JPS Australia


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

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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

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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.

Coldplay 2016 Australian tour

Coldplay tour 2016 5

JPJ Audio supplied Coldplay with a massive d&b system for their four stadium shows in Australia and for their Mount Smart Stadium show in New Zealand.

JPJ has a great relationship with the Coldplay production team and it was a pleasure to be asked again to supply audio for their tour. Dan Green pulled an amazing sounding show out front with the system in full array mode. A big thanks to, Tony Smith and Nick Mooney the chiefs of CP audio and the entire Wigwam crew for making it a seamless show for us. Looking forward to the next one.

The local JPJ crew worked around the clock to get the system ready in 4 days and a big thank you for the effort. A great result for JPJ and the Coldplay tour.

The System

It was the largest D&B “J” system yet to be seen on our shores. With 176 x J8/12 boxes and 60 subs, a mix of J-sub and Infra. We also used some Q’s for some front lip fill.

The system design also incorporated array processing to cover entire stadium, which required over 120 x D80 amplifiers! Wigwam supplied the touring consoles and infrastructure and we supplied the entire speaker system with all the opening act kits required. There were also some ring delay systems for the Etihad and Alliance shows. A mad amount of speakers.

Crew list

  • Josh De Jong
  • Craig Gordon
  • Murray Lewis
  • Conor Dunne
  • Adrian Roach
  • Bonar Darmawan Abraham

Read more

Coldplay’s A Head Full of Dreams tour. CX Magazine article by Cat Strom



Clair Cohesion Series makes Australian debut with Keith Urban

Keith Urban 25

All photos ©Troy Constable

Although the venue is equipped with a d&b audiotechnik PA system, Keith is a long time Clair account and so JPJ Audio provided their new Clair Cohesion PA system, purchased just in time for Keith’s Australian Ripcord Tour. Seamless integration within the Cohesion Series, assures uniform coverage in multiple venues regardless of acoustic challenges or sightlines. The Series provides higher output, reference quality sound within a smaller footprint; in truck space and in the air.

Keith’s FOH engineer Kirk Kelsey has mixed for a wide variety of acts including Live, Creed, Three Doors Down, and The Smashing Pumpkins. He readily admits that he has been blown away by the Cohesion Series. “The new Cohesion system is a totally different animal to anything else Clair has produced,” commented Kirk. “It’s also totally different to anything else that I have mixed on such as d&b, Meyer or Adamson. Whilst all of those systems are high quality, Cohesion just keeps going – it never compresses itself, has tons of headroom and it throws a very good distance. The clarity and vocal intelligibility of it is outstanding whether you’re in a theatre, arena or stadium.

Keith Urban 14Kirk reports that as there is a large amount of low frequency in the hanging PA, he doesn’t have to fly subwoofers. “There’s not a lot of processing in the Cohesion as I believe that Clair wanted to give engineers raw power,” he added. “One thing I learnt with the Cohesion PA is that you have to build your show in this system for it to be able to work. I can’t just come in after an L’Acoustics or d&b show, and plug into the system. The Cohesion system will show all the flaws in the mix so you have to undo everything.

At the ICC theatre there were twelve Cohesion CP-118™ self-powered sub bass loudspeakers run in a cardio pattern of two blocks of six onstage. Kirk reports that they are really, really efficient and that they deliver tons of output, in fact he actually has to run the subs at -10 compared to the rest of the system.

The main hang comprised of sixteen Cohesion CO-12 cabinets, Clair’s next generation of versatile, reference quality concert loudspeakers, with a further twelve CO-12’s for side hang. “The side hang is a 120° splay and the main hang an 80° splay,” Kirk clarified. “We also have a centre hang which consists of four Cohesion CO-8 cabinets and that covers the thrust that comes out from the centre of the stage. We also have CO-8’s stacked in various places across the subs or the stage to fill out little gaps.

Kirk revealed that they had just played Canberra’s GIO stadium with the same configuration of sixteen Cohesion CO-12 cabinets and they were able to reach back of stadium with no problem.

Keith Urban 5Out front Kirk was mixing on an Avid Profile with a large number of inputs including eight inputs for Keith’s electric guitar alone. For this, Kirk uses many different microphones, blending them to try get the sound as big as possible, as one microphone would not do justice. “Danny Raider our stage right guitar player also plays a lot of auxiliary instruments and then Nathan Barlow upstage right, is the EDM factor to Keith’s new album which has electronica influence,” added Kirk. “Nathan has built this thing that he calls The Phantom that consists of four iPads triggering different types of samples as well as keyboards and pads plus a guitar. There’s a lot of talent of stage and they’re a really tight band. I got lucky with this band – I didn’t have to come in and fix anything!

Kirk describes mixing Keith’s show as like mixing a rock show and that he just follows his lead. Initially he built snapshots for every song but discarded them after the first show as Keith is very much a free spirit on stage.

Although Kirk wasn’t using any outboard effects on this show, typically has eight RF vocal mics active for Keith as he can pop up anywhere on stage or out front at any time. “It didn’t seem cost effective to build money channels for each one of those RF microphones and as a result I came up with a scheme so next year I can go ahead and route them through their own separate mixer. I use a lot of Waves as well as Brainworx, SPL Transient Designer and Echo Farm.

