JPS Australia

History

Led Zeppelin Evening as Bonham

Jason Bonham 1

Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Evening As Bonham garnered rave reviews as it toured through the country in May. The concert celebrates the life and music of his father, the legendary Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham, and it was clear that this was a gig FOH engineer Tim Millikan was enjoying immensely.

I’m like a dog with ten dicks at the moment!” he enthused. “It’s astounding, if you close your eyes you’d swear it was Led Zeppelin. The set goes for up to 2&¾ hours and covers a broad range of Led Zeppelin material. Having grown up listening to Led Zeppelin, I felt that I had been mixing it forever. There were times during the first show when I had to look up to check it wasn’t Robert Plant singing.

Tim Millikan

JPJ Audio provided a FOH control package with inhouse PA systems used around the country. Out front, Tim decided upon an Avid Profile simply due to its ease of use and availability around the country and in New Zealand.

I wasn’t sure what to expect prior to the tour so I thought I’d best make it easy on myself,” he explained. “I also have a couple of Avalon VT-737 out front for vocals and that’s about it. It’s a pretty stock standard package without much extra in the outboard world.

However Tim remarked that there was quite a lot going on with onboard effects including pitch shifters going into a SansAmp for some crunch and distortion on the vocal.

I run the pitch shift return pretty hard into that at times for the vocal effects such as in No Quarter and Since I’ve Been Loving You,” added Tim. “I have a super heavy duty flanger that I run the drum kit through for the big drum fill sections in Kashmir. There’s a long delay with a single repeat at about 600 milliseconds for all the extended vocal Robert Plant stuff and the rest is all short verbs just to sweeten things up. I don’t try to effect it too much preferring to let the band do its own thing. The keyboard sounds are fantastic and he’s clearly done a lot of work to replicate the Led Zeppelin sound. So a lot of it comes to me already sitting pretty well, the balances between patches is great and there are no issues there.

Tim added that he is not overly compressing anything, just some multiband compression to tickle groups so it doesn’t get too out of control when they’re really going for it.

He spent more time concentrating on the overhead sound of the kit in general so when Jason hits the cymbals, they’re big and rich.

I aim for a very natural sound using very light gating on the drums. It’s so super dynamic, you can’t squash it down too much and hold it in a position. I’ve got a C6 Multiband Compressor running over my master buss and I’m using that into an L3 Multimaximizer for a little bit of mastering on the output just to keep it in check.

As it is such a long show, Tim explained that he tries to keep the sound level at around 95dB despite having had some people say it should be louder.

For 2 ¾ hours that would be uncomfortable,” he said. “I can tighten up or loosen up the low end of my master stage to give a little more power when it needs it and pull it back when I want to keep it under control.

Monitors were taken care of by Conor Dunne on a DiGiCo SD10 running Sennhieser IEMs and Shure radio mics. Jason also has a robust Stereo drum fill in the form of an L-Acoustics SB118 sub with an ARC II on top.

It’s pretty loud onstage which in smaller venues makes it pretty tough,” said Tim. “The guitar player has a pair of 100 watt Marshalls running pretty hot plus there are two Ampeg SVT 8 X 10 rigs for the bass. The keyboard rig had a couple of Nord Stage 2s then there are a couple of acoustic guitars and a mandolin.
Jason has a Crown CM311 head-worn condenser microphone as he sings in a couple of songs but mainly talks in between songs, although sometimes he also uses a Shure KSM9 radio mic.

For the drums there is a Shure Beta 52 on the kick drum (no hole in the kick drum so it’s placed directly in front), Shure 57s on top and bottom of snare, Shure 181 on hats and ride, Sennheiser 421s on toms and 414s on overheads. Guitars are Sennheiser e906 and Audio Technica ATM450 whilst vocals are Sennheiser e945 and e935. DIs were a combination of Radial J48s and JDIs as well as Countrymans.

Tim was clearly in his element with this tour adding that the band’s crew were great and that Jason himself is a lovely bloke, in fact it’s one of the most chilled and casual tours he’s done in a while. And Tim must have done something right as he has been asked to join the American run ….. work Visa pending.
Rule number one of touring – don’t leave home without your passport!

