ADLIB Audio supplied sound production and crew for the Kaiser Chiefs arena tour featuring a JBL VerTec system specified by FOH engineer Chris Leckie.
Leckie was the first UK based engineer to use a VerTec system in the UK – and that was purchased by ADLIB in 2001 . He has been a firm VerTec fan ever since.
He likes the fact that it is very easy to rig, great sounding and is also clean and clear - all essential characteristics for a rock 'n' roll band like the Kaiser Chiefs who like to be loud ….. and need the words to be heard!
The touring rig featured 16 VT4889 cabinets per side for the main hangs with another 14 per side for the sides, complete with 8 of the new VerTec VT4880A subs in the air and another 6 on the floor making a total of 14 per side.
A series of the smaller VT4887s were utilized for front infills, carefully positioned around the downstage edge of the stage. Delay hangs for the larger shows consisted of four 4889s per side.
The 4889 and 4887 cabinets were driven by Camco Vortex 6 amplifiers, with Crown i-Tech 8000s for the subs.
For processing, crossovers, EQ and system delay ADLIB used their special custom engineered Dolby Lake solution.
Leckie mixed the show on a Yamaha PM5D. While he was fulfilling prior touring commitments with Ronnie James Dio's Heaven & Hell, the Kaiser‘s FOH sound was looked after by ADLIB's Andy Dockerty, who used a Soundcraft Vi6. This console was then kept on to deal with the support bands once Leckie joined the tour.
Leckie likes the PM5D for many reasons. It was the first digital desk he used, so it's very familiar, and you can find them in every far flung corner of the world, walk up and load your show .
For outboards he used some BSS compressors and a 20 year old Alesis MIDI-verb for drum reverb which "sounds fantastic". He also used a Line 6 Echo Pro on one the guitars for "Love's Not A Competition But I'm Winning" which is a good Space Echo simulator and, unlike the original product, completely reliable!
ADLIB sent a comprehensive crew on this which included Tony Szabo, Richie Nicholson and Declan Fyans on the systems tech side. Szabo and Nicholson fine tuned and delivered the system to Leckie each day. "With ADLIB" says Leckie, "You always get great hardworking, knowledgeable crew with an excellent sense of humour, and the gear is always immaculate!"
On the creative front, Leckie lets the band rock out in his mix. "Everything coming off stage sounds great and is really solid" he says, "I just balance all the ingredients, and ensure they're comfortably loud yet very audible”.
In monitor world ADLIB's unflappable Marc Peers babysat engineer Ilias Andrianatos, and they were joined by ADLIBs Jay Petch.
The band are extremely aware of what they want and need, in terms of the stage mix which makes everything easier from the start.
The drummer and keyboard players were on a Sennheiser G2RF IEM system, with everyone else on d&b M2 wedges powered by D12 amps in which ADLIB has recently invested.
Three L-Acoustics ARCS speakers a side made up the side fills along with the new V-DOSC SB28 subs, and the new LA8 amps complete with all their inbuilt processing.
The Midas Heritage H3000 monitor console was chosen by Andrianatos as "perfect for the band in these venues". They consumed 38 channels on the desk including spares and reverbs across 16 mixes.
For monitor outboards, ADLIB supplied two SPX 2000s for reverbs and for effects on vocals and guitars. They also used dbx 160SL comps on the main vocal, Drawmer 201 gates and XTA EQs.
Ever resourceful, ADLIB sourced approximately 100 fully destructible mic stands and built some special Ricky-proof mic cables, as the energetic lead singer (Ricky Wilson) has been known to destroy up to 4 per performance!