ADLIB Audio is supplying English 2-tone/ska legends The Specials with sound equipment and the crew of James Neale and Richy Nicholson for their current UK tour.
ADLIB was chosen to be the audio supplier by tour manager Mike Darling, with whom they have worked on several seasons of Ibiza Rocks and other projects.
Neale and Nicholson are working with the band's engineers Marcos Ferrari (FOH) and Pete Abbot (Monitors) on a tour that ranges from small arenas and to provincial theatres. So the primary requirement of the system was that it be exceptionally flexible.
The main FOH speaker system is L-Acoustics V-DOSC (specified by Ferrari), however Adlib are also carrying some dV-DOSC and ARCS cabinets for the larger shows. In the largest configuration, this is set up as main left and right flown hangs of 8 V-DOSC cabinets and a under hang of 3 dV-DOSC per side. The flown side hangs consisted of 6 x dV-DOSC cabinets per side. There were also 4 x ARCS cabinets a side for front fills and 2 dV-DOSC along the front edge of the stage. However, there have been numerous variations - both flown and ground stacked - and plenty of lateral thinking! They are also using 6 SB28 subs a-side, all powered by the new LA 8 amps.
Ferrari who comes from a studio background and specified a DigiDesign Profile console. He is also using some special outboard equipment, which he has worked with previously in the studio and knows work. His main aim was to use this tour to steer away from the analogue equipment and become fully digital, ending up fully using the on board plug ins available.
He is using a Manley stereo variable MU limiter/valve compressor daisy chained together with two Tube Tech PE1C mono parametric EQs on the main stereo mix. Which he is using for a bit of soft compression and EQ.
He is also using two Millennia STT1 mic preamps, which are used as recording channels for lead singers Terry Hall and Neville Staple.
In his rack are also some classics reverbs including, two Lexicon PCM70's, a PCM 81 and a Lexicon 460L.
Neale tunes the system each day, optimising it for the space and the very distinct sound of the band.
In monitor world, Pete Abbott is using another DigiDesign Profile, complete with 16 d&b M2 wedges on 10 mixes. One of the guitarists has an IEM mix and there's also an IEM mix for the backline crew to use as needed. The side fills are a pair of L-Acoustics ARCS coupled with a pair of SB28s a side for a decent injection of bass onstage, and these are powered by LA 8 amps. The wedges are all run off d&b's proprietary D12s.
ADLIB is supplying a comprehensive mics-and-stands package, including Shure Beta 58 hand held radios for the 2 lead singers, and an assortment of other Shures AKGs and Sennheisers.
The extensive monitor set up has been a challenge to squeeze in to some of the tighter venues and apart from that, all report that it's been a very nice, friendly happy tour to work on - and also hugely popular, keeping everyone on a high.