JPS Australia

History

Russell Peters Qudos Arena Sydney

Russell Peters 1

The audio system JPJ Audio supplied for Russell Peters is amongst the largest we would routinely put in to Qudos Arena. In fact there were more speaker cabinets than we would hang for an average rock concert in the same space!

This is because comedy relies on high intelligibility in the vocal range. If the audience can’t hear every joke, in every seat, they are not going to enjoy the show. If the audience can’t hear, they won’t laugh at the jokes, and this will impact the comedian’s performance (especially if the front rows can’t hear!!!).

Russell Peters 2This clear audio is achieved through acoustic modelling of the venue prior to arrival, careful placement of the PA hangs, and having enough speaker boxes to achieve the required SPL. This is all sound checked by walking around the edge of every seating block in the venue, with a handheld radio mic and making adjustments to the different PA zones. This verifies that every seat in the house can hear every joke.



Russell Peters 3The main hangs were two hangs of 12 x L-Acoustics K1 and 6 x L-Acoustics K2 with two hangs of 12 x L-Acoustics K2 for side hangs. Frontfill was 6 x single L-Acoustics Kara, outfill was 4 x L-Acoustics Arcs and subs were 12 x L-Acoustics SB28 Subwoofer Enclosures. All powered by L-Acoustics LA-8 and LA-12 amplifiers.

A Dante drive system using Dolby LM44’s was utilized and this involved running a completely digital signal path from the FOH console all the way to the amplifiers via AES and Dante signal processing.

A seamless back-up analogue audio fallback is also in every system using DANTE. Back-up systems and engineer comfort are critical to industry acceptance, so are always at the forefront of all JPJ Audio designed systems.

FOH engineer for the tour was James Kilpatrick on an Avid Profile with Waves 9. James used a C6 multiband compressor to keep the speech clear at low level and cut the horn band back when shouting. He also had a vocal rider live in reverse to keep the mic level low in between pauses in speech to reduce room tone in the microphone.

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Crew:

FOH systems engineer: Tim Seconi
FOH systems technician: Bianca Martin
Monitors systems engineer: Kellie McKee
PA technician: Ben Northmore
Special Guest Appearance Multicores and front fill trainee: Mats Frankl

 


Priscilla Queen of the Desert

Priscilla 1

Ten years on and Michael Waters tells a different story

After winning a glittering array of international awards on Broadway, the West End, Europe and Asia, Simon Phillips’ spectacular production Priscilla Queen of the Desert has returned to Australia for its 10th anniversary celebration tour.

Opening at Melbourne’s Regent Theatre, the show is set to tour the country over the coming months with all audio supplied by JPJ Audio.

Sound designer Michael Waters created the original production over a decade ago and since then he says that the evolution of digital technology is clearly the biggest change.

We started with a digital platform of a Yamaha PM5d but since then I’ve moved onto a DiGiCo system which makes everything a lot more flexible,” he commented. “It sounds great and combined with the Aviom system, it makes it all streamlined. The progression of the networked L-Acoustics amplifiers has made a big difference too. Ten years ago we were using Crown 5002 amplifiers which sounded awesome but everything eventually had to move into the digital realm. Having the flexibility of networked processors, coupled with remote control accessibility via my iPad, means I can wander the building and mix off my iPad. We didn’t have that technology at our disposal back then!

The Stealth Core 2 infrastructure with the DiGiCo means there is a lot more processing available on their consoles. With the SD10 that Michael uses, he goes direct from the DiGiCo system, from the SD rack straight into the LA8 amplifiers – basically cutting out a drive system.

A lot of the system processing is done on the console itself, which in turn is controlled by the iPad,” he added. “I have complete flexibility in control of the sound system including the mix itself just from the one app. There is also processing going on with the LA8s and that’s also controlled from the iPad via Network Manager.

Priscilla 8Michael is still using an L-Acoustics dV-Dosc PA system, describing it as fantastic, with the configuration used at Melbourne’s Regent Theatre very similar to the original. The only difference is the addition of a KARA centre cluster and several more delay subs to ensure the disco beats are everywhere and with even coverage in the huge barn that is the Regent.

There are quite a lot of L-Acoustics subs in the system – DV-subs on each of the four L/R arrays, SB28’s on the aprons, SB18’s on the Delay Cluster and then spread out in the stalls,” said Michael. “In the dress circle there are Meyer 650P’s and then a pair of L-Acoustics SB118 subs above the mix position in the roof. That way we can keep the vibe jumping along all the way to the back!