 

Robbie Williams World Tour 2018

Robie Williams 2018

Global pop phenomenon, Robbie Williams toured his mammoth Heavy Entertainment Show World Tour around the country with JPJ Audio once again supporting audio needs.

JPJ Audio supplied an L-Acoustics K1/K2 PA and amplifiers for the tour as well as PA’s for the A Day On The Green shows.

We have fourteen L-Acoustics K1 with four K2 downs on the main hangs with the same number on the side hangs,” commented Josh Lloyd, system tech for the tour. “We also have twelve K2 to cover anywhere up to 240° upstage as well as flown K1 SBs subs in the air, twelve aside. There’s a ribbon of sixteen SB28’s underneath the stage as an arc. Then there’s an end fire array, left and right, of six SB28’s plus an assortment of Kara and Arc2’s as fill boxes.

The whole system is run on the new LA12X amplifiers which Josh says have made an improvement in how the system sounds, as well as providing the incredibly helpful Load Checker feature that measures the attached loudspeakers to help make sure that everything is working correctly.

With the LA12X we use the load check function which verifies the cabinets and checks the drivers are intact,” he added. “In terms of aligning and tuning the system, I use Smaart with a wireless control so I can walk the arena. We do all the control inside LA Manager, although we have Lakes we don’t use them for that but for transmitting the audio over the network with Dante as an audio over IP.
FOH engineer Simon Hodge isn’t fazed dealing with Robbie spending much of his time out front of the PA.

We have a great PA which makes it about as good as it can be in terms of gain before feedback,” he said. “We’re very happy with the system and the way it is lined up makes a big difference. Also, we did a shootout between lots of vocal mics and we recorded the results of him singing with them. The Sennheiser Diigital 6000 system with the MD9235-J capsule gave the greatest rejection of background noise and therefore feedback.

The continuing reduction in RF spectrum also prompted a look at Sennheiser’s new Digital 6000 system which has helped the show as it has so much RF. According to Josh, the vocal sounds a lot more open and natural and the bleed from other sources down the mics is far cleaner and less problematic.

Simon runs a DiGiCo SD7 and with so many people onstage, he uses a lot of channels saying the show is not exactly automated although he does a fair amount of clever stuff running things to time code to make his life easier.

The show is still mostly mixed manually but we still spit out timecode which goes on to lighting and other departments,” he added. “We also multitrack everything at FOH so in rehearsals we can playback multi tracks that then goes off to other departments so they can rehearse without the band but still do all of the show cues.

Out front Simon also had four Bricasti M7’s with a controller which Simon describes as lovely and again it’s all automated in with the timecode cues. He also has a Transient Designer on the drum skins and an old fashioned Klark Tecnik Gate on the kicks and snares.
I find that the Gate in any digital console is not quite up to the standard of an analogue one,” said Simon.

After many years working with Robbie, Simon knows his voice extremely well and knows how it changes through the evening. As a result, there are quite a few tweaks that he does to his voice through the show.

It’s got to the point now that I can feel when he’s about to adlib and anticipate him,” said Simon.

Everyone onstage, including the dancers, use Sennheiser 2050 wireless IEMs with monitor engineer Pete McGlynn also on an SD7.

We’re gain sharing significantly which a lot of people don’t do but we know each other well enough to trust each other on the gains,” explained Simon. “So we’re acting as though we are one console so we’re connected together by fibre but there’s only one set of inputs.

Both SD7s use Gain Tracking and are on an optical loop, with two SD-Racks handling all the inputs from stage, an SD-Mini Rack handles all the Sennheiser Digital 6000 wireless microphones, which are fed in via AES/EBU, and a second SD-Mini Rack handles inserts and PA outputs at front of house. The optical loop is used not only to gain share, but to distribute comms and the comprehensive talkback system between front of house and the stage.

Around 96 inputs come from the stage, plus a large amount of inputs for band talkback and comms, which allow the band to communicate with the techs and Pete at monitors,” said Josh. “On top of this, we have triggers on the drums just to key the Gates on the console. Before you know it, the racks are all full.

For outputs, there are 24 channels of Sennheiser 2050 wireless in ear monitors, an Aviom personal mixing system for the drummer, a couple of hard wired mixes, various tech mixes and routing, which mean the monitor desk is also fully loaded.

