Audioserv Delivers Four Stages of Funktion-One Sound at Beat Herder 2023

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Following a successful collaboration last year, Audioserv returned to Lancashire’s picturesque Ribble Valley Village this summer for Beat Herder 2023, supplying Funktion-One sound on four stages. In 2022, the Leeds-based Funktion-One specialists were tasked with providing the sound for The Ring, curated by world-renowned electronic music duo Utah Saints. Fast forward to July 2023, and Beat Herder invited them back, this time to supply Funktion-One sound on The Ring, Trash Manor, Smoky Tentacles, and Perfumed Garden. 

The much-loved festival is known for its eclecticism, meaning the Funktion-One systems were put through their paces across a varied programme of DJ and live performances from the likes of Dr Syntax Live, A. Skillz, Stanton Warriors, Dub Smugglers, The Haggis Horns, Cloonee, Hauswerks and BCUC Live.

First on the build schedule was Trash Manor, where Audioserv deployed two stacks of three Funktion-One F124 subs in cardioid configuration to effectively mitigate offsite disruption and minimise the level behind the stage. Rollinson commented: “The Evo 7Ts provided effortless mid and high frequency coverage throughout the area.” 

Due to opening alongside Trash Manor on the Thursday (a day earlier than the main event), the next priority for setup was Smoky Tentacles; a lounge-café-bar area rotating a mixture of live bands and DJs, playing predominantly bass-heavy genres such as hip-hop, dub and reggae. 

Rollinson said: “The common theme throughout the festival site this year has been to make the best use of available headroom whilst minimising non-localised propagation. Rear rejection bass coverage was again employed for this stage by using two Funktion-One F221 subs in each stack, with the lower cabinet reversed and appropriate DSP settings applied. 

“Mid-high frequencies were handled flawlessly by the 90° horizontal dispersion characteristic of the Funktion-One Evo Xs. This, coupled with the 15° vertical dispersion of these new cabinets, made them the perfect choice for a tent with such a low ceiling.” 

Both the Smoky Tentacles crew and Pete Rollinson received numerous compliments for the high-clarity sound over the weekend, with one attendee commenting: “I didn’t think Funktion-One was designed for live bands, but it has sounded absolutely incredible all weekend!” Rollinson replied: "It absolutely is designed for excellent audio - live or DJ."

The Perfumed Garden area was a haven for all things psychedelic. Housed in a 500 capacity geo-dome, it featured a mixture of DJs, live bands and spoken word acts. Here, Audioserv deployed two Funktion-One Res 4s left and right, together with three Funktion-One F121s per side in cardioid configuration to ensure clarity for the performers (particularly live acts), while also minimising interference with other stages. 

The largest of the four stages that Audioserv catered for was the round geologic amphitheatre style structure known as The Ring. Curated by veterans of UK Dance music The Utah Saints, its programme featured a range of bass-heavy electronic genres, including drum and bass, breakbeat, garage, rave and house music. Tim Utah explained: “The Funktion-One system that Audioserv put in on the stage we curate at Beat Herder always delivers as it has to, as we book world class DJs who expect nothing but the best sound quality. Pete and his team always work hard to deliver this.” 

Responding to the particular importance of the low end for this genre, together with the size and capacity of the arena, Audioserv installed a wall of nine Funktion-One F124 subs across the bottom of the stage in a cardioid configuration. Elevated by scaffolding towers to maintain even SPL over the entire audience area, the mids and highs were taken care of effortlessly by four Funktion-One Vero VX stacks per side. 

Audioserv sound engineer James Storey commented: “The F124 cardioid array on the Ring was highly effective. This was not only essential to mitigate noise issues but it also gave us more control over the sound on-stage, preventing turntables from feeding back and facilitating the best possible sound in the booth for DJs. The Vero VX system delivered crisp, clear audio dispersed across the entirety of the amphitheatre due to their wide dispersion and long-throw capability. By using separate DSP processing for different sections of the arrays, it allowed us to give the best possible sound for the entire audience, whether on the ground close to the stage or at the rear on the top level of steps.”

Reflecting on the weekend, Storey stated: “It’s been amazing to hear the diverse capabilities of the Funktion-One systems we supplied this weekend. From peak-time drum and bass to acoustic and spoken word acts, it’s hit the mark every time.” 

In wake of a such formidable collaboration at 2023’s Beat Herder Festival, Audioserv looks forward to developing its partnership with both the festival and Funktion-One.  

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