Microphones are still DPA 4066, double mic’ed with a DPA 4061 for the three Queens and also the three Divas who fly through the air. All DPA’s are run on Shure UR-4D wireless systems and Shure Micro Belt packs.

I had to go with the DPA 4066 because of the amount of head dresses that all require quick changes,” explained Michael. “If we were to use lapel mics on the forehead, they would just get ripped off. The DPA 4066 also allows for a higher SPL which is good as there are so many disco come rock numbers in the show. The only exception is the young boy who uses a DPA 4061 because his contribution is only in quiet scenes.

Microphones for the band include Shure Beta 52, Beta 91 for the kick, Beta 57 and Beyerdynamic Opus 87 for the toms, and a smattering of Audio Technica AT4050’s, Firefly DI on the bass and a couple of Coles 4038 ribbon mics on trumpet and saxophone, which sound very warm and smooth in the high end.

Gallery

 

SIA Nostalgic for the Present tour

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SIA’s Nostalgic for the Present tour delivered three stadium shows: Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland.

FOH engineer Jon Lemon has known SIA for most of her life and has been doing gigs for her on and off since 2002. When he wasn’t out on tour with the big name acts he works for, he would do the clubs and small theatres with her. Today SIA is an international music star and Jon is still there at FOH, albeit mixing in a stadium rather than a club.

It’s a very organized show,” said Jon. “The biggest challenge was putting it all together in the first place as it’s mostly playback in terms of the music. The brief I had was to make it feel like it was live but also sound like the record with SIA then singing live on top of it.
I see it a lot with hip hop and rap where it’s just the artist and a DJ with minimum amount of stems and the engineer has just got nowhere to go and nuance it like the record. The environment changes the audio all the time, it might be a gig sucking out all the percussive stuff or over emphasizing the bass and you need control over all of those things.

A DiGiCo guy through and through, Jon was using an SD5 with a couple of Waves Servers on it plus a little bit of outboard; Waves MaxxBass, a few Maag EQ4’s and Smart C2 compressors to keep it all in control and even the sound out. “SIA has a big voice so I use Waves Renaissance compressors as well as their 1176 limiters on her vocals as she is so dynamic,” said Jon. “It’s pretty dialed in and quite simple because we did a lot of the work beforehand, in this modern way of doing things.

Jon has around fifty inputs on his DiGiCo SD5, all split up and presented like it’s a live band playing – with more consistency than usual and less egos!

A lot of people may think it’s complicated but I don’t because I have been so close to the music and the process of it,” elaborated Jon. “I know how she sings and I know how to ride it around to keep it level. As everything is so consistent we have a pretty good result most of the time. A lot of modern music is about the system engineer and how the company sets up the system. When I first started out, I was doing it all but realized a few years back that the complexities of these big venues, with networking, delays, and timing, is best left to someone else so I can concentrate on the art part of it. Of course, I oversee it all and will walk the room …. but on this tour I have one of the best L-Acoustics system engineer and designers in the business which makes my life easier.

 

That system tech is Vic Wagner who, alongside JPJ Audio’s Mats Frankl, ensured the L-Acoustics K1 / K2 PA was tuned, timed and ready for action. Multiple delay towers and rings were required to cover the stadium as much as possible, delivering maximum SPL possible without upsetting the EPA people.

Jon reports that he had complete faith in his support team of Mats Frankl, JPJ Audio’s Bob Daniels and Vic Wagner commenting that the entire JPJ crew impressed him.

The L-Acoustics K1 is a really reliable PA and sounds great,” added Jon. “We had two main hangs, subs across the front, sides a mixture of K1 and K2 and then four K2 delay towers. It all worked perfectly.

SIA has always used a trusty Shure SM58 microphone and according to Jon, she always will.

I’d like to change it but she is so used to using the SM58 dynamically its part of the way she sings,” he explained. “That’s why I use the Maag EQ4’s as analogue inserts because they have the airband on them which means you can actually make an SM58 sound like an expensive microphone!

Jon remarked that he had a great JPJ crew on the tour and, seeing as he worked for JPJ when it was Jands Production Services many moons ago and he knows so many staff, he sees working with JPJ as a family event …..in fact he wouldn’t even consider using anyone else in Australia.

