ADLIB Audio on Cutting Edge with Scissor Sisters


ADLIB Audio is supplying innovative indie rock group Scissor Sisters with audio production for the current UK leg of their ongoing world tour for their first album. Mixing FOH is ADLIB's Dave Kay and Ben Booker, another regular ADLIB-er, is on monitors.

For the tour, ADLIB upgraded their BSS 366 processors to the new NTM filtering, they are using the new Sennheiser G2 550 series mikes, G2 300 series IEMs, and a recently purchased Yamaha PM5D console–one of two that the Liverpool-based company has on the road this autumn.

Kay and Booker have been onboard with the band since May. Kay chose a JBL VerTec line array system for the UK tour (24 VT4889 elements) as the best option for the larger venues the band is now playing. The DF418 subs are ADLIB's own design and build, chosen to deliver the very high sub bass output needed to underscore the Scissor Sisters throbbing, dance-rock style.

ADLIB is also using BSS's new 366T filtering. Kay explains that it gives a clean crossover with sharp edges. Utilizing the 36dB per octave Thiele filters lends a great linear phase response to the system. The system is EQ'd each day using a wireless tablet remote running BSS's SB2 platform for controlling the 366Ts, allowing Kay the freedom to walk around the venue while trimming the system. They are also running a full rack of BSS Varicurve EQs, and the system is analyzed using a Meyer Sim 3.

For amplification, Camco Vortex 6 amps drive the VerTec boxes, and the subs are powered by CrownVZ5002s to maximize their immense low-end energy output. On the flying cable looms sits the first production run of metal-bodied Neutrik NL8T connectors.

Kay mixes the show on a Soundcraft Series 5 console. For outboards, he's using TC reverbs and delays, for their natural sound, and a Lexicon PCM 70 for drum reverb. He's also using a dbx 120A sub harmonic synthesiser to enhance the low frequencies on the acoustic tracks.

The stage sound is kept clean with four out of the six members of Scissor Sisters on IEMs. They use the new Sennheiser G2 300 IEMs and G2 550 radio systems featuring the 900 Series mikes that are proving to be very stable and robust. The 900 Series mikes also offer the advantage of self-scanning for clear frequencies. Kay and Booker are road-testing the only UK demo set of the new Sennheiser kick drum mikes–the 901 and the 902–and Kay believes they will be on everyone's specs once released.

Singers Ana Matronic and Jake Shears change costumes so frequently that IEMs aren't practical, so their monitor mix is delivered through ADLIB's own new MP3 15"&2" wedges, 12 of them dotted around stage providing front and rear fills. The position of the monitors create uniform coverage over the stage–no side-fills are needed due to the power of the MP3s. Booker is confident that wherever Ana and Jake are onstage, they will hear the same mix. The guitars are all run through the new Line 6 POD XT Live pedal board Processors.

With the PM5D-RH console, Booker has the flexibility to store and recall all the show cues with the press of a button. This is especially helpful with the bass guitar, which passes between three different people onstage throughout the show, each preferring different EQs on it.

Scissor Sisters tour the UK for three weeks before going back to the US for a pre-Christmas run.

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