The WECANDANCE festival at the Zeebrugge beach proved to be the perfect showcase for Funktion-One’s new Evo speakers and for testing its hotly anticipated Vero touring system.
For the WECANDANCE festival (8-9 August), the organisers selected Belgian Funktion-One distributors and rental company Soundsystem to provide sound reinforcement for the event’s four stages.
It was one of the organisers, Bart Roman, who first opted for Funktion-One two years ago. “I’m pretty much a sound lover and good sound on a festival is key, and worth the investment,” he says. “In this case, combining four stages in the vicinity of seaside buildings, directivity of the system is crucial, and that’s where Funktion-One comes in.”
Soundsystem deployed Funktion-One speakers across all four stages, as the main FOH systems and for monitors. This included an outing for the long-awaited Vero system, which is now in its final phase of beta testing. Other stages featured Evo 6Es, which were launched at Prolight + Sound Frankfurt 2015.
Soundsystem’s Tia Broodcoorens and Lieven Pillaert were joined onsite by Funktion-One founder John Newsham, who lent his expertise to tuning the systems, while keeping a watchful eye and a keen ear on Vero.
“This festival is a great opportunity to test Vero,” said Newsham. “We started testing the system almost two years ago, today we’re looking back at around 20 shows. We believe we’ve developed something really special, therefore we’re determined that every single element of the system – from the speakers to the flying to the software – will be exactly right when we launch it. What we now know after WECANDANCE is that we’re pretty much there and can look forward to launching the system now.”
Though Vero has been developed predominantly for live touring applications, during testing it has also proven to be very effective on large electronic music events too. Before WECANDANCE, the system had been used at Ultra Fest Miami, Ultra Fest Croatia, Creamfields in Liverpool, Red Rocks in Colorado and Transmission in Prague. Regardless of the musical genre, the ability to fly such a large and powerful system in such a short space of time has been appreciated by the production crews.
Soundsystem’s Lieven Pillaert explains: “Vero can be flown by two or three people in less than 30 minutes – this is really exceptional. The software calculates the configuration that is exactly right for the room or space in question. One the most impressive attributes is its extremely good dispersion control, which is especially useful for outdoor events with nearby residential areas.”
Discussing this control, Newsham recalls the beta test at Ultra Fest in Croatia, where Vero systems were placed on two opposite stages. “We were able to angle the Vero so that we got a very strong cut-off just past the FOH position. Having this level of control was also very important at WECANDANCE.”
The festival took place over two days, with each stage having a different identity on each day. For simplicity, we have referred to the stages using their production names.
Vero was used on the Container stage, which featured artists like Andy Weatherall, Optimo and Daniele Baldelli. Two hangs of seven Vero mid/high and mid/bass speakers combined with 12 Vero bass units, with amplification coming from only two Lab.gruppen PLM20000s. Funktion-One Resolution 2 speakers and BR118 bass reflex enclosures handled monitoring, while a Midas Venice U24 desk was used to mix the show.
The Main stage was home to 16 Funktion-One Resolution 5 Touring speakers and 16 F121 bass enclosures, driven by MC2 E45 and E100 amps and managed by XTA control. Artists like Heidi, Culoe De Song and Jacques Renault had the pleasure of Funktion-One PSM318 monitors, which have been described by Carl Cox as the best monitors he has ever worked on. A Midas Venice U16 was deployed for FOH mixing duties.
More Resolution 5s, F121s and MC2 amplification delivered sound to the Tropical stage, while the Dome stage utilised one of Funktion-One’s latest releases. Four Evo 6E loudspeakers were used together with eight F121 bass enclosures.
Funktion-One launched the new Evolution Series at Prolight + Sound Frankfurt in April this year, introducing the Evolution 6E and Evolution 7E. The Evo 6E and Evo 7E are both fully horn-loaded with mid-bass, Funktion-One signature midrange and a compression driver solely for frequencies above 4kHz. The Evo 7E has a 30-degree horizontal dispersion angle and high efficiency, so just three wide gives 90-degree horizontal coverage for crowd sizes up to around 2,500 people. The Evo 6E has the same cabinet height and width as the Evo 7E but with a wider, 45-degree horizontal dispersion, for mid-scale live and EDM events, as well as for installations.
Commenting on the new additions to the Funktion-One product range, company founder Tony Andrews explains: “In the last couple of years we’ve discovered some new technology, which has led to a really productive period of development. We’ve found a way of delivering more intensity without distortion. One of the things to come out of that is the Evolution Series.”
A shorter version of this article was published on the Pro Sound News Europe website.