Jon will be touring Australia with Roger Waters early next year and again he will reunite with JPJ Audio.

Southern Stars 2017

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Thousands of performers and spectators converged on the WIN Entertainment Centre last month, as the annual Southern Stars school arena show hit town.

More than 3000 student from primary and high schools in the southern schools region performed with the show also including soloists, a 500 piece choir, and orchestra and an indigenous dance company.

Students came from about 120 public schools as far away as Bourke, and the show was touted as the biggest show so far in Southern Stars’ 17-year history.

Southern Stars 2JPJ Audio provided all things audio with a system designed Bob Daniels and implemented by George Gorga whose biggest challenge was a large orchestra mainly comprising of students!
It takes them a while to get used to being in the arena dealing with headphone monitoring, IEMs and the PA running but there’s a point, usually around dress rehearsal, when it all comes together,” he said. “I’m also dealing with a large number of non-professional vocalists but again, it all comes together in the end. Having said that, the musical standard of these kids is extremely high and during the public shows it’s easy to forget that some of these players and performers are only in primary school.

The stage is set traditionally at one end, albeit a bit bigger than a standard stage, and primarily accommodates the orchestra, whilst the arena floor is the main performance area for soloists and dancers. The choir sit in the seating bank behind the stage.
The PA is a central cluster hung above the floor centre,” explained George. “There are three positions; one facing forward and two straight out to the sides. It looks a bit odd as the centre PA is about two metres behind the side clusters but it works really well and they don’t get in the way of each other. The time alignment is ‘physically’ very close to start with and it’s seamless when you walk around the room.

Jack Richardson, system tech for the event, remarked that this is the best sounding configuration he’s had heard in this venue. George admits he had a bit of an advantage in the fact that he only had to cover the seating from a centrally located PA, but insists a lot of the success was down to Bob Daniels’ design.

Southern Stars 5Of course the L-Acoustics K2 system is amazing too,” George added. “It’s my favourite system at the moment. This is the first time we’ve used the K2 on this event and it was a real leap ahead in quality and impact.
FOH George ran an Avid 96-channel Profile console plus a 48-channel DiGiCo SD11. On the Profile he used just about all of the available effects adding his standard TC Electronics M5000 reverb and a Smart C2 compressor over the mix buss.

I use those pretty much all the time and although I could use a plugin for the C2, I’ve got the real thing and it just holds everything together in the mix,” said George. “In a situation like this show where it can be quite unpredictable, the C2 can be a life saver.

Radio microphones were twenty-six systems of Shure Beta 58 with a couple doubling up as guitar packs and DPA 4088 headset systems. Orchestra microphones were assorted with George favouring dynamic microphones such as Shure 57 and 58’s for brass and woodwind.
In this situation, they’re much easier to deal with when you have kids using them,” said George. “I still get the sound I want without using expensive condenser mics. With the constant turn around, the radio mic tech Bianca Martin and her volunteer student crew are kept very busy!

Monitors were taken care of by Bob Daniels on a DiGiCo SD5 with an Aviom headphone system for the orchestra and lots of Sennheiser IEM systems for the singers.

Gallery – click to enlarge

Icehouse – 40 Years Live

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Photo © Troy Constable

With a career spanning 40 years, iconic Australian band Icehouse has continued to delight millions with their music, well-known and loved by audiences across generations. Icehouse began in 1977 as a Sydney-based pub rock band called Flowers, who were the highest paid unsigned act in Australia at the time.

In 2006, Icehouse was inducted into the Australian Recording Industry Association Hall of Fame, being described as ‘…one of the most successful Australian bands of the 80s and 90s’. Icehouse’s 1987 album Man of Colours remains to this day as the highest-selling album in Australia by an Australian band.

With a history like that, it’s no wonder the band have been selling out their 40 Years Live Tour this year as it travels the country … with more dates just announced!

Touring with an audio package from JPJ Audio, the tour utilized in-house PA systems where available with JPJ supplying speaker systems when required. FOH Engineer Richie Robinson, who has mixed for the band since their return to live shows in 2011, used an Avid Venue S6L saying it is one of the best mixing consoles on the market. He travels with absolutely no extra FOH equipment, which reinforces how good the console sounds on its own.

