L-Acoustics Powers Bad Bunny in Puerto Rico

Published: July 10, 2024
Wichie Sound Performance supplied an L-Acoustics concert sound system for Bad Bunny’s recent sold-out shows in Puerto Rico. Photo courtesy: Chris Shuler/L-Acoustics.

As Puerto Rico’s biggest export neared the end of his electrifying Most Wanted Tour in June, Billboard made a powerful assertion: “If you’ve seen Bad Bunny perform, but you haven’t seen him in Puerto Rico, then you haven’t really seen him at all.” It’s where, as Rolling Stone puts it, “The shows are longer, the guests are cooler, his monologues are more colorful, and his enthusiasm is through the roof.”

The tour, a staggering $208 million juggernaut, culminated at San Juan’s José Miguel Agrelot Coliseum —“El Choliseo”—in the “Soy Peor” singer’s homeland. Over three nights, Bad Bunny treated fans to special surprises, including guest appearances by Puerto Rican favorites like Bryant Myers, and Luar La L, alongside Colombian reggaeton star Feid. El Choliseo, where Bad Bunny has shattered attendance records. The tour saw its 18,500 seats filled to capacity each night.

But if the big names were the star performers, the foundation of the shows was the big sound delivered by an L-Acoustics K2 system supplied by Ponce-based Certified Provider Wichie Sound Performance, Inc., says the company.

Unique Challenges of Tour

Jorge Alberto Frontera Rodriguez, audio engineer with Wichie Sound, highlights the unique challenges of Bad Bunny’s San Juan shows, which used a 360-degree seating configuration. “These performances are completely different from typical events in this venue,” he explains. “Creating the perfect system for Bad Bunny is always a challenge, but L-Acoustics K2 provided the ideal solution.”

Before the actual setup, Frontera and his team relied heavily on L-Acoustics Soundvision software. “It allows us to visualize sound coverage and gives us a clear picture before we even place the first speaker in the venue,” Frontera notes. This preparatory step was crucial given the unique demands of the performance space, says L-Acoustics.

“The position of the stages and the size of the entire setup was bigger than normal, basically covering the arena from one end to the other,” Frontera explains. “So, the arrays and the distance between them were both higher than usual, prompting us to use ten hangs instead of the eight we normally deploy for shows in the round.”

Designing The Final Acoustics

L-Acoustics speakers at Bad Bunny tour.

The “Soy Peor” singer packed “El Choliseo” for three nights in a row, performing to 18,500 fans each night in the round. Photo courtesy: Chris Shuler/L-Acoustics.

The final design comprised eight arrays of ten K2 over six Kara II, two more of eight K2 over six Kara II and six hangs of eight KS28 subs. On the floor, there were 20 X15 speakers for front-fill and 12 Kara II distributed in four stacks of three on top of each of the two stages at the north and south ends.

Frontera praises the flexibility of K2 and Kara II, particularly their Panflex technology. “The ability to change dispersion between 70, 90 and 110 degrees makes these systems perfect for 360-degree shows, where venue-wide coverage is crucial,” he says.

The setup of the front-fills was also unique due to the shape of the two stages. “We had to ensure coverage of the entire audience area in the center between the stages and under the runway that descended during the show. That’s where the X15 and Kara II gave us a lot of headroom,” Frontera adds.

The team powered the system by a combination of 48 LA12X and 30 LA8 amplified controllers, with those used for the flown system located on the catwalk. All systems were driven via AES, with an analog backup, says L-Acoustics.

Ensuring A Smooth Performance

“For every challenge on this show, L-Acoustics gave us a solution,” Frontera says. “And for a show like this, where the bass is hugely important, the low end that the 48 KS28 provided was impressive. We were really happy with the results.”

“The entire production was huge and complex,” sums up Frontera, who worked with colleagues Peewee Velázquez, Bad Bunny’s FOH engineer, Clair Global system engineer Carlos Martinez, also from Puerto Rico, 24B ProAudio’s Gabriel Cruz, Wichie Sound system engineer Luis “Choco” Lopez, PA tech Israel Delgado, and fellow system designer Eduardo Martinez. “It was an amazing run of shows from an amazing artist in a venue he was familiar and very comfortable with. K2 and Kara II made it absolutely perfect, and Peewee told us that the concerts all sounded ‘clear, big and great, like Bad Bunny concerts should be!’”

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