JPJ provided the following crew for the two A Day On The Green shows headlined by Robbie: Conor Dunne, Lachlan Cresswell, Jesse Mahoney, Kane Phillips, and Stacey Handley. In Sydney Bianca Martin looked after delays.

SIA Nostalgic for the Present tour

SIA 2017 1

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.

AFL 2017 Grand Final

AFL Grand Final 2017

JPJ Audio took over designing and operating the audio system for the AFL Grand Final entertainment six years ago and it’s been smooth sailing ever since. This year The Killers absolutely nailed it with an incredible performance that won them universal praise.

For sound designer James ‘Oysters’ Kilpatrick the biggest hurdle is the sheer size of the playing field, which is around 500 metres in circumference, and the fact that everything has to be set up in matter of minutes. Of course, it also has to be taken down in an equally short amount of time.

We do a rehearsal during the week where it all has to be wheeled out and struck down afterwards, and then we do a soundcheck and out it all goes again,” said Oysters. “We also have a large amount of outputs as we’re driving the TV OB for the music, sending a mix with ambient mics to Triple M plus feeding the ground and the media. It takes us about a week to wire and thoroughly check all of the outputs as there are so many including various mix minus feeds.

Oysters ran an Avid Profile mainly because he wanted stability and the Waves Plugins to run without the complication of a server but also because of its’ small footprint as space is premium. He also required a console that was capable of running ProTools whilst at the same time, could add markers for memories via snapshots, as the rehearsals are recorded on the Thursday and on the Friday there are more rehearsals running everything off the ProTools to the broadcast truck. The reliability of the Avid Profile was also a major factor in its choice especially as the weather and temperature can be quite erratic in Melbourne at that time of year.

At FOH control with Oysters this year were Tim Millikan and Ryan Fallis, with Oysters sending his outputs to Tim to distribute via matrix mixers, line drivers and active splitters. Everything that Oysters had on his console was mirrored onto Tim’s DiGiCo SD11 in case Oysters console was to fail. Ryan looked after the fully redundant ProTools replay and would also send everything he was doing to Channel 7. All control gear was on a UPS and were all timed, with JPJ doing extensive power failure tests in the factory leading up to the event.

It was all fibre with Channel 7 directly to me so that was a bit easier than years previously,” added Oysters. “Tim and Bowden Birkett (JPJ Audio’s head system engineer) could actually change any part of the PA or any part of the zoning, or even the levels to Channel 7 without asking me.

 

It’s important to remember that this is a TV show, not a concert, which can be a hard thing for people to get their head around. It’s not only live in the ground, its going live to millions people, there is no waiting till somebody is ready, it just rolls ready or not.

You have to use wind socks as it’s our windiest month in Melbourne and it really swirls around the ground,” said Oysters. “RF can also be a problem and in the past, it has failed. This year Frontier production bought in Peter Cochrane from ARTICULATE Communications to manage all of the RF and communications. He lowered the power on all of the radios, allotted all of the frequencies and it worked incredibly well. Everyone is on in-ears because without them the amount of slap back in the playing field is disorientating.

Sixteen carts of d&b audiotechnik cabinets were wheeled out, each cart holding three d&b J Series cabinets.

The ground runs in mono with redundant loops of signal and power so the most you could lose would be two or three carts,” said Oysters. “We can even broadcast for about 15 to 20 minutes without power although the speakers would fail. We could have run it with fibre but that would have got quite complex and I try to keep it as simple as possible, especially as so many complex things have failed at this event in the past. Eventually it will be entirely networked but when we do that, we’ll probably run it in the shop for a month before.

Oysters remarked that this years’ show by The Killers was the best yet, even though the band was so complex he didn’t take a full split of all of their gear.

As they have so many electronics such as sequencers, synthesizers and keyboards, we had that all bussed down a series of stems by Marty Beath,” he explained. “We took the vocals, guitars and drums all separate but it was condensed across sixteen lines instead of say fifty-six.

Once the footy had finished, The Killers performed a free show for anyone who wished to attend reverting back to a normal concert set up with FOH and monitors and with Oysters looking after OB to television only.

Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande 3

The world’s biggest pop sensation, Ariana Grande, bought her Dangerous Woman Tour to Australia this September and JPJ Audio joined her on the road!

Ariana Grande may be tiny, but her voice is big enough to drown out a stadium packed with thousands of screaming fans …. with a little help from a Clair Cohesion PA and her FOH engineer Simon ‘Si’ Thomas.

Toby Francis, Ariana’s usual FOH engineer, asked Si to replace him at the helm of the DiGiCo SD7 last May as he left to work on Katie Perry’s new tour.

Ariana Grande 4The Clair Cohesion PA has been utilized for her entire tour, unless unavailable in a country and then an L-Acoustics K1 or d&b J series stepped in, and it’s a system that Si is more than happy to have inherited. In Sydney, Ariana played the ICC Sydney Theatre with sixteen CO-12 per side in the main hang, twelve CO-12 per side in the side hang and three CP-218 flown per side in cardioid. Another six CP-218 per side were ground stacked in cardioid. Infills were Clair CO-8.

It’s very compact and light weight compared to other line arrays in its class and it’s got lots of headroom,” commented Si. “It has a really good high/mid which is very smooth. With this kind of music there’s a lot of odd sub content that goes down really low with which the CP-218’s do a really good job. The CP-218 sub is particularly good, it’s very powerful.” Si described the ICC Sydney Theatre as an ‘interesting’ venue but at the end of the day, he was happy with the result.

No one had flown subs in there like we did and I believe that made a lot of difference because if there’s too much down on the floor, it’s pointless,” he said. “Once you get some sub higher up, it works really well. I had heard horror stories about the venue but it was fine and quite decent sounding. Although getting in and out of it is a pain in the arse!

Ariana Grande 2FOH there is a fair amount of analogue involvement, with Si using the SD7’s subgroups to route out through Lake Processors which convert the digital to analogue. “I then have a Neve Portico 5059 Satellite 16×2+2 Summing Mixer and within that I’ve inserted various types of compression – Smart C2 for the drums, Crane Song STC-8 for the music, backing vocals a Tube-Tech SMC 2B multiband optical compressor and for Ariana’s vocal a Rupert Neve Shelford Channel,” explained Si. “The various compressors are on the A Channel side of the Portico summing mixer, which are then all fed to the B side of the summing mixer to create a master mix which has a Portico II Master Buss compressor across it. Then that would then output and come back into the Master Buss return insert point of the SD7 with yet another Lake, converting to AES. Basically it’s a like one big insert chain.

Added to that were a couple of TC M5000’s used for drum and vocal reverbs. Si readily admits that it took him a bit of time to get his head around what was going on but concludes that the system works very well.

Ariana Grande 4Ariana uses a Sennheiser MD 5235 dynamic microphone capsule with a Lake inserted across her channel so all of her vocal EQ’s are done in the Lake and not the console. In fact a lot of the serious work is not done in the DiGiCo which is basically being used as a big router! The Digico channel expander was used on the vocal to keep the noise floor down so when Ariana is in front of the thrust and is not singing, you’re not hearing the room noise or PA.

I’m using a Telefunken M82 kick drum mic which is really, really nice,” added Si. “I also have Telefunken M81’s for the snare drums but the rest of the mics are fairly standard.

Vish Wadi also used a DiGiCo SD7 to run monitors with everyone using Sennheiser 2050 IEMs plus there are flown sidefills, some CM-22 stage monitors on the floor for the dancers and CP-118’s providing sub onstage for the band.

The Australian tour was good fun and we really enjoyed it,” said Si. “To be honest, it was quite easy …. partly due to my system tech Jerrell Evans and the JPJ crew of Tim Seconi and Alex McComark, who were good lads.

Southern Stars 2017

Southern Stars 1

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

Hans Zimmer Revealed

Hans Zimmer 1

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

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

Australia Day 2017 1

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

JPJ adds to Digital Console Inventory

Digico consoles

When it was released, over a decade ago, JPJ Audio was one of the first rental companies to purchase the Digico D5. Since then we’ve added SD10, SD7 and more recently SD5 Live Digital Consoles to our extensive rental inventory.

For more information on the consoles we use visit our equipment pages.