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Adamson supports a return to Tokyo’s Budokan

Adamson supports a return to Tokyo’s Budokan

Adamson supports a return to Tokyo’s Budokan


The Beatles, Led Zeppelin and Queen have graced its stage; artists from Bob Dylan to Cheap Trick have released albums recorded within its walls. Now, live music has returned to the legendary Nippon Budokan, as J-pop stars Little Glee Monster kicked off their largest Japanese arena tour to date here, with Adamson E- and S- series systems supporting the event.

Built in 1964 as a martial arts venue for the Tokyo Summer Olympics, the Budokan’s octagonal shape poses challenges for sound reinforcement. System engineer Ryuichi Kawakami selected Adamson speakers for clarity and coverage. “The Budokan is mostly built of wood,” he explained. “Many sections of the octagonal room have pillars and beams, so in the design process you must factor in the reverberation and reflections. The E15 speaker brings out an abundance of information across the whole frequency range and it’s what makes the tuning so easy for me. I trimmed a few points to smooth out the system and voilà, it’s done.”

The system was provided by Adamson’s partner Sunphonix, as well as Blue Project. A total of 108 E-Series and S-Series cabinets were deployed across the venue in a 270° configuration. Kawakami flew 32 E15s as the main PA, accompanied by 12 E119 subwoofers flown in a column, 12 E15 as out fills, 16 flown E12s for the 270° design and 12 ground-stacked E219 subs for additional floor rumble. Two sets of ground stacked fills were also used, comprised of four S10 and one S119 at each side fill position in addition to three S10 per side for rear coverage and a mixture of S10 and S10p for lip fills.

Adamson M212 monitors were also used on stage. “M212s have always been great monitor speakers to work with,” stated the group’s monitor engineer, Takashi Ono. “For Little Glee Monster shows, we use both in-ear monitors and wedges, but for a cappella songs I simply go with M212, to let the artists breathe and sing in each other’s presence. The members of the group have told me that they actually prefer the experience of singing with floor monitors, that it feels more organic.”

Long-time FOH engineer Gakuji Okumura was pleased with the performance of the Adamson system. “When it comes to mixing vocals live, the E15 is the best system out there. Its sonic characteristics make the musical experience authentic. Sit anywhere in the venue, and you'll hear the best of the mix.”

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