ADLIB Supplies Sound & Lighting in Paradise with Cody Simpson


Leading UK technical solutions specialist Adlib supplied sound and lighting for recent solo shows by rising young Australian pop star Cody Simpson, who took time out from his busy schedule opening for Justin Bieber to perform in the key cities of Glasgow, Birmingham and Manchester promoting his first studio album, ‘Paradise’.

Adlib was asked by AEG Live to supply full technical production to the shows which played true theatre / concert halls rather than traditional pop-orientated venues.

With 4.4 million Twitter Followers, 4.3 million Facebook Likes & over 155 million YouTube views to date, the chart topping singer is tipped as ‘the next big’ pop phenomenon. Having already won the hearts and hormones of America and Australia, he’s now repeating the magic in the UK and Europe.

Adlib’s Sam Proctor was systems engineer and worked closely with Cody’s FOH and Monitor Engineers, Justin Sinclair (also Production Manager) and Ryan John. They used Adlib's Coda Audio LA12 system with SCP-F subs. For the largest show in Glasgow, this was configured as 12 x LA12s a side and four SCV-F Subs ground stacked and run in cardioid mode.

This extremely robust set up was completed with Coda ViRay speakers for front in / out and lip fills. The consoles were both DigiDesign SC48s, which enabled Sinclair and Ryan John to import and use their showfiles and plug ins from the Bieber tour, so the solo set-up mimicked their existing one.

The neat and compact monitor system consisted of two L-Acoustics ARCs and two SB28 subs a side, plus a Sennheiser G3 IEM system from Adlib, with Cody and his band supplying all their own mics and stands. Sam Proctor is very enthusiastic about the Coda system, “Everything went extremely smoothly in all venues,” he says … the biggest challenge was getting the PA mix up above 1500 – 2000 over-excited, screaming girls each night.

Using the Coda, they were able to achieve this objective with absolutely no problem he expands, “Nice, loud and tonally balanced”. This was due to its Planer wave driver technology, which uses a ring diaphragm driver that eliminates high frequency distortion and maximizes a high power output.

Proctor also mentions the sensor-control on the subs which helps to produce a much tighter bass response, boosting the high SPL without losing control of the bass frequencies.

At the Birmingham and Manchester shows, they stacked the ViRays four high as infills and dispensed with the lip fills around the front of the stage. With these low stages - around a metre high - and the audience standing throughout the show, the 120 degree dispersion of the ViRays in this format proved an excellent way to cover the required width and fill out around the auditoriums.

The Coda Boxes are also lightweight and utilize a three-point rigging system, which means that one person can rig the array.

This format proved an excellent way to cover the required width and fill out around the auditoriums. The Coda Boxes are also lightweight and utilize a three-point rigging system, which means that one person can rig the array.

Adlib Design's Ian Tomlinson designed the show's look and Adlib Lighting’s Michael Summerfield created a very smooth moving pop vibe ambience, using a combination of house rigs and a small but extremely well spec'd and multi-purpose ‘specials’ rig.

This comprised of four Martin Professional MAC 700 Profiles and six MAC 101 LED wash lights, added to the house lighting systems at each venue.

The MAC 700s were rigged on four upstage vertical truss towers and used for gobo texturing of the stage and strong pop-tastic back beam-light looks, while the 101s were used to efficiently light a white cyc as well as for stage washes and back lighting.

Summerfield received a cue list from Cody’s management which basically indicated whether the song was up-tempo or slow & moody, complete with some colour suggestions.

On a couple of numbers, Cody was lit just with followspots, which brought a stark contrast to the stage and enabled all to enjoy the power of his vocals, and for the James Bond pastiche intro, he produced a searchlight effect. Summerfield ran the lightshow using an Avolites Pearl Expert. With such a compact rig, there were no issues with fitting the kit into the venues.

For each show, they requested a basic four-colour PAR wash from the house, which was added to the looks in Summerfield’s console. The houses also provided a front open-white look, and profile fixtures to key light the drummer and guitarist.

Adlib Account Manager Phil Kielty comments, “Already this year we’ve worked with an eclectic selection of artists, and thanks to AEG Live, it was great to work with Cody Simpson and his band, all of whom were seriously good musicians and our Coda PA was the right system for these theatres and concert halls - we liked the Coda for Cody vibe haha! Justin Sinclair and Steve Welc (Tour Manager) were great to work with on all levels and we hope to be doing so again soon!”