Adlib installs sound for Band on the Wall

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Adlib has designed and installed an L-Acoustics dV-DOSC sound system into legendary Manchester, UK live music venue, Band on the Wall.

The landmark 350-capacity venue on Swan Street in the Northern Quarter of Manchester's city centre dates back some 200 years and has been associated with live music for much of its rich cultural heritage. The name comes from the 1930s when musicians used to perform from precarious platforms strapped to the wall.

It has just been completely renovated, restored and reborn by registered charity Inner City Music with the help of a £4 million combined award from the Arts Council England, Manchester City Council and Lottery Heritage Fund to transform the venue into a 21st century centre of music with strong community ties.

The system was designed by Adlib's Roger Kirby. He first set up some detailed demonstrations featuring several different audio systems at Adlib's premises in Liverpool, from which the dV-DOSC was recognised as the best sounding option. This was followed by a number of speaker and room simulations in L-Acoustics' Sound Vision to evaluate loudspeaker placement and optimise coverage within the room. The venue which is intimately sized having a semicircular balcony to the rear of the room.

"We all agreed that dV-DOSC rig would work best in the space offering a detailed high frequency and solid low end response, with the system also having adequate headroom for the eclectic programme of live events that are planned," states Kirby.

The music will encompass a wide range of musical genres, from jazz to dance (including DJs), rock to soul, and it will also be utilised for a variety of music-based educational programmes.

The main audio system of 3 x dV-DOSC mid highs with a single dV-sub flown as of Left and Right hangs, with 2 dV-DOSC flown centrally to cover the balcony. The system is completed with 3 x SB28 subs with pair of ADLIB AA81 cabinets utilised as centre fills providing coverage to the area directly in front of the stage.

The control playback rack includes BSS FDS 960 graphics for grab EQ and Tascam CD-RW / CD playback machines along with an ASL Comm.'s system.

A Soundcraft Vi4 was specified as the main mixing console for the venue, specified due to its routing flexibility and the intuitive design of its control surface which will assist visiting engineers, who may be newcomers to digital mixing. The Vi4's MADI output allows all 48 input channels plus stereo mix to be sent to the Band on the Wall's recording studio for capture should this be required.

For monitors, Adlib supplied 8 of their bi-amped low profile 1515W “MP3” wedges. These are processed with BSS 334 mini-drive crossovers and driven by Crown XTi1000 and 4000 power amplifiers.

There is no monitor desk as such in the house rig. The 8 monitor sends are all handled by the Soundcraft Vi4 at FOH, however there is a 48 channel multi-core infrastructure with break in/out facilities; this will allow swift patching to any visiting monitor console when artists require a dedicated monitor mix.

Adlib also supplied a full package of mics and stands - Shure, BSS, Sennheiser, AKG and DPAs - and BSS AR133 active DI boxes – Equipment is housed in custom ADLIB manufactured sleeves and flight cases.

The main challenge of the project was helping to design the new PA flying facilities that entailed custom structural steel work being newly installed in the venue's roof. Adlib worked closely with the Shed km architects and all main building contractors to ensure they could get their flown cabinets accurately positioned and the subs appropriately ensconced beneath the stage.

“Adlib has proven itself to be an exemplary company throughout the entire sound install process at Band on the Wall,” said Gavin Sharp CEO of the legendary venue.

“Not only have they completed the install of probably the finest PA in any small scale venue in the UK on time and on budget, they also made a huge contribution to the final design of the rigging, sound and AV studios, through positive relations with other contractors and system designers. The careful sequencing and system design from Adlib's Engineers has meant that the venue is now fully operational and fit to fulfil it's full remit, which includes presenting the very best music from around the world”.

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