The Script

Adlib is back on the road with Irish rockers The Script, supplying a Coda Audio system for FOH engineer Steve ‘Pato’ Pattison. He and monitor man Marc Peers are Adlib regulars who have worked on previous Script tours; both are assuming engineering roles for the first time.

It’s the first time The Script have used Coda in arenas, a decision made by Pattison after last summer’s album launch tour – its flexibility means that it can be quickly and easily adapted to different sized venues. Pattison regards the audio quality as both pleasing and challenging: ‘You really have to up your game to take advantage of its enormous dynamics and transparency,’ he says.

The Script at Liverpool Echo ArenaAdlib has provided audio for The Script’s four previous album campaigns, including three arena tours and some stadium shows. Long-term FOH engineer Richy Nicholson has switched roles on this tour – after many years mixing FOH, he’s representing Adlib as Account Handler, co-ordinating everything from the office and warehouse perspectives. A top touring crew join Pattison and Peers on the road, including systems engineer Alan Harrison, George Puttock, Jay Petch and Laurie Binns.

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 flies up each day, and is flown within two hours of tipping, allowing the lighting, video and staging departments more time to concentrate on their work.

The system set-up for The Script is main LR hangs of 14 AiRay dual 12-inch speakers, with four ViRay dual 8-inch downs, side hangs of 12 AiRay with four ViRay downs, plus an upstage hang of eight ViRay and a centre cluster comprising another eight. The flown subs comprise eight SC2 dual 15-inch bass cabinets, run in conjunction with a ground stacked spaced array of 32 SCP dual 18 subs. APS 10s and HOPS 8s are used for front fill.

Being a rock band with power pop influences and attitude, the music requires low/mid power 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. ‘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,’ Pattison says.

Pato at FOH

As system tech, Harrison’s challenges are creating the system design and fine tuning 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. Using Coda’s modelling software Ease Focus Harrison and Pattison agree that ‘it sounds incredible from the off’.

The PA drive system is digital from mic converters to the amplifiers, so benefits from minimal signal degradation from multiple AD conversions. Pattison feeds Lake LM44 at FOH via AES from the Allen & Heath S7000 console, and then Dante to Lake LM26 processors at stage left and right. AES over Cat6 from these is sent to the amplifiers, which are the new four-channel Linus 14 with 5K of RMS per channel. The amplifiers are ‘amazing’ he says, noting the much lower harmonic distortion than others, which, coupled with the clarity and richness of the speakers, means a completely crystal clear sound.

Pattison 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.’ He 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 is ensuring these are all present and balanced in the mix, for which he finds the console’s dyn8 insertions helpful.

Adlib crew

‘It’s an incredibly clean system for such a small box,’ he concludes.

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’s specified a Midas Pro X console – as Pattison at FOH – because no outboard is necessary.

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 run eight channels of Sennheiser 2000 series, five for the band, a spare, a tech mix and an EQ channel, so it’s a straightforward set-up. As a hugely experienced and knowledgeable monitor specialist, Peers 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 says. ‘Especially with the B Stage in play, they are using 24 frequencies, which is reasonably more than a standard set-up.’

The tour is currently scheduled to continue in Europe and then visit Asia, Australia and South Africa before returning to the UK and Ireland. ‘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,’ says Richy Nicholson. ‘They are a brilliant live band, and the production gets better with each tour. Pato and Marc along with our crew are doing a great job out there, long may it continue.’


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