I had used an Avid Profile since 2007 and always loved working on it,” he remarked. “However, it got to a stage where I thought ‘well that’s the sound of it’ and decided to try some other consoles that had better preamps and a more open sound stage. While I usually liked the sound of them, I didn’t fall in love with their operating systems as much as I did with the Avid Venue gear. When the Venue S6L came along and I tried it out, I was blown away with how good it sounded. It’s a real win for Avid and I think you’re going to see a lot more of them.

Icehouse 40 3

Photo © Troy Constable

When Richie used to mix Icehouse on an Avid Profile, he implemented a combination of Waves plug-ins and outboard reverbs but he’s been happy with the way the onboard fx plugins sound with the new console.

With the combination of the new audio engine in the console running at 96khz and the plug-ins running on the AAX DSP cards, even the Avid reverbs sound a whole lot better to me,” added Richie. “I’ve gone back to using the ReVibe reverb which sounds really good and other than that, I bought a few 3rd party plugins for some other eq, compression and saturation flavors. I miss some of my Waves plug-ins but it’s been cathartic to ditch what you’ve been using for so long and just go ‘wow, that sounds so good just straight out of the console!

One 3rd party plug-in that Richie has used often with Icehouse is the Brainworx bx-console channel strip by Plugin Alliance which he implements over many channels. “There’s a subtle character thing going on with that plug-in that suited this band” said Richie.

Richie uses the Snapshot and Layout features on the console for all the songs – mainly for turning on and off required input channels and for keeping the top fader layer populated with the key input elements for each song. He also found that snapshotting the effects on the Venue S6L was a very handy tool. As Iva Davies wrote and produced so many of Icehouse’s tunes, he can be quite specific with the echoes and delays used on the original recorded versions so Richie decided to snapshot all of the echo effects. That way he doesn’t have to worry about adding the correct tap tempo to each song – when he recalls the snapshot to the next song all of the stored effect parameters are recalled.

Microphones were fairly standard with a selection of Shure wired and radio microphones, a couple of AKG414’s for drum overheads plus Sennheiser and Audio-Technica Australia microphones. “We have a Shure KSM9 for when Iva plays an oboe in Man of Colours and that’s probably the funkiest mic we have.” said Richie. “We’ve tried a few different mics on it but that’s the one we kept coming back to.

Icehouse 40 2

Photo © Troy Constable

Onstage, the band are all on Shure PSM1000 IEM’s with most of them using the Shure SE846 ear buds. In addition, Iva has a couple of d&b audiotechnik M4 wedges in front of him as he occasionally removes one of his IEMs. Sidefills are L-Acoustics Arcs with dv-Subs and the drum sub is a pair of d&b Q-subs. Monitor Engineers for the tour were Paul Kennedy (now out with Midnight Oil) and Matt Debien who both used a Yamaha PM5D with an Apogee Big Ben word clock.

The Wombats

Pete Bartlett

The Wombats are currently celebrating the ten year anniversary of their first album, touring Australia with Groovin’ the Moo and performing a few side shows. For the past five years FOH engineer Pete Bartlett has worked with the band as well as his other main act The Pretenders.

The band members and crew were delighted to play a couple of shows at the Sydney Opera House, performing memorable and joyous shows. Let’s face it, it’s not often you witness six full-grown humans dancing around in wombat suits on stage whilst confetti guns spray over the crowd.

JPJ Audio supplied a control package that included an Avid Profile for FOH and another for monitors. Pete was pleased to get everything he wanted!
I always use an Avid Profile as I have loads of plugins and I’m not a big fan of anything newer,” he remarked. “I’m not a big fan of the new DiGiCo and Midas desks, and the Profile is just more reliable. In fact I’ve stood still for ten years with the Profile but it’s just so easy for me to use, plus you can get them anywhere.

The Wombats 1

Click to enlarge.

Pete explained that he tries to turn his Profile console as much as possible into an SSL console. The reason why is that he admits to being an eighties kid who learnt all of his tricks from being in bands and sitting in studios behind eighties producers.
I stole all my tricks from eighties producers but hey, a lot of it is all cool again!” he laughed. “Effects-wise, I use a complete mix – TC reverbs, Eventide etc, because the reverbs that come with the Profile are pretty poor.

