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Adlib Designs & Supplies Sound & Lighting Systems to Liverpool University Venues

Adlib Designs & Supplies Sound & Lighting Systems to Liverpool University Venues
Adlib Designs & Supplies Sound & Lighting Systems to Liverpool University Venues

UK - Liverpool based technical solutions provider Adlib has supplied audio and lighting design, equipment and installation to three venues run by the Liverpool Guild of Students (LGoS) as part of a major £14 million refurbishment and upgrade project spearheaded by the University of Liverpool.

This ambitious investment plan was executed over two years to improve the utilization of space, functionality and to enhance the overall student experience at the Guild & Reilly Building which is central to the University campus.

For Adlib, this has included design and installation of a comprehensive power and cabling infrastructure, provision of L-Acoustics and Coda Audio systems, together with production lighting rigs featuring more premium brands like Robe, Martin by Harman and ETC and the development of a custom Igus cable management solution with Lift-Turn-Move (LTM), also based locally, supplying hoists and motor control. Adlib specified Prolyte Truss to complete the rigging package.

The project involved technical upgrades for the three venues – Mountford Hall, the Stanley Theatre and The Courtyard.

Adlib – whose reputation for designing rider-friendly touring spec systems for top venues on the UK gig circuit has recently included working at Cambridge Corn Exchange and the Engine Shed at Lincoln University – won a competitive tender for the supply. The project was managed for them by John Hughes and Roger Kirby.

Adlib’s long history and vast experience of supplying audio systems for major touring acts and live events once again informed their choice of equipment for the three venues, the largest of which is Mountford Hall, a well-respected and loved gig on the college / academy live circuit. It runs an action-packed programme embracing all genres of music and performance.

Hughes and Kirby worked closely with LGoS technical supervisor Matt Gadsby and the University of Liverpool’s project manager Andy Murphy. They were also appointed early enough in the project to have an input into certain construction related elements of the building’s redevelopment which related to the production areas via structural engineers (OPUS) which resulted in additional weight loading being made available for flown trusses and lighting and sound systems in Mountford Hall.

Related to this was the decision where possible to route all the necessary production cabling via wall mounted troughs around the building, freeing up more weight loading to accommodate additional overhead flown production.

As with the other recent installations, Adlib’s design is a touring grade system and the current universal popularity – confirmed by their own busy rental department - of L-Acoustics was one factor in choosing the KARA PA system for Mountford Hall. The speaker set up is fully flexible and can be adapted to different configurations, offering a cost-effective long term solution … which sounds fantastic. The room was fully acoustically modeled by Adlib and L-Acoustics before the components were chosen … to give the optimum clear and sonically uniform coverage around the 2300 capacity venue.

Nine KARA speakers are flown left and right of the stage with three SB18 subs hung behind each array. These are complimented by eight ground-stacked SB28 subs along the front of the stage. Four L-Acoustics ARCS Wides are available for fills and 12 of Adlib’s legendary MP4 low profile wedges were supplied for monitors together with an Adlib 215DS drum sub. Balcony delays are provided via four ARCS Focus speakers, one 12XTi and two 8XTis.

All the L-Acoustics elements are powered by proprietary LA8 and LA4X amplifiers and the Adlib speakers by Crown XTi 6002s. System processing is provided via a BSS Soundweb London BLU-160 networked processors

For control, Soundcraft consoles were chosen – again - for specification and its reputation for reliability as well as offering great sound, intuitive user interface and adaptability, with a Vi3000 console for FOH and a Vi1 for monitors.

The PA arrays and the lighting trusses are both flown on LTM’s LoadGuard motors and their respective cabling run and supported via a custom IGUS e-Chain and e-Spool cable management system.

For lighting 12 of Robe’s multi-functional Pointes were picked for their versatility and the fact that they can be a beam, wash, spot or effects fixture - giving great all round value. They are joined by 12 Martin MAC Aura LED wash fixtures and six ETC Source Four Zooms for key lights and specials. For effects there are eight 2-lite blinders, Atomic strobes and two Martin Magnum 2500 hazers, all run from an Avolites Pearl Expert console. The lighting was also spec’d to be as flexible and dynamic as possible and cater for a range of performance genres

For the Courtyard and Stanley Theatre spaces, Adlib specified a new Coda Audio system.

Roger Kirby explains that the choice was informed by the belief that Coda offers "the best sounding range of installation loudspeakers with remarkable power handling" currently available. It was the breadth and diversity of this range that allowed them to re-use about 20 existing amplifiers, saving costs for the client without compromising on the resulting audio quality.

The Courtyard now features a distributed system of 15 Coda G308 full range and six Coda G512-96 compact speakers, with low end from two G18 subs, all processed via a BSS London BLU 100 and controlled by BSS BLU10 and BLU3 wall units. A Soundcraft Si Expression one mixer is also available depending on the needs of the event.

A wide variety of entertainment is staged in The Courtyard including DJ and club nights, comedy, open mic and a multiplicity of other student events. The Courtyard’s lighting package includes eight Chauvet Professional SlimPAR LED PARs and six Source Four zooms run from an Avolites Titan 1 Mobile.

A similar new audio and lighting set-up features in the Stanley Theatre, which now has six Coda G308 speakers together with 12 Chauvet Professional COLORado Tri Tour LED PARs, eight ETC Source Four Zooms and four Source Four Juniors

Kirby continues: ‘The Stanley Theatre’s new lighting, sound and comprehensive power and AV infrastructure will help the university deliver professional productions be it for live music and drama events, musical theatre debates and conferences."

Summing up, John Hughes comments: "We are really proud to be involved with this project and be given the chance to bring first class audio and lighting design and concepts to our home town university which will boost its already great reputation for live performance. There have been many connections and a lot of history between Adlib and the University over the years, so it is extra special to be able to bring new standards of excellence via our knowledge and experience to the equation."

photos: The Capture Lab and Tom Lox

3rd December 2014

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