ADLIB Audio continue their ongoing relationship with popular UK indie rockers the Kaisers Chiefs, supplying all sound equipment and crew for the band's latest arena leg of their "Off With Their Heads" world tour.
ADLIB's systems tech Tony Szabo has worked with the band and FOH engineer Chris Leckie since ADLIB first won the sound contract in 2007.
Leckie once again specified a JBL VerTec line array, picked to provide a good solid rock 'n' roll system. The JBL VerTec is also light in weight, making it easily adaptable for some of the smaller shows in Europe. “We can get 11 cabinets on a 1 tonne point!” Szabo points out.
They carried a total of 60 VT4889 mid hi cabinets for the arena leg, together with 16 of the updated VerTec 4880A subs and 16 of the new L-Acoustics SB28 subs. The L-Acoustics SB28 formed a nice solid ground stack whilst the Vertec subs were flown.
A typical configuration was 16 deep VT4889s for the front hangs and 14 for the sides, with 8 flown VerTec subs a side.
Both L-Acoustics ARCS and dVDOSC boxes were utilized for front fill along with ADLIB's standard-issue Lake processing via wireless tablet remote, which did all the EQ and crossovers. Additional EQ, time alignment and fine-tuning was achieved using a Meyer SIM 3 machine.
ADLIB also had the opportunity to road test the new Labgruppen PLM14000 amplifiers, complete with onboard Lake processing, which were used to drive the VerTec subs. As a result, they are buying 12 of the 2 channel versions they had on the tour! "Unlike most of the competition, they do EXACTLY what it says on the tin" enthuses Szabo .... "Deliver 7000 Watts into 2 Ohms per channel and make the subs sound simply amazing!"
Leckie's preferred console is currently the Soundcraft Vi6, and he took full advantage of all the onboard processing and effects facilities, adding a lovingly preserved personal collection of Alesis midi-verbs. He uses these to get the very precise and distinct vintage rock sound that characterises much of the Kaiser's music.
The key sonic aims are to produce a suitably loud and visceral experience for everyone in the room, and also for the quirky and intelligent lyrics to sit clearly and intelligibly on top of the mix.
ADLIB supplied a Yamaha M7CL console for the support acts.
"It's all gone extremely smoothly," reports Szabo, who worked alongside fellow Ad-libbers Richy Nicholson, Declan Fyans and monitor babysitter Marc Peers.
Their already efficient get in was further speeded up with the use of a custom amp rack dolly which housed 8 amp racks. This was simply forked out of the truck and deposited stage right every day.
Over in Monitor world, Kaisers engineer Ilias Adrianatos utilized 13 d&b M2 wedges, with keyboardist Nick “Peanut” Baines and drummer Nick Hodgson on a Sennheiser G2 IEM system.
He mixed through a DigiDesign Profile - currently also Peers' favourite desk - ideal for some of the smaller venues in Europe where stage space was tight.
He ran 12 mixes including the band's IEMs and made use of all the Profile's onboard effects and processing. Lead singer Ricky Wilson also had an IEM set-up at FOH for his customary appearance out there towards the end of their hyperactive, energy-fuelled set!
It's no surprise that the Kaisers like it loud onstage, and to ensure there were no issues there, the side fills were made up from 3 flown ARCS boxes a side and 2 SB28 subs on the deck.
Peers comments, "It's always good working with Chris and Ilias. They are working engineers, they know what they want and get involved in setting up and breaking down each day. They have our absolute respect”.