John Delf at the controls for Australian band 5 Seconds of Summer
UK - FOH sound engineer, John Delf, has spent the past few years working with a succession of leading artists, ranging from Plan B to the Script and The Feeling - while maintaining his own Edge recording studios in Manchester. During that time he has never been far from Soundcraft's Vi platform as his digital console of choice.

But back in 2012 he also added another rising band to his portfolio when he joined Australian band 5 Seconds of Summer as FOH engineer and tour manager, as they embarked on a two-year arena and stadium world tour supporting One Direction. In just under two years the band played live in front of over four million people.

In between, the band undertook their own theatre headline tours, before this year graduating to a sold-out 70-date headline arena tour. For the theatre dates opted for the Soundcraft Vi4 with Realtime Rack. But on this latest arena tour he has moved up to Soundcraft's next generation technology. "I am using a Vi3000 for UK and Europe, a Vi6 in Australia - and we are hoping for a Vi7000 for the USA leg," he reports, "all with the Realtime Rack." The inventory has been provided by Liverpool-based Adlib.

"Adlib have the world's best tech for setting this system up in Tony Szabo," praises the sound engineer. "Every day the system sounded amazing, and combined with the Vi3000 and UAD [Universal Audio] plugins I got exactly the results I was after."

John's first hands-on experience of the desk came at production rehearsals in Lisbon - where the trademark Soundcraft layout was immediately apparent. "We specced the desk with two MADI cards and a Dante card," he said. "We use the Dante to multitrack the whole show every night and the MADI to run the UAD Realtime rack. Both the recording and the UAD are run from a Mac Mini installed in the flight case in a very slick package put together by Adlib, with a touch screen monitor mounted on the side.

"Using the multitrack from the previous night's show I am able to do a virtual soundcheck the next day without the need for the band to be onstage - so by the time they arrive the sound is already where I need it to be."

(Jim Evans)

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