Radiohead’s current world tour has seen the UK band supplied by Adlib with an L-Acoustics K1 system for their UK and European dates.
The band’s sound crew for the tour is headed up by FOH engineer Jim Warren, monitor engineer Mike Prowda and production systems designer Sherif el Barbari. Also key to the set-up is Ross Anderson, who is overseeing delays for the tour and managing Prowda and Brett Taylor, from New York based US audio contractor Firehouse Productions.
Adlib was asked to quote on the tour by Radiohead’s production manager Richard Young and were delighted when selected, as Adlib director Dave Jones explained: “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 are comprised of 14 elements of K1 per side with four KARA downfills, and next to these is an array of eight flown K1 SB subs per side.
The side/outer left and right hangs are made up of ten K1 speakers with six 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 KUDOs. The corresponding amp racks are flown directly behind each of the delay stacks in order to provide the best possible sound for the audience. Furthermore, Adlib is supplying four ARCs speakers per side for front fills and six KARA lip fills positioned along the front of the stage.
One of the most challenging daily demands is the rigging and positioning a large speaker system in precisely the correct places for optimisation. Adlib is also supplying its 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, such as the O2 arena in London, feature over 90 rigging points, and the daily build schedule for the stage and production set up is also extremely busy. However, tour engineer Tony Szabo has enjoyed working to such demanding standards: “The Radiohead crew are all brilliant as well as very talented in their fields,” he commented. “All departments work together symbiotically and it’s a big collaboration which produces the amazing end result.”
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