Monitors were mixed by Phil ‘side fill’ Wilke on a couple of Midas H3000 analogue consoles with a bunch of outboard effects. Keith and his band use both IEM’s and wedges, with Keith typically using just the one IEM as audience microphones don’t give him the same feel as wedges.

The Ripcord tour has been on the road for several months and fans regularly post to Keith Urban’s facebook page and there is rarely any mention of audio quality, which we all know is a good thing!



Clients Autumn 2012

Concerts and Tours Concerts & Tours Festivals & Special Events
Bentley Kernaghan Taylor Swift Sydney
Bic Runga
Bombay Bicycle Club
Bon Iver
Boy & Bear
Brian Setzar
Buddy Guy & Jonny Lang
Clipsal 500
Cold Chisel
Comedy Gala & Opening Night
Cosmic Gate
Crosby Stills & Nash
Crusty Demons
Daniel O Donnell
Dierks Bentley & Lee Kernagahn
Dirty Three
Duran Duran
Earth Wind & Fire
Florence and The Machine
Franki Valli & the Four Seasons
Go! Show
Hillsong Colour Conference
Hoodoo Gurus
Jay & Silent Bob
John Clegg
John Fogerty
Josh Pyke
Juan Luis Guerra
Kaiser Chiefs
Kylie Minogue
Lenny Kravitz
Lucinda Williams
Mark Lanegan
Men In Pink Tights
Missy Higgins Showcase
My Morning Jacket
Naturally 7
New Found Glory
New Order
Nick Lowe
Nitro Circus
Oliva Newton John
One Direction
Public Enemy
Ross Noble
Ryan Adams
S Club
Sneaky Sound System
Stevie Wonder
Taylor Swift
Temper Trap
The Butterfly Effect
The Pogues
The Specials
The Wiggles
Tim McGraw
Tony Bennett
Trailer Park Boys
Xavier Rudd
Zumba Concert in the Round
Byron Bay Blues Fest
CMC Rocks the Hunter
Comedy Festival
Creamfields Festival
Future Music Festival
Good Life Festival
Groovin the Moo Festival
Soundwave 2012
St Kilda Film Festival
St Kilda Youth Festival
The Rapture, Azari & III
Corporate Installations Theatre & TV
Apple store Bondi Palais Theatre ANNIE cast
Battleship Film Premiere
Heston Blumenthal
IBM In Style Awards
Jamie Oliver
GPJ – Toyota
Truck & Trailer Gala
Unicorn Foundation Launch
Veuve Clicquot Business Awards
Westfield – Cleo & Harpers
Palais Theatre
Forum Theatre
Palace Metro
The Hordern Pavillion
State Theatre
Luna Park
Hi-Fi Bar Sydney
Officer & a Gentleman
Australia’s Got Talent
The Voice
Young Talent Time
Rock The Ballet
John Cleese
Scooby Doo

Clients Autumn 2011

During Autumn JPJ Audio provided audio and production services for theatre shows, television spectaculars, corporate events and numerous concerts. Here’s some of the shows we worked on:

Festivals Theatre / Television House Systems
Groove’n the Moo Dr Zhivargo Hordern Pavilion Install
Superfest Hairspray the Musical State Theatre Install
Blues Festival Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber Luna Park Install
Project Runway
Star Struck
Yo Gabba Gabba
Concerts and Tours Concerts and Tours Corporate Events
Armin Van Buuren Justin Bieber Apple Store
Bar @ Buena Vista Katy Perry Arafura Games
Birds of Tokyo Keith Urban Golden Stave Lunch
Bliss N Eso Live at the Chapel In Style Awards
Bob Dylan Maroon 5 Red Awards
Chris Brown Miley Cyrus Star City Gala Dinner
Cream Fields Parkway Drive Sydney Film Festival
Disturbed Pete Murray Sydney Kings at the SEC
Good Charlotte Snoop Dogg Toyota & Lexus Motor Show
Grace Jones ZZ Top Stands
James Blunt

Clients Summer 2011

It was a busy summer for JPJ Audio, the merged operation of Jands Production Services and Johnston Audio. JPJ Audio provided audio and production services for theatre shows, television spectaculars, corporate events and numerous concerts. Here’s some of the shows we worked on:

Festivals Theatre / Television House Systems
Big Day Out Hairspray the Musical Luna Park Big Top
Good Vibrations Festival The Boy From Oz State Theatre Sydney
Laneway Festival Music of Andrew Lloyd  Webber Hordern Pavilion
Sound Wave Festival Dr Zhivargo
Future Music Festival Australia’s Got Talent
Sound Relief 2 River Dance
Concerts and Tours Concerts and Tours Corporate Events
Bear Grylls Billy Connolly Live at the Apple Store
Chris Isaak Cyndi Lauper Australia Day Live-Canberra
Foo Fighters Live on the Harbour INXS Rose Bay Flood Relief
Joe Cocker Kool and the Gang Mardi Gras
Lionel Ritichie Nitro Circus Regional Tour Top Gear Live
Ragga-muffin Rihanna Silver Party
Santana Sting Symphonicity Tour The Sydney Kings
Stone Temple Pilots Take 40 Live Lounge Sydney Myer
Clipsal 500 V8 Race Concerts Usher at Acer Arena David Jones