Adlib heads out on Snow Patrol’s ‘Wilderness’ Tour

Adlib was recently the audio provider for Snow Patrol’s sold-out UK arena tour as the Northern Irish rockers headed out on the road after a seven year break.

Nigel Pepper mixed FOH and Jamie Hickey was on monitors. Adlib provided crew, with top systems specialist Sam Proctor and an L-Acoustics system K1 system specified by Nigel. Sam was joined by Terry Smith who looked after stage and monitors for Jamie, plus Aaron Greig and Neil Dodd who completed the audio crew.

Adlib had supplied a small PA and control package for some warm up shows mid-last year and has previously worked with both Nigel and Jamie to provide a touring control package to their specification on the band Foals.

The Snow Patrol tour’s standard system configuration was 14 x K1 speakers a side with four KARA downfills – perfect for delivering the band’s characteristic robust and solid sound – together with eight K1 subs flown behind the main hangs to help direct the low end towards the back of arenas. These were supplemented by two side hangs of 12 x K2 speakers each.

On the floor were 21 x KS28 subs in a spaced array. Seven stacks of three high subs, each with a single L-Acoustics X8 on top for front fill.

This allowed each stack to be driven by a single amplifier, leading to tidy and logical cabling. The spaced sub array is Nigel and Sam’s preferred set-up for getting even and efficient coverage across the various rooms.

A flown cluster of four KARAs spec’d by Nigel eliminated the need for any infills, helping to keep the stage completely free, which was both an acoustic and an aesthetic decision leaving a clear stage and a flat floorspace.

All speakers were driven by L-Acoustics’ LA12x amplifiers and all the processing completed at FoH via a Newton multi-source processor. Nigel’s console of choice is the Midas PROX which he ran with a selection of carefully chosen outboards. He used some UAD plug-ins for the first time on this tour which he likes – especially the extra distressors which can “glue everything together”.

“Compression is really important to me, especially for those sections when I’m mixing right up to dB limits” he commented. “Some of the old-skool things sound very nice. As well as great reproduction, you can actually hear so distinctively what they do!”

He multi-tracks the show each night, which is used for virtual sound checks, effectively replicating the real musicians and show volumes to give a good representation of what the mix will do in a venue and how the acoustics will interact – all to get the best possible result.

Gary Lightbody uses a Sennheiser SKM5200ii RF transmitter with a DPA D:facto capsule.

Jamie is using Sennheiser 2000 IEMs, and there are five band mixes plus a spare. Additional mixes include a guest mix, five tech mixes, a management mix and a cue mix.

With 88 inputs coming from the stage, Jamie’s desk was a DiGiCo SD7 which he ran with 32-bit input preamp cards.

Jamie has worked with Adlib before, initially in 2012 with the Liverpool based company as his audio vendor, and then in reverse role the next year when he was one of the technical team for the Summertime Ball at Wembley Stadium – a gig serviced by Adlib for the last several years.

The challenge at the stage end of the Snow Patrol equation was literally ‘doing monitors’. The band are all very experienced with “high standards” relates Jamie. “They are very straight-up, but they have certain standards that have to be met”. After establishing this, it was down to him to evolve and make it a seamless process.

Adlib also supplied a full touring mics-and-stands package for the two opening acts together with a support monitor system and two Midas PRO2 consoles.