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Rene van der Linden: PA legend

L-Acoustics’ V-DOSC and K1 systems are now “the worldwide dance standard”… but it was a long time coming

so went along, set up the PA and went out for dinner. A short while later, we received a call from the organisers asking when we were going to build up the PA. On telling them it was fully in place, they couldn’t believe it! They were used to a wall of speakers and found it hard to accept that we could get the necessary sound with just four or five boxes per side. But we assured them, the show went ahead with that configuration, and everyone was just knocked out! So many people told us they had never heard sound like it before. Dance event systems at the time were

mainly conventional stacked PAs, and while they were OK for their time it was obvious the L-Acoustics system was light years ahead. So, with our first investment in two V- systems, we rapidly started securing work at major pop and dance events. Nowadays, the L-Acoustics V-DOSC and K1 systems [are] the worldwide dance standard. As we expected, the system quickly started to be regarded as an industry standard. And when Westfalen Sound [now part of the POOL Group] bought a V-DOSC rig and took it out on the road with Supertramp, it really started to cross over on a global level.

2007 turned out to be a landmark year for StagePro, when it was merged into Rent- All. What prompted the move? There was already very close cooperation between the two companies, which were both clearly working at a high-end level. I think that, as StagePro, we also realised that a new generation of systems was on the way and that it would be almost impossible for us to make the necessary investment on our own. Christmas 2007 wasn’t much fun, as we basically spent most of it deciding whether to go ahead and [consequently] lose our own brand name, but we had a good feeling about the merger and that has turned out to be correct. Seven years later, business is great and there is no doubt that we simply could not have got as far on our own.

With operations in Germany and Focus Amsterdam, Rent-All and sister company Sales-All have an increasingly strong profile across Europe. But what do you make of the overall health of the PA market? I’d say there are several key trends at work. For sure, the market is becoming more competitive and budgets are more important, but the industry as a whole

“People were used to a wall of speakers and found it hard to accept that we could get the necessary sound with just four or five boxes per side”

Rene van der Linden

The system consistency guaranteed by the L-Acoustics Rental Network, which allowed easy cross-rental, clearly played a decisive role in building the brand’s reputation. What are your definitive tour/ event memories from this period? There were so many great tours and one- off shows from that time: David Bowie, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Tïesto… What I recall in particular, though, was how quickly [V-DOSC] also achieved traction for classical music and opera. The reliability and consistency of the system were the key factors, and La Traviata at Ahoy Rotterdam and Aida and Carmen at Amsterdam Arena were among the great productions that spring to mind.

is also more professional. With Sales- All as a certified sales provider and systems integrator for L-Acoustics in the Netherlands, and Rent-All for the rental part of the business, our focus [with regards to maintaining competitiveness] is on ensuring even better quality. The fact that we were right in our thinking was recently confirmed by a prestigious contract for a whole new PA system for the Eindhoven-based Frits Philips Music Center. But whatever progress is made, experience tells me that there is always more that can be done! PSNLIVE 2014

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