Liverpool, UK-based Adlib supplied sound equipment and crew for the recent sold out UK arena tour by Irish group The Script, as part of the ‘Science & Faith’ world tour.
Richy Nicholson – who worked alongside Adlib’s Tony Szabo (pictured) as systems tech and crew chief Marc Peers - is The Script's FOH engineer. Last autumn, for their theatre tour, he used an L-Acoustics V-DOSC system that was also supplied by Adlib, and for this one, he specified the new K1 system, of which Adlib now has a substantial quantity, and which has proved an excellent choice for the band's unique rock/R 'n' B style.
"The Script are easily one of the most exciting and talented bands of the moment,” said Adlib project manager Phil Kielty. “It seems wherever I go, from LA to Glasgow, their tunes are always following me around! The band alongside the crew create such a family atmosphere on the road and they are so creative and specific on their live experience, it’s a genuine privilege to be involved.”
With all the shows completely sold out, and the larger venues like the O2 providing seating to 270 degrees, it was essential to have good coverage everywhere.
The main system (in its largest configuration at London's O2 Arena) consisted of main left and right hangs with 16 x K1 elements and 3 Kara downfills per side, and side left and right hangs of 14 x V-DOSC, each with 6 dV-DOSC downs, complete with a hang of 8 x K1 subs flown beside each of the main hangs. There were then further upstage side hangs of 8 x Kudos, and at the O2 , left and right delays of 8 x K1s two thirds of the way down the hall, all helping to fill the voluminous back and upper levels of the venue. Further bottom end boost came from eight L-Acoustics SB28 subs per-side on the floor, increased to 12 a-side at the O2.
For infills and outfills, a series of ARCs and dV-DOSC speakers were used, with everything driven by the proprietary L-Acoustics LA8 amps.
Having used L-Acoustics V-DOSC for some time, it was a natural progression to migrate to the K1 system. Nicholson (pictured) commented that the accuracy of its horizontal throw and energy really helps in calculating the exact coverage areas and positioning of the side hangs and delays for optimal coverage. Flying the K1 subs also helped enormously in getting the low end efficiently to the rear and (in the case of the O2) the upper levels of the arenas without having to push the main hangs too hard.
Nicholson's main creative objective was to ensure that the full band dynamics were featured in the mix, capturing the whole groove and solidity of the sound, together with an essential rawness and energy - and a definite departure from any antiseptic 'TV mix' scenarios where the vocals dominate or anything too ‘poppy’.
Nicholson's FOH console of choice was an Avid Profile with capacity for 96 inputs, although they were only using 48 channels on this leg of the tour. It's the console that he has used most over the last year and so finds it a familiar and easy interface with which to mix. Nicholson used a wave C6 dynamic EQ for each vocal channel and a Tube-Tech CL1B compressor for vocalist Danny O'Donoghue.
The system design included using the latest Lake LM26 system processors - four at the stage end and three at FOH, connected by fibre - and a Dante audio-over-Ethernet system to keep the signal digital and to provide a solid network for control over the LA8 amps.
Systems tech Tony Szabo specified a Meyer SIM 3 for time alignment and system set up, his current choice for its accuracy and precision.
For monitors, the band have their own mics which are primarily Sennheiser-based and a 6-channel Sennheiser IEM system (including feeds for the backline technicians). Nicholson commented that “the support from Sennheiser has been second to none.”
On stage, Adlib supplied a Soundcraft Vi6 console for monitor engineer Paul Moore (pictured with Marc Peers) which he very much likes for its straightforward set-up and ease of use. Adlib also supplied a ProTools 7 set-up for recording each show, and this is being toured worldwide.
There were no wedges onstage, but for atmospherics, four SB28 subs were integrated into the backline, together with two ARCs cabinets, all fed with the kick and bass channels to provide some serious air movement from upstage.
"Adlib are absolutely brilliant to work with in all respects and attend to absolutely every detail,” said Moore. “The kit is in great condition and their crew are amazing! Apart from all the technical stuff, I get two cups of tea during the set, one after the fifth number and one at the start of the encores, together with a nice selection of chocolate goodies".