Foothill Ranch, CA | November 2009 – With its rich history of cultural diversity, San Francisco’s historic Grace Cathedral was the ideal location to celebrate the culmination of Tools for Peace’s landmark Mandala Project. The non-profit organization, which empowers youths and adults through a series of training programs throughout the Bay Area and Southern California, hosted the event to mark the completion of stunning sand mandalas by local students and Tibetan monks.
The gala event included an intimate champagne performance by Grammy Award winner k.d. lang, accompanied by only a solo piano. As lang’s FOH engineer Gary Stokes points out, the majesty of the famed cathedral was both a blessing and a challenge.
“There are few venues more breathtaking than Grace Cathedral, and it was really an honor to be asked to play there,” he says. “But it’s also a massive space, with a reverb time of somewhere around six seconds, and we had to find a way to get good coverage and intelligibility to every seat in the house.”
To meet the challenge, Stokes got in touch with Rocky Gianetta at Fault Line Sales, who teamed with Renkus- Heinz’s David Rahn to donate an IC Live system for the gig. As Gianetta explains, the IC Live’s digitally steerable array was ideally suited for the Grace’s singular challenges.
“David and I brought the entire system in the back of a pickup truck, and the two of us were able to carry it in and set it up,” he says. “More importantly, using only two IC215S-R subs and four ICL-R modules, we were able to dial in a ten-degree beam and achieve focused, intelligible coverage with minimal reflectivity, all the way to the rear of the hall.”
Using RHAON, Renkus-Heinz’s integrated DSP technology, the entire IC-Live system and a pair of Sygma SG121-5R stage monitors were able to be quickly configured and monitored throughout the performance.
“k.d. sang through her regular microphone, an AKG 535, and Gary used the house console, an APB Dynasonic,” says Gianetta. “Other than a bit of dynamics on her voice, that was pretty much the entire system.”
“Tools for Peace is truly a wonderful organization, and needless to say we were excited to be able to contribute to such an outstanding event,” remarked Renkus-Heinz’s David Rahn.
“Of course, from a technical perspective it was fantastic to have an opportunity to prove the power and focus of IC Live in a venue like Grace Cathedral. But all that aside, we couldn’t have asked for a better artist to showcase this product. k.d. is the consummate performer, her voice is practically operatic in range and power, and she’s got such a charismatic communication with her audience. This was truly the ultimate gig for IC Live, and we’re just thrilled to have been a part of it.”