Adlib gets the Blues

Tuesday, 19 July 2005
Adlib gets the BluesL-R: Marc Peers, Rob Coles and Tony Szabo.
UK - Adlib Audio supplied a JBL VerTec line array system, full sound production and crew to high profile boy band Blue's UK arena tour. Adlib worked with leading show producers Production North for the first time on the tour, which was production managed by Iain Whitehead. Rob Coles was the FOH engineer, Marc Peers mixed monitors and Tony Szabo was ADLIB's systems engineer.

For FOH engineer Rob Coles, VerTec was an obvious choice for Blue - they needed a rich, powerful and full sound capable of dealing with the band's dynamic and energy charged shows. Coles has mixed this type of band before and is familiar with the specific nuances and requirements.

Coles first used a VerTec system when mixing the Dandy Warhols, opening for David Bowie's 2003/04 Reality tour, for which Adlib was also the audio contractor. "The system sounded great, Tony is one of the best VerTec technicians in the country and Adlib has been marvellous" he concludes.

The main system comprised 14 flown VerTec VT4889 elements per side with side hangs using 12 of the medium format VT4888's per side. The subs were Adlib's own DF418 dual horn-loaded and they are also using Adlib FD enclosures for front fills.

The FOH set up was extremely simple. Coles is using a Yamaha PM5D, which also covered all his outboard requirements making the FOH footprint extremely compact and tidy. "Occasionally it made the coffee as well!" quipped Tony Szabo.

Adlib recently purchased a quantity of Lake Contour crossover units, five of which were utilized here, plus a wireless tablet remote system. They used a Meyer Sound SIM3 measurement system to optimize the VerTec each day, ensuring it ran to maximum efficiency in the space.

Amplification was Camco Vortex 6, some of which have again been newly acquired by Adlib. Rob Coles has worked with Adlib on a number of occasions before and says, "The gear always comes out the warehouse immaculately prepped and the service received from Adlib is excellent. The VerTec sounds absolutely brilliant". It was his first tour with the PM5D, during which he's grown to know and like it a lot.

Apart from a few precise requests from the band, Coles is pretty much left to get on with mixing their sound. Peers used another PM5D on monitors, again with no outboard racks. Adlib supplied four sets of wired Shure IEMs for the four piece backing band, complete with a 15" sub to generate some air movement! The Boys were all wearing Sennheiser IEMs - supplied by Production North.

Peers also ran VerTec 4888s for side-fills, which "worked brilliantly". He thinks they are the best cabinets for filling the whole stage and reaching out to all the necessary horizontal dispersion across the stage area.

Vocally, Blue (Duncan James, Lee Ryan, Antony Costa, and Simon Webbe) all have radically different styles - they all sing live, using Beta 58 radio mics - and they are all strong singers, so shows are always a hectic time for the audio department.

(Sarah Rushton-Read)

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