Supplying sound, lighting and a truly international crew including a Spanish speaker for Flamenco dancing legend Sara Baras at London's Royal Albert Hall, Liverpool, UK based ADLIB proved once again that their aggregate technical and linguistic skills far surpass those of any standard rental company!
ADLIB's Tony Szabo (Australia) led the sound team, which consisted of (France), Otto Kroyman (Germany), Scouser Marc Peers and Carlos Herreros from Spain, who also acted as interpreter.
Along with the lighting crew led by Andy Rowe they worked to a very tight deadline, with a 1.30 a.m. load in on the day of the first show.
The stage space was divided between a large dancefloor downstage, a catwalk upstage, and the band in between. The band and catwalk were sandwiched between a white cyc with a black gauze hung immediately in front of it and another black gauze in front of them, so they could be made to appear and disappear with lighting.
Baras' production brought the custom dancefloor with them, into which was integrated 20 ambient mics to capture the rhythm, energy and emotion of her footwork and dancing.
The sound system installed for the show was JBL VerTec, chosen by ADLIB for its lightweight, versatility and appropriateness for the venue which has a proliferation of 1 tonne rigging points.
The main hangs consisted of 12 x VerTec VT4889s per side, with 10 x VT4889s a side for the side arrays, and 6 x VT SUBS tucked underneath the front lip of the stage. The L-Acoustics ARCs were used for side fills.
The primary sidefills were four flown dV-DOSC cabinets per side, with a scattering of ADLIB AP wedges for the band, together with a further two for additional side fills.
Baras' FOH engineer Sergio requested the Yamaha PM5D console that ADLIB supplied, and Szabo had his usual control rack at FOH including the Meyer SIM 3 audio analyzer system and Lake DLPs for EQ. Another PM5D was supplied for monitors, watched over by the unflappable Marc Peers.
All the amps for the flown arrays were installed in the gallery of the RAH, complete with another control rack for crossovers, so only 4 sends needed to be routed to the gallery. The amps were Camco Vortex V6 for the VT 4889s with all the monitors and side fills powered by Labgruppen PLM 10000Qs with the onboard Lake DSPs. The FOH subs were powered by Labgruppen PLM14000s. This set up allowed Szabo to control everything from FOH.
It worked very well, and also kept the stage – which is challenged for space – clear and uncluttered. The flat push and dedicated gallery lift helped make it an extremely time efficient operation.
All the stage mics – Crown PCCI60s - came with the dancefloor. Production also supplied a Schertler pick up for one violin, with ADLIB supplying all the RF mics and belt pack pick ups for the guitars.
Lighting faced many galvanizing elements, including that of fitting an intricate theatrical rig into a space with limited over stage rigging.
Lighting director and operator Francisco sent the plot over, and ADLIB worked hard to replicate what would normally be a theatre black-box rig on house fly bars in the very unique space that is the Albert Hall.
The 7 trusses as near as possible mimicked where the theatre fly bars would be, so lighting positions were available to cover the layout of the stage and its different sections.
The moving lights consisted of 6 Vari*Lite 3000Q (Quiet) Spots, 7 Mac 2000 Performance and 8 V*L500s, dotted around the overhead rig.
For generics, there were 37 Source Four Profiles fitted with assorted lenses including 15/30 zooms, 25/50s zooms and 19s, 28 x 1200W fresnels and 18 2K fresnels. There were also 32 1K cyc floods, 16 PAR 64 single cans and 4 Coemar Versatile effects.
ADLIB supplied a new grandMA2 console for the show, 4 Avolites ART2000 dimming and distro racks to drive the generic and moving fixtures, plus all cabling and data distribution systems. They also took advantage of Herreros' interpretational and diplomatic skills.
In addition to the white backdrop and gauzes, ADLIB supplied a full set of black legs. Silhouettes of the dancers on the catwalk were created with clever use of the back lit cyc projecting through the gauzes. The band were revealed with down-lighting at strategic moments, and then concealed at others while the lighting focused on the dancefloor action.
Working with Rowe on lighting were Charlie Rushton new to the ADLIB fold, Stuart Grey, Rob Lister, Richard Babbington, Matt Robinson and Alex Johnston, a budding youngster gaining experience and valuable insight working with the team, continuing Adlib's emphasis of on-the-job training.
In spite of the tight deadlines and many challenges of getting the show on, ADLIB's concentrated and well organised teamwork ensured that it looked and sounded great, all contributing to the great success of the 2 sold out performances.
Adlib's Client manager Phil Kielty commented, “For our team to spend a weekend working at several London venues was extremely pleasing. To participate on such an exciting & different project at the Royal Albert Hall with a highly respected international star such as Sara Baras was a real challenge and privilege.”