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Bring Me The Horizon go on UK arena tour with d&b J-Series
UK – Sheffield-based Bring Me the Horizon (BMTH), comprising vocalist Oliver Sykes, guitarist Lee Malia, bassist Matt Kean, drummer Matt Nicholls and keyboardist Jordan Fish, embarked on their first arena tour of the UK in the latter part of 2016. The tour came in the wake of a year of successes for the band, during which they released a fifth LP ‘That’s The Spirit’ and played just before Metallica on the main stage at the Reading and Leeds Festivals.
Kicking off at Nottingham’s Motorpoint Arena, the tour represented the band’s largest gig to date. It saw other live shows played in Birmingham’s Barclaycard Arena, London’s O2, Sheffield Motorpoint Arena, and Manchester Arena, before wrapping up at Glasgow SSE Hydro.
d&b has long been a fixture at BMTH gigs, with the technology a favourite of front of house engineer Oliver Hutchinson, particularly the subs and the overall high quality of sound delivered.
“I am a huge fan of d&b and would happily never use another system ever again,” said Hutchinson. “It’s the only PA that can deliver what I want from all frequency bands; the crystal clear clarity of the highs, the low punch of the mids, and the note perfect reproduction of the sub programme material. No other sub manages to reproduce all the notes of our sub bass tracks with such an even response combined with such trouser flapping power. With other systems, I find myself riding the notes to accommodate the lumpy and uneven sub response. Some of them just produce a flappy rumble resembling nothing like the audio I feed into them.”
BMTH, whose style ranges from deathcore through to metalcore, to rock, are known for their sound, which is central to every gig. With this arena tour the band stepped things up both in terms of aesthetics and visuals. As Jack Murphy, system technician at Wigwam/SSE (which supplied all the gear for the gigs) explains, he and Oliver Hutchinson wanted to make sure that sound didn’t get left behind, - retaining the impact that was achieved in smaller venues – or overshadowed by the video running on multi-tiered video screens off to the sides, as well as a larger screen wrapped across the back of the stage.
It was also critical that Hutchinson was able to get the sound he was after, while avoiding huge hangs of PAs that would interfere with the visuals. Murphy was brought onboard early in the process by production manager Rob Highcroft with the brief of making sure the PA was not in the sightlines of the 36m wide, 11m high video screen.
Murphy said: “To achieve the brief I spoke to d&b’s application support team. They suggested looking at placing the L/R flown subs equidistant from both main and side hangs. This made it easy to time align both the sides and the mains back to the flown subs creating one big source. This created a tight low end even around the sides and meant that everyone got the trouser wobbling sub BMTH like to give.”
The setup worked better than expected. According to Murphy, there were positive comments from management, friends, and family saying that they could really feel the sound up the bleachers and in the boxes. “Hutch and I were very happy that every fan got the same experience,” he adds.
The FoH setup also included eight J-INFRA subwoofers and fourteen J-SUBs hidden in an array under the stage to achieve a low end impact, which is the band’s preferred option.
Murphy goes on to explain that the band also like being above the sub array, which really brings the feeling to them. On top of this monitoring engineer, Jared Daly had sidefills of J8 and two additional J-SUBs per side and two J-SUBs under the band’s risers.
With its detailed audio performance, smooth and even frequency response, dynamic bandwidth and high power and headroom capability, the d&b J-Series is an ideal large scale sound reinforcement solution. The J-SUB offers the option of cardioid or hypercardioid performance and are acoustically matched and constructed so they are compatible in both flown or ground stacked arrays. The J-INFRA cardioid subwoofer extends the frequency response even lower.
The capability of the J-Series means there is little need for additional processing, as Murphy explains: “I don’t use any processors at all, no Lakes or Galileos,I don’t think it’s necessary. Once you’ve got your tonal balance tools set up, your HFCs and your coupling filters and perhaps a bit of EQ, you don’t need much else. There’s so much EQ available on the D80s that there’s not any need for anything else to be in the line. With a good network that runs super quick, there’s never any issue even though there’s no ArrayProcessing in this particular set-up.”
For the O2 gig, Murphy refined the system designs for the height – with no problems encountered with a lowest edge of 11m, paying particular attention to getting the design as good as possible to achieve great, consistent and even results. The adjustments worked a treat, with The Independent review stating that the sound was big for the enormous O2 room.
As Murphy explains, they had to side anchor to cover the seats in the upper tiers. The rig was designed to work with the stage design, so in that sense the setup didn’t really change too much, it was just a case of making adjustments to ensure that the impact could be felt across the whole audience, regardless of location.
25th September 2017
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