Pete commented that when he first started mixing for The Wombats, they had ten channels of playback so if they lost the tambourine channel, they’ve lost that instrument. He didn’t like that so he went into their studio for a couple of days to mix everything to left / right.
We mixed the tracks really well, just in stereo, so if you lost the left you’ve still got the right,” he added. “It makes life so much easier. They run quite a complicated keyboard set up so it’s all run from Ableton and their keyboards just Midi into the whole thing, so I keep the keyboards separate. Essentially the band are a simple three piece of guitar, bass and drums … but they all sing and all play keyboards too.

During his time in Australia Pete had a variety of PA systems, including L-Acoustics and d&B audiotechnik, but that didn’t faze him.
Whenever I get a new PA to work with, I’ll first ask the system guys what they have done to it,” he explained. “Maybe they’ll show me a Lake EQ, and I’ll ask them to turn it off, as I like to do it myself. The last gig in Australia at Bunbury was fantastic because they had done very little to the system. Often I go into a venue to find the audio guys have hacked the PA to death. I’d rather they leave it flat so I can pull out whatever I don’t like. I don’t need anyone to EQ it, as long as it’s all time aligned and it’s correct, I’ll EQ it.

The Wombats 2

Click to enlarge.

Pete has had a deal with Sennheiser for the past eleven years after he used them with Bloc Party, in fact he is still using many of those original microphones as they’re still going strong.
Basically we don’t have many microphones onstage that cost more than $300, they’re all cheap mics,” he said. “A lot of people listen with their eyes and use something funky and expensive. People wander around backstage saying how clever the mic setup looks, but you go out front and they sound terrible.

Pete commented that the JPJ Audio crew were fantastic and gave a brilliant service, saying that they made his job very easy.

Hans Zimmer Revealed

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Legendary German film score composer and record producer Hans Zimmer brought his Revealed Tour to Australia with JPJ Audio tasked with supplying gear and crew for this complex production.

Since the 1980s, Hans Zimmer has composed music for over 150 films including The Lion King, for which he won Academy Award for Best Original Score in 1995, the Pirates of the Caribbean series, The Thin Red Line, Gladiator, The Last Samurai, The Dark Knight Trilogy, Inception, and Interstellar.

FOH engineer Colin Pink has worked with Hans for three years with this tour starting in April, firstly doing some dates on the West Coast of the States, before coming to New Zealand and Australia for five shows. The tour then heads off to Europe for twenty-six shows before returning to the States for another twenty-five shows finishing on the 18th August.

Nathaniel Kunkel is the Sound Designer for the tour and being based in L.A, Colin says he was the right person to do all the pre-production creation and programming for the show.

Being more of a studio based engineer, he had the ability to refine the detail of the show before we got into rehearsals,” commented Colin. “Once I came on board for rehearsals and the tour itself, we worked very well together using my skills in the live sector, to adapt our work into a touring format.
Hans Zimmer 2The show is a massive challenge from an audio point of view. There is a core band of twenty-two people, including six keyboard players who all double on other instruments. On top of this there is a choir of sixteen and an ‘orchestra section’ consisting of twelve string players and nine brass players. The total input channel count is 260 and there are 63 monitor mixes.

To control all of this we have a Digico SD7 at FOH and monitors, plus an SD11 to sub mix the orchestra and choir,” explained Colin. “The main reason for choosing the Digico consoles was their high channel count coupled with their flexibility and ability to ‘copy audio’ over the fiberoptic network. Even with the high channel count of the SD7, I was creating ‘stems’ of the playback and certain sections for Gavin Tempany at monitors, since he could not take all the inputs directly as he had a reduced input count due to his high number of monitor outputs.

As far as outboard and effects went, Colin has tried to keep it as simple as possible. At FOH he has a t.c. electronic M6000 doing vocal reverbs and uses an internal Tap Delay and some of the internal ‘Audio Enhancers’ inserted across the keyboards and electric cello. Although the show is quite FX heavy most of these are taken care of by the keyboard on stage and some by the playback rig. The show is performed with a full surround rig and a lot of the FX are presented in a surround format.

I think one of the most difficult – and interesting – parts of mixing for Hans is the way he uses many layers of sound to create interesting textures,” remarked Colin. “There are often thirty or so layers of keyboard tracks which combine to make a fluid texture. In the live environment it’s very hard to achieve the right balance between the component parts and keep track of who is doing which bit!

Hans Zimmer 3Colin stated that P.A systems had been very interesting on the tour so far, and for the first few venues he used ‘in house’ systems.

