Liverpool based technical solution specialist Adlib’s audio division is supplying an L-Acoustics K1 sound system and delays for the UK and European leg of Radiohead’s current world tour.
They are also supplying two of their top engineers - Tony Szabo and George Puttock - who are working with the Radiohead audio team to ensure that the band’s quest for producing the very best sonic audience experience is achieved.
On the road, the sound crew is headed by FOH engineer Jim Warren, monitor engineer Mike Prowda and production systems designer Sherif el Barbari. Also integral to this set-up is Ross Anderson, who looks after Prowda and Brett Taylor, from New York based US audio contractor Firehouse Productions, who is overseeing the delays.
Adlib was asked to quote on the tour by Radiohead’s production Manager Richard Young, and were delighted when selected. Says Adlib’s Director Dave Jones “Radiohead are renowned as complete perfectionists when it comes to all aspects of their show and production, so it was a real honour to be chosen to join the team”.
The K1 system is supplied to ‘K’ standards – The main hangs comprise 14 elements of K1 per side with four KARA downfills, and next to these is an array of eight flown K1 SB subs a side.
The side/outer left-and-right hangs are made up from 10 x K1 speakers with 6 x KARA downfills, which can be split into two arrays per side for the larger venues.
On the floor are 24 L-Acoustics SB28 subs in a left-centre-right cardioid arrangement.
The delay system is flown just behind FOH, consisting of three hangs, each of nine L-Acoustics KUDO. The corresponding amp racks are flown directly behind each of the delay stacks to give the best sound for the audience, which is always the main concern of the band.
Radiohead are touring their own FOH control and complete monitor system.
Additionally, Adlib is supplying four ARCs speakers per side for front fills and six KARA lip fills positioned along the front of the stage.
The biggest daily challenge is the rigging and getting a large speaker system in precisely the correct places for optimisation. Adlib is also supplying their own customised motor controllers, designed specifically to be used with line array PAs, which help make the PA rigging a smooth and efficient operation.
Larger venues like the O2 in London feature over 90 rigging points, and the daily build schedule for the stage and production set up is also extremely busy and needs to slot together like a jig-saw puzzle, with everything in its right place!
Tony Szabo has really enjoyed working to such demanding standards. “The Radiohead crew are all brilliant as well as very talented in their fields,” he comments, “All departments work together symbiotically and it’s a big collaboration which produces the amazing end result”.