Emeli Sandé

Adlib supplied the sound system, rigging and crew for the UK and European leg of Scottish singer/songwriter Emeli Sandé’s Long Live the Angels tour. The Liverpool-based company was recruited by production manager Steve Martin (Tourhouse Productions) to work with FOH engineer Max Bisgrove and monitor man Andrew Williamson.

The itinerary featured a mix of venues covering academies, town halls and arenas, for which Adlib toured a selection of L-Acoustics K1, K2 and Kara loudspeakers in support of an Avid S6L FOH console with Waves external servers, and a Pro Tools rig for virtual soundchecks.

SandeThere were 32 K1 elements on the truck, with the largest configuration typically 12 – 14 K1s a side for the main hangs, with four Kara-downs. The side hangs, when used, would be six K2s and two K1s per side. Adlib also used the new L-Acoustics KS28 sub, six-a-side ground stacked, which brought plenty of bottom end atmospherics, complete with four ARCS on top for out-fills.

For front fill, Mirrad stage and visual designer Jamie Thompson wanted to keep the lip of the stage completely clean and clear, so Adlib crew-mate and monitor tech James Coughlan, and Andrew used two Kara elements stage left and right just inside of the subs, sitting on dressed motor boxes. These covered the centre and maintained the integrity of Thompson’s asymmetric aesthetic. ‘It was fantastic to work with a sound crew who understood exactly where we were coming from on lighting/visuals,’ he says.

The system was driven by L-Acoustics LA12 amplifiers with one of Adlib’s Lake control racks for EQ and signal distribution, with system tech Kenny Perrin responsible for fine tuning and looking after the PA each day.

For Perrin, the challenges lay in the variety in shape and size of the UK venues, all of which needed an imaginative approach to the PA: ‘It’s one of the best sounding shows I have heard for a while’ he says, ‘Max produced a great consistency starting at production rehearsals and continuing throughout the tour. He has a great set of ears and the console also has a nice transparent aura.’

Touring Crew

It was a very Waves and FX heavy mix for Williamson, who was recreating multiple album sounds using vocal effects, reverbs, delays, etc. using around 12 instances of H-Verb, multiple verbs, delays for vocals, guitars, Hammonds, drums and even a run of guitar stomp boxes and amp simulators for vocal effects. He also used an outboard Locomotive Audio 14B limiter/compressor on the main vocal in conjunction with a plug-in chain, which he describes as ‘a stunning piece of hand-crafted art’.

He specified a DiGiCo SD5 console for monitors with fully redundant Extreme Waves servers, running 13 stereo mixes in total, eight for the band and the rest for tech/lighting mixes, with a Madiface taking care of recording and virtual soundchecks. The band have their own set of IEMs, and they used just one Adlib drum sub upstage of the drummer for atmosphere – so it was an extremely clean and tidy stage.

According to Williamson, John Fitzsimmons at Adlib did an ‘amazing job’ of co-ordinating all the RF elements which were managed on the road via Sennheiser’s WSM program running on a laptop.

Adlib Director and account handler Phil Stoker reflects: ‘We were all delighted when Emeli won The Brit Award recently. Her live show is stunning, the band is great and she is surrounded by a top crew with good management. The London Brixton show was a particular highlight on the UK run. Thank you to Steve, Max and Andy for bringing us onboard.’

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