We started at The Microsoft Theatre in L.A and used their JBL Vertec System,” he said. “Our second show was at the Coachella Festival on their L-Acoustics K1 system. Next stop was San Francisco using the new Clair CO12 system. Then we have a K2 system in Vegas and a D&B J Series system in Auckland!
Once the tour reached Australia JPJ Audio provided their Clair CO12 system for the entire Australian tour and this system will also be used in Europe.

It’s been great to have a few systems on the tour as a means of comparing them,” added Colin. “With the CO12 we ended up with 16 x CO12 a side as the main hangs, and 12 x CO12 as side hangs. As the content of this show has a very extended low end, we flew 6 x subs per side next to the main hangs and had another 12 x subs across the front of the stage. This gave us a very smooth coverage and plenty of headroom. Added to this we have a full surround system, it is soundtracks after all!

The mic setup was fairly standard, although on a large scale. All the strings had ‘clip on’ DPA’s and the rest of the orchestra and band had standard microphones. The important part of the mics on stage was that there were no wedges (with everyone on IEM’s) or guitar cabs. All the guitars are being run through ‘Kemper’ emulators, so the only spill into the orchestral mics was from the drum kit which is heavily screened. This allowed Colin a lot more control over the mix 

JPJ looked after us for the whole of the Australian leg of the tour,” Colin said. “Their service was second to none. The efficiency of the JPJ Sydney crew of Joel and Alex meant I never had to wait for any part of the PA ahead of sound checks.
Hans Zimmer 4

Istoria – The Trance Project

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With the express purpose of uniting the Trance scene, creating memorable experiences and spreading the love of Trance, Istoria made its’ debut at Melbourne’s Margaret Court Arena followed by a night at the Sydney Showground Halls.

JPJ Audio supplied the equipment for both events with a d&b audiotechnik PA used in Melbourne and an L-Acoustics PA in Sydney.

Operating both shows was Josh Barker who stated that nice even coverage, with a little bit more bottom end, is always a good starting point.

Dealing with a dance party, it’s obviously about creating a good level on the dance floor without blowing the windows out when you open the doors!” he added. “Also, you don’t want it too fatiguing for those listening to it for eight hours at a time …… and that includes me!

Istoria 2Josh commented that he prefers the older L-Acoustic boxes for dance parties adding that the V-DOSC works very well having two 15’s in the mid high cabinets.

It helps keep the kick drum very punchy and all the bottom end detail doesn’t get blurred out,” he said. “I’ve worked with this PA for years so I know it very well. It is always very important to get your subs right otherwise you will be hearing from the noise police on the hour, every hour. Andrew Rogers looked after the EPA consulting in Melbourne and the Sydney show was handled remotely, via SMS. Maintaining that LEQ average and leaving yourself some breathing space for the main act is vital! Otherwise the later it gets, the quieter it gets. These events sometimes run until 6am.

As for mixing a dance party, Josh describes it as almost like remastering the content coming from stage for a big PA in a room or an outdoor setting.

We are well and truly in the digital era as far as the modern DJ/Producer is concerned. Most of the content has been produced and mastered ‘in the box,’ and sometimes it need some warming up on a large system, especially in the large warehouse style venues. I am making adjustments tailored to each track being mixed in by the DJ. I’m really just taming frequencies and making sure there’s a nice healthy level without hurting anybody’s ears. Being dance music, it can get quite nasty at high volume, most of the synth sounds are based heavily around the square and sawtooth VCO’s and they can really poke out when the PA is at battle-speed.

Josh mixed on an Avid Profile console with a Waves Maxx BCL as a left and right insert, a Puigchild and some Midas XL42’s for some analogue pre amps on the front end. On board, he used a Waves C6 multiband dynamic which keeps everything in check when his hands are busy doing something else.

I use the Maxx BCL as the last point in the chain on the output and that’s got a compressor, bass expander and a limiter all in one,” he added. “It’s really good for keeping the level where I need it, especially if the DB limit is undesirable. It allows me to make it sound big at lower levels and maintain the vibe on the dance floor regardless of the restrictions in place. I use the PuigChild over a group to soften things up when I need to without having to bring the level down. I used this mostly during breakdowns/build-ups when things can get very busy and you generally don’t have a lot of bottom end to round it all off.

