Multi award-winning rental and production specialist Adlib is delighted to be back on the road again with Irish rockers The Script, supplying an amazing sounding CODA audio system for FOH engineer Steve “Pato” Pattison.
He and monitor guru Marc Peers are also both well-known and talented Adlib regulars who have worked on previous Script tours, and are both assuming engineering roles for the first time.
Adlib has provided audio for The Script’s four previous album campaigns which has included three arena tours and some stadium shows. Long term FOH engineer Richy Nicholson has actually flipped roles on this one, after many years of mixing FOH, he’s representing Adlib as the account handler, co-ordinating everything from the office and warehouse perspectives.
A top touring crew join Pato and Marc on the road including systems engineer Alan Harrison, George Puttock, Jay Petch and Laurie Binns.
It’s the first time The Script have used CODA in Arenas, a decision made by Pato after using it on last summer’s album launch tour.
Pato loves the outstanding clarity and precision of the CODA sound, together with its huge flexibility, meaning that it can be quickly & easily adapted and rigged in different sized venues. He relishes the daily challenges that come with using CODA due to its studio monitor quality output, which means “you really have to up your game” to take advantage of its enormous dynamics and transparency.
The main system set-up is main left and right hangs of 14 x AiRAY dual 12 inch speakers, complete with four ViRAY dual 8 inch downs, side hangs of 12 x AiRAY with four ViRAY downs, plus an upstage hang of eight ViRAY and a centre cluster comprising another eight.
The flown subs are eight SC2 dual 15 inch bass cabinets, run in conjunction with a ground stacked spaced array of 32 x SCP dual 18 subs.
APS 10s and HOPS 8s are used for front fills.
Being a rock band with plenty of power pop influence and a lot of attitude, the music requires excellent low / mid power, perfect delivery and intelligibly, and this plus the PA’s ability to reveal intense detail without any elements sounding harsh or strained … was another reason for the choice.
Pato loves the fact the subs are set & sturdy. ”You can get all the low end needed without creating any artefacts … and the frequency response stops exactly where it’s supposed to stop, which is just fantastic!”
As the system tech, Alan’s challenges are creating the system design and fine tuning to perfection each day, getting it optimised first at FOH and then ensuring that as much of the audience as possible also enjoys the same sonic experience.
With 11 trucks and a rolling stage, time is at a premium and the slot times are tight, however with the practical handling and straightforward rigging system, the AiRAY simply flies up each day, and they have been in & flown within two hours of tipping, allowing the other departments – lighting, video and staging – more time to concentrate on their work.
CODA’s modelling software EASE Focus 3 and its sonic signature also makes it seriously faster than using other systems. Alan and Pato both agree that “it sounds incredible straight from the off”.
Due to the accuracy and honesty of the predictions, Alan can 90% guarantee that what he designs will be the system they build for real each day, proudly and with a smile, pointing out that this means “less time making noise and annoying the rest of the crew!”
The PA drive system is digital from mic converters to the amps, so benefits from minimal signal degradation from multiple A to D conversions. He feeds his Lake LM44 at FOH via AES from the Allen & Heath S7000 console, and then Dante down to the Lake LM26 processors positioned stage left and right. AES over CAT6 from these is sent to the amplifiers which are the new 4-channel Linus 14 with 5K of RMS per channel.
The amps are “amazing” he commented, noting the much lower harmonic distortion than others, which, coupled with the clarity and richness of the speakers, means a completely crystal clear sound.
Pato chose the S7000 for its simplicity, power and ease of use. “It has everything you need – no plug-ins or other stuff needed, it has loads of inputs and is totally user-friendly!”
The band start the set on the B stage right in the middle of the audience which gets the show off to a tumultuous start with some serious direct engagement that underlines the great rapport The Script enjoy with their enthusiastic and loyal fan base.
They work hard and relentlessly through the whole set to keep this exclusive communication and all the excitement and energy flowing, right through until the final chords.
Pato explains that because the CODA reveals so much, intricate effects pop out on some of the tracks that have previously not been audible. One of his tasks was ensuring these are all present and balanced in the mix, for which he finds the console’s dyn8 insertions really helpful.
“It’s an incredibly clean system for such a small box,” he concludes.
The creative sound he’s producing for the band has all the vibrancy and vigour of rock with the beauty of hearing the intricacies of what each band member is playing, even when there are multiple other inputs in the mix. Such is the sonic finesse of the CODA.
Adlib’s Marc Peers has worked on the last four Script album tours in different roles including audio crew chief on the last one, however this is the first time he’s mixed their monitors … which he is loving! “It’s like a super-friendly family reunion when a Script tour goes back out,” he commented.
He’s specified a Midas PRO X console, chosen for its excellent sound and – similar to Pato at FOH - because no outboard is necessary and everything you need is right there at your fingertips!
The band tour their own Sennheiser IEM system and the only monitor speaker onstage is an Adlib MP4 drum sub for some atmosphere in that area. They are running 8 channels of Sennheiser 2000 series, five for the band, a spare, a tech mix and an EQ channel, so it’s a straightforward setup.
As a hugely experienced and knowledgeable monitor specialist, Marc is savouring the chance to bring some of his own nuances to the mix.
He has also taken on the frequency management and planning which brings a new aspect to the job. “Sometimes on a larger tour, you will have a dedicated crew person looking after this now, but on something like this, it’s ideal and beneficial in several ways for me to do it myself,” he commented.
Especially with the B Stage in play, they are using 24 frequencies which is reasonably more than a standard set up.
The tour is proving a big hit and is currently scheduled to continue in Europe and then visit Asia, Australia and South Africa before returning to the UK and Ireland – so there will be more chances to catch some show-stopping, action-packed performances before the summer is out!
Richy Nicholson commented, “It has been great being part of the Script Family for so many years and to have the opportunity to carry on in this new capacity. They are a brilliant live band and the production always gets better with each tour. Pato and Marc along with our crew are doing a great job out there, long may it continue!”
Photos by Steve Sroka