-Sub and 2 x J12 per side on stage for side fill, 4 x M4 monitors. A total of 38 D80 amplifiers were used with 2 DS10 audio network bridges distributing AES to the amps.

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“When I first started working with Trevor, it was obvious that the approach of a comedy show versus a musical act had to be a little different,” said Glenn Thornton, tour manager/production manager for Trevor Noah. “The clarity and intelligibility of each syllable must reach the back row of an arena in exactly the same way as the front row for jokes to land effectively. The SL Series, in combination with ArrayProcessing, does this better than any other enclosure currently available, bar none. We carry an 8th Day Sound KSL system with us in the US, and when we go to Canada we call Rob Nevalainen and Gearforce. They can accurately recreate our US touring rig, which is essential for Trevor to feel comfortable on stage and not have to sacrifice consistency. That’s what matters most to me, that the boss is happy. Thanks to Rob and d&b for their support.

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