Istoria 3All Photos: Jimmy James Denouden

Don Henley 2017 Tour

Don Henley Tour

Eagles co-founder, vocalist and drummer Don Henley returned to Australia this month for a run of indoor and A Day on the Green outdoor shows. Don was joined on stage by his fifteen-piece band for a show that has had critics raving.

FOH engineer Tom Evans has mixed for a wide variety of acts in the past including Snow Patrol and Gwen Stefani. He describes working for Don Henley as a pleasure to mix and says the band are all incredibly talented.

The material I am being given to mix is absolutely first rate,” Tom stated. “The band consists of five horns, three backing vocalists (although all the band sing backing vocals too), two keyboard players, two guitars, bass player, drums and one member who plays a variety of instruments including pedal steel.

JPJ Audio provided crew and gear for the tour including an L-Acoustics PA consisting of K1 over K2 cabinets and V-Dosc for outfills. The amount varies from show to show, as they are playing small and large, indoor and outdoor gigs. The maximum carried are twelve K1’s per side with K2’s underneath.

Don Henley has great attention to detail which is both inspiring and motivating for Tom, who mixed the show on an SSL Live L500 Plus console with no outboard effects.

In the beginning I used a DiGiCo SD5 with Waves external but I find it’s really one more thing to go wrong,” he said. “Often, simpler is better. I’m pretty much using everything available with the console and have maxed out the DSP on it. I have eight Reverbs running, a couple of Delays, a couple of Doublers, some Multiband compressors, Dynamic EQs and De-essers, the SSL Stereo Bus Compressor and Transient Shaper. The standard Dynamics and EQ on the channels are great too.

Each musician plays several different instruments which keeps Tom on his toes using snapshots and set lists to ensure the right instruments are open and muted at the correct times.

Microphones are sourced from a variety of manufacturers with Shure 58, Telefunken M81 and DPA De:Factos on vocals.

Monitors were mixed by Raza Sufi on a DiGiCo SD9 console with a combination of wedges and IEM’s used onstage. All of the band, except for one, are on IEMs although some of them also have wedges.

The Australian tour was great,” added Tom. “The local crew and the crowds are great, and we always have a good time.

 

Australia Day 2017 at the Opera House

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Directed by the highly-awarded John Foreman, Australia Day 2017 – Live at the Sydney Opera House brought together a collection of Australia’s best talent, including Tina Arena, Guy Sebastian, Human Nature and Dami Im. The concert was hosted by Grant Denyer and Kerri-Anne Kennerley.

JPJ Audio provided audio production with Will King in charge of the design and running front of house. It has been well publicized that the forecourt of the Opera House is a tricky venue due to its’ strict noise control limit. Added to that was the fact that the show was broadcast live and the television producers wanted the Harbour Bridge as a backdrop.“This meant that the stage wasn’t orientated in a way that was helpful in achieving that sound level,” commented Will. “The sound was directed towards the Botanical Gardens and in places, could hit the sandstone wall. We had to do our best to deliver a sound system that would shoot down enough to not hit the wall, only the audience.

The PA system comprised of L-Acoustics K1, ten a side, with a side hangs of KARA enclosures to cover the steps of the Opera House, as well as SB28 subs. A single mono delay hang of eight deep KUDO enclosures was also utilized. A large number of Clair 12am wedges covered the stage and the thrust that jutted out into the audience. Usually a thrust allowing performers in front of the PA can cause problems but not in this case due to the concert’s strict noise limits.

Australia Day 2017 2That was probably the only good thing about having a strict noise limit!” laughed Will. “I used a DiGiCo SD10 for control and it was the first time I didn’t have a single channel to plug anything into. The entire console was full – if anyone else had turned up I don’t know what we would have done!

It was important that Will remembered the larger audience was at home watching the concert on the television and he had to be careful not to do anything that would affect the broadcast.

For example, feedback is an absolute no-no on TV,” he elaborated. “If it happens once or twice at a gig, you can get away with it but with television it’s very noticeable in the quiet of your living room as opposed to a noisy gig.
Those who have seen the broadcast of the show will remember what appeared to be a momentous audio fail when Grant Deyner’s microphone didn’t appear to work for what seemed like an age. However, JPJ are relieved to be able to state that the microphone was working perfectly at the gig.

Tristan Farrow ran monitors using a DiGiCo SD5 console.

Photos:

©Troy Constable