VUE al-12 Selected for Kendrick Lamar’s THE DAMN. TOUR

From monitors to mains, VUE’s beryllium-infused sonic purity and ample headroom earn high praise on the summer’s hottest concert ticket.

Escondido, Calif. — August 1, 2017
With a staggering eight VMA nominations, Kendrick Lamar recently kicked off one of 2017’s most anticipated arena tours in support of his double-platinum “DAMN.” album — his third number #1 release on the Billboard 200. For the DAMN Tour, which hits cities in the US, Canada, and Mexico, FOH Engineer Kyle Hamilton specified a complete VUE sound reinforcement system, supplied by Escondido, California-based Sound Image.

Debuting last month to a packed house at the Gila River Arena, just outside Phoenix, the system includes left and right VUE al-12 line arrays consisting of 20 elements each, with two auxiliary side-hangs of eight elements each. 36 VUEDrive V3 Systems Engines provide power and processing for the arrays. A DIGICo SD7 handles the FOH mix with a pair of VUE h-12s serving as nearfield monitors.

Kyle Hamilton, Kendrick Lamar FOH Engineer

“I’ve been working with the smaller VUE h-Class systems for about two years. I really love their consistent voice and the fidelity of the beryllium high frequency,” remarked Hamilton. “When I heard VUE was launching a full-sized line array with their beryllium drivers, I was anxious to find out if the voicing carried over from the h-12s, and if it would have the horsepower for a full-scale arena-sized tour.”

VUE provided Hamilton with an opportunity to audition the al-12 array at a special demo site near Primm, Nevada. Hamilton spent nearly six hours pushing the system to the extreme — often pushing up to 10db past his maximum requirements.  Everything from fidelity to sheer output was thoroughly evaluated.

“The accuracy was the first thing I noticed,” explained Hamilton. “I put up a session that I knew needed some work in one particular area. Right out of the gate I heard it. I’ve never had that happen with a PA at the scale of the al-12. And output was equally impressive. Whatever level I wanted I got, and with room to spare.”

At the end of the day, the VUE al-12 surpassed expectations and the deal was set. Sound Image would provide a complete VUE al-12 based system for the Kendrick Lamar DAMN Tour.

David Shadoan, President and CEO of Sound Image stated, “If the technology meets our standards, we are always happy to provide what our clients ask us for. The VUE system is exceptionally engineered and it sounds phenomenal, so it made for an easy decision.”

After just two weeks on the road, Hamilton couldn’t be more confident with his decision. “Everyone is really pleased with the system. The fidelity of the al-12 is simply amazing. With every mix I’ve done, when I play it back in my car or on one of my better reference systems, it translates absolutely perfectly.”

For low-frequency support, Sound Image provided 32 VUE hs-221 dual 21-inch ACM subwoofers. The subs are configured in left and right arrays of 16 cabinets each, located on either side of the center stage thrust. Onboard VUEDrive electronics provide all power and processing for the subwoofer arrays.

“The subs are just crushing it,” elaborated Hamilton. “I’ve actually had to turn them down on because they were literally making it hard to breathe. I’ve never had a sub go so low and so loud. VUE is really on to something with these ACM subs.”

The all-VUE PA is complete with a full monitoring system that includes left and right side fill arrays consisting of four al-12 elements and two al-12SB subwoofers each. Every musician also receives an hs-28 ACM subwoofer for added bass and drums. VUE hm-212 dual 12-inch stage wedges are on the downstage lip, on top of the subs, in-between the al-8 front fills for when a surprise guest appears.  VUEDrive Systems Engines provide power and processing, while a second DIGICo SD7 handles the monitor mix.

Chris Lee, Kendrick Lamar’s Monitor Engineer

According to Monitor Engineer, Chris Lee the VUE monitors bring a welcome degree of versatility and impact to the stage. “They’re all equipped with in-ears, but the VUE system delivers the full physical impact of the mix while offering a second high-fidelity option that matches perfectly with the main PA. In a way, they’re more connected to the audience experience thanks to VUE’s on-stage system.”

In many ways, Kyle Hamilton’s VUE journey, which began nearly three years ago with a set of h-8 monitors at FOH on the Pharrell Williams tour, has now come full circle as he debuts the al-12 on its first arena tour.

I knew Mike Adams and the VUE team were doing something very special when I first turned on those h-8s and realized what the beryllium could do. I’ve been a solid believer ever since. I’m really excited to show the world the al-12 line array. It’s a game changer.

About VUE Audiotechnik 
With an unflinching focus on innovation through technology and a firm commitment to relationships, the VUE Audiotechnik team united in 2012. With more than a century of combined experience, VUE’s founders have been at the epicenter of many of professional audio’s most noted success stories. From visionary loudspeaker designs that set the tone for our industry today, to the development of the giants in modern sound reinforcement, the team’s work has been felt and heard throughout the spectrum of professional audio. Since inception, VUE has experienced immediate acceptance and unparalleled growth. Though a relatively new addition to the lineup of professional audio loudspeaker manufacturers, VUE is already recognized as a leader in innovation. Explore our success stories at