It continues to be a busy Summer for ADLIB as another recent project involved the supply of audio production and crew for Nine Inch Nails’ final UK Arena shows at Manchester Evening News Arena & the O2 Arena in London, UK.
The Liverpool based company has toured with NIN before and US-based FOH engineer Pete Keppler has also used them on a number of previous occasions for other artists including the last David Bowie European tour, so naturally, he was happy to work with them again.
Keppler specified a JBL VerTec system, with ADLIB’s Tony Szabo as systems engineer & crew chief. In Manchester, they utilised 14 VT4889s with 14 VT4880A flown subs per side for the main hangs, and 16 VT4889s per side for the side hangs. The subs were powered from ADLIB’s new Labgruppen PLM14000 amplifiers, with onboard Lake processing, which gave plenty of power to the system.
A centre cluster of 6 L-Acoustics dV-DOSC was positioned just in front of the stage, pointing almost directly downwards and used as fills for the front rows.
This enabled the ground-stacking to be kept straightforward. More emphasis went into subs, with a left/right stack of 4 high L-Acoustics S28 subs run from the LA8 amps (also with onboard DSP), plus two stacks of two SB28s, sixteen feet apart, downstage centre along the front of the stage. A 2 high dv-DOSC front fill stack was positioned at the front corners of the stage for additional fill.
At the O2, the VerTec arrays were all increased to 16 elements to deal with the extra volume of the Arena, with 2 delay hangs of 8 VT4889s added. This configuration is proving a great formula for the venue reports Szabo and is the same arrangement they used with the V-DOSC system they put in the O2 when touring with Bob Dylan recently.
The O2 delays were flown at 26 metres in height specifically to cover the upper bowl seating at the rear of the room, so the top bowl sounded as punchy and sharp as the floor. These were run from Labgruppen PLM10000 amps, which Szabo really likes, “They have plenty of power, Lake DSP onboard, are compact and can be remote controlled – a very neat solution all round”. Two amp racks stationed on the catwalk in the roof drove these two delay hangs.
The main and side hang VerTec was run from ADLIB’s Camco Vortex 6’s, and the L-Acoustics speakers were powered by their new LA8 amps.
Nine Inch Nails brought their own FOH console and complete monitor set up, the latter run by Mike Prowda, so ADLIB supplied monitor and stage kit for the two opening acts – Jane’s Addiction and Mew. Keppler is a long time user of DigiDesign’s D-Show consoles and Pro Tools plug-ins as is Jane’s Addiction FOH engineer, Brad Madix.
ADLIB MP3 wedges were driven by ADLIB’s new standard of Labgruppen PLM10000 monitor racks and these covered both opening acts, complete with a Yamaha PM5D console for Mew’s FOH mix and an LS9 for their monitors, plus 120 Volt backline power distribution for Jane’s Addiction.
Szabo was joined on the ADLIB team by Dave Kay and James Neale (FOH systems techs), Hassane Es Siahi who looked after monitors and apprentice system tech, George Puttock.
As it was two large one-offs, there was no time to get into the normal momentum and groove of touring but hard work and long hours gave all three engineers a great sounding, well tuned system from which they could create their own individual mixes.