Coda Audio ViRAY supports Howard Jones
Friday, 8 December 2023
codapxl20231016201502619The 10-night tour included nights at the London Palladium and Birmingham Symphony Hall
UK - Singer, songwriter and keyboardist Howard Jones this year celebrated 40 years in the music business.
Having toured extensively in Europe, Asia, and North America during 2023, Jones returned in October to conclude his live schedule with a UK theatre tour. The 10-night tour, which included nights at the London Palladium and Birmingham Symphony Hall, demonstrated the star’s versatility. A full-on synth-driven electronic attack was complemented by acoustic trio and solo sections which showed off Jones’ talents as a pianist.
Liverpool-based production specialists Adlib took care of the audio, with the tour opting for a Coda Audio system based around the company’s ViRAY compact line array. Coda has been FOH engineer Chicky Reeves’ choice for Howard Jones since he began working with the artist in 2016, having first encountered the brand some years earlier while on tour with Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD).
He describes his first experience with ViRAY: “I’d initially been reluctant to stray from what I was used to, but having been persuaded to take the system out with OMD, I haven’t looked back. When we set up for our first show, which was more of a production rehearsal with an audience, I walked in as the system tech was finishing setting it up. He had a track playing that I knew quite well and I was immediately smitten with the sound. I knew the track, I knew the room, and I’d never heard this combination sound so good before.
“I was absolutely stunned. After that, we took it on several tours - when I started with Howard, he asked if I had a PA preference, and naturally I told him ‘Coda’!
The dynamics of Howard Jones’ set are wide-ranging and demand a system that can deliver power and detail in equal measure according to the tour’s system tech, Steve Norman: “Howard’s material is exceptionally varied in the sense that some songs are pretty full-on with big electronic drums and huge synth sounds, and then three songs later he’s sitting at the piano playing a solo number on which a double-bass and acoustic guitar join in. Having a system that can deliver subtle nuances yet can also deliver full-power sound is critical.”
The system configuration on the tour was different every night to cater for the unique characteristics of each theatre. Flexibility was paramount, with no two shows the same. Some shows deployed the full system, whilst others saw a split flown/ground-stacked system enhanced with various fills for ‘hard-to-reach’ seats.
The complete inventory comprised 36 ViRAY units, four SC2-F and eight SCP-F subs, two HOPS12-T, eight HOPS8 and two G712. The system was driven by Coda’s Linus14 four channel DSP amplifiers.
Tour manager Simon Bettison comments: “Logistically the system was ideal. Compact, easy to rig, relatively light and perfect for this size of theatre show, taking up as it does less than half a truck and needing only one system tech. Also it’s agile enough to work in venues where we needed to hang and ground-stack along with smaller fills on balconies etc. In short we enjoyed the perfect combination of great band, great techs and a great system.”

Latest Issue. . .