ADLIB Audio's busy autumn continues with the supply of sound for the UK leg of Hot Chip's “Made In the Dark” world tour, for which they seized the opportunity of débuting their new Lab Gruppen PLM1000 amplifiers, utilised to drive 12 ADLIB MP3 low profile monitor wedges.
ADLIB's Richy Nicholson (FOH) and Marc Peers (monitors) are working closely with band engineers Steve Revitte and Mary Alafetich.
The main PA consists of JBL VerTec 4889 elements spec'd by Revitte. They are carrying 20 in total, which are fitted as appropriate into each venue depending on weight loadings and available space, utilising assorted methods – flown, ground stacked and combinations of the two. A great advantage of VerTec in this context is it's inherent light weight and integral rigging.
For infills, outfills and footfills, they're using a combination of ADLIB FD2 and AA122 cabinets.
The main system is primarily powered by Camco Vortex 6 amps, with Crown IT 8000s for the subs and fills, and ADLIB's proprietary switching system linking all the racks and providing a flexible, fast solution for line switching.
ADLIB is supplying a DigiDesign D-Show Venue, Revitte's current console of choice, picked because it sounds good and accommodates third party plug-ins for additional versatility and multiple options.
Revitte uses Bomb Factory plug ins to simulate a selection of valve compressors and Line 6 delays amongst other plug-ins. They are also recording the show each night, which is very easy to access via the console's Pro Tools compatability. This gives the additional option of running a â€˜virtual' sound-check when the band can't physically be at the venue!
Creatively, he strives to get the sound dynamic, loud, clean and clear. Hot Chip's music characteristically contains some vital vocal harmonies, so audibility tops the sonic agenda. He also captures the serious energy levels generated onstage, bringing them right into the audience experience with boldness, vivacity and searing volumes. They are a â€˜busy' band musically, so all sounds also need to be in their place. It's also their first tour with a drummer which adds plenty of additional â€˜feel' and depth to the stage sound.
New York-based Revitte, also the tour's production manager, has worked with ADLIB on two previous Hot Chip tours and with LCD Soundsystem, so it was a natural choice to return to the award-winning Liverpool based company, having been so well looked after in the past, “They are amazing” he comments, “Great crew, great ear, great attitude!”
Two Dolby Lake Processors (DLPs) are utilised for the main PA crossovers and EQ, also offering a dynamic, multi-option set up, and a Lake Contour is controlling all the fills. All are run from a remote tablet, so EQ'ing can take place from anywhere in the venue. They are running AES protocol from the desk to the crossovers keeping everything in the digital domain at FOH.
Monitor engineer Mary Alafetich spec'd the Soundcraft Vi6 console for monitors, which is running 8 mixes from 36 inputs with no outboard effects. It's the first time Marc Peers has babysat a Vi6 on tour, and he remarks that it's proved quick and intuitive as well as great sounding. Alafetich is making the most off its scene changing facilities, running one scene per song.
In addition to the 12 ADLIB MP3 wedges there's an ADLIB drum sub, and all of these are run by the new Lab Gruppen amps. Keyboard player Felix Martin also has a set of his own IEMs and a small mixer.
Peers explains what's hot about the PLM1000s, “They're a 2 in/4 out lightweight amp. They are the only lightweight amp we tested that could keep up with our Crown 3600 monitor racks. In that sense the onboard Lake processing was an added bonus. The fact that the Lake processors are also the best sounding and most flexible processors about made the choice really easy. The tablet wireless control has made setup and EQ very quick - it's great to be able to do it all in-situ.”
There's also a stack of Nexo Alpha side fills per side - comprising one S2 sub, one B1 bass and one M3 mid high, driven by Crown VZ5000s and Camco Vortex 6 amps.
The band are endorsed by Shure and so are supplying their own mics, with ADLIB carrying a full mics and stands package for any necessary augmentation, guests or other eventualities.