JPS Australia

History

Childish Gambino

Childish Gambino 1

With shows that are as immersive, interactive, and mesmerising as they are entertaining, Childish Gambino lights up the stage like very few artists can.

In Australia to headline Splendour in the Grass, Childish Gambino played a handful of arena shows for those not lucky enough to get to Byron Bay.

FOH Engineer Kevin Brown has been fortunate to work with some very talented artists over the years, which include Toni Braxton, American Authors, Chris Brown, OutKast, Joi, Nicki Minaj, and Cody Simpson.

He has been with Childish Gambino for only four months after he was approached by Tim Colvard, the artist’s previous FOH guy, to take over after the first weekend of Coachella.

Kevin was mixing on a DiGiCo SD7, saying he has tried to use the SD Platform exclusively for quite a few years. “At the time it was the only desk that didn’t make me feel restricted by its workflow,” he added.

The SD7 has a very powerful engine and you can do almost anything, whenever you want. That type of flexibility is paramount in allowing us to be creative as mixers.

Kevin was using a Neve 1073 and Avalon 737 for the main vocal, remarking that the 1073 is a great mic pre, and if you combine that with the smooth EQ of the Avalon, you start off in a great space for your vocal. For effects processing he was using an Eventide H3000 along with various UAD and Waves plugins for reverbs, delays and some chorusing.

Kevin describes Childish Gambino as a solid performer and dynamic with the microphone; there are times when he projects and others where he forces you to listen.

It’s all about dynamics, the ups and down are what create the journey,” he added.

This is a very exciting mix, especially from a mixer’s position. There is six-piece band on stage that consists of drums, bass, two guitars, keys, and percussion.
On top of that, you have playback tracks and five choir members. This puts us in the ballpark of 110 channels. There are so many layers that allow you to create a dynamic mix with lots of depth.

Childish Gambino 8

JPJ Audio provided gear and crew for the Australian leg of the tour and Kevin found himself using a Clair Brothers CO12 PA system for the first time. The system comprised of 16 CO-12 in the main with six CP-218 subs flown. For side hangs there were 14 CO-12 plus eight CO-8 for front fills and 16 CP-218s on the ground.

The first word that comes to my mind is powerful!” commented Kevin.

In the air the PA looked smaller than some other systems, but they sound big, and the subs sound huge. I was really impressed. It’s not every day you get that type of energy moving from an active speaker.

Kevin remarked that there was nothing special going on with microphones. There are a few Shure 57s, 58s, 98s, and AKG 414s on stage whilst Childish Gambino is on a Shure Axient Digital 58.
As Kevin concludes, the main ingredient is the group of talented individuals on stage. It starts at the source!

Childish Gambino_5A touring comms package included a Riedel Artist comms system, 2300 Series Smart Panels with David Clark headsets, and Bolero wireless comms for the stage, all interfaced into Big Picture’s comms system for seamless integration with cameras and directors.

Tour radios were also supplied by JPJ Audio with D2N also supplying a Hytera radio solution for the tour.

Charlie Izzo, who has mixed monitors for Childish Gambino the past 18 months, says everyone in the band has really good ears and expects a higher level of fidelity in their mixes. He ran a Solid State Logic (SSL) L500, with a Lexicon Pro 480L and a Bricasti M7 outboard, and Shure PSM 1000s for IEM.“I just really like the sound of SSL’s live consoles,” he added.

The preamps, EQs and summing have a real analogue feel to them. I use a Waves package as the flexibility and quality of Waves plugins really makes a huge difference for me.

Childish Gambino_7Charlie utilised an ELI Distressor to control vocal dynamics and a Lexicon 480L for the vocal reverb, saying it has been a standard in recording studios for years for a reason. “In the IEMs it really shines,” he said.

I also have a Bricasti M7 for verb. It is a really solid reverb unit that produces very clean, rich verbs. I use the internal SSL buss compressor. There are so many companies that emulate it with plugins, but having it straight from the source is spot on.

I use the Shure PSM1000’s because they simply sound great. They have a super quiet noise floor for IEM packs and they really translate what I’m doing on the console well.

Charlie commented that it really is a pleasure to mix for Childish Gambino, adding that aside from everyone being incredibly talented musicians and performers, they are also really great people to work with.

Photo Credits: ©Troy Constable

 

This article first appeared in the print edition of CX Magazine September 2019. CX Magazine is Australia and New Zealand’s only publication dedicated to entertainment technology news and issues. Read all editions for free or search their archive www.cxnetwork.com.au

 

Fortitude Music Hall, Brisbane

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Brisbane’s new Fortitude Music Hall is the largest ballroom/theatre styled venue in Australia, with a 3,000 person standing capacity and a 1,100 seated capacity. The venue is inspired by some of the world’s most loved live music venues, from classic art deco theatres to larger clubs, while still paying homage to the iconic venues of Brisbane’s past. The Fortitude Music Halls’ prime location in the heart of Brisbane’s entertainment precinct and state of the art production make the venue a truly world class performance space.

John ‘JC’ Collins, one-time Powderfinger bassist, is co-owner and manager of Fortitude Music Hall in partnership with Paul Piticco and Jess Ducrou of Secret Sounds Group, construction giant Hutchinson Builders and Live Nation.

The important element of the Music Hall, set in the middle of Brunswick Mall, is that it offers different sized spaces. The 3300-capacity room can be transformed into 1200 and 2000, with a smaller upstairs bar-style for 300.

Fortitude Brisbane 6The venue owners contacted JPJ Audio to design and install an audio system that would reflect their considerable investment in the venue. In recent times, JPJ has been installing elite, high end systems into venues as a pay as you go option which helps them sell the room and also saves touring acts production costs. It also makes tight touring schedules a bit easier as there are so many overnight shows these days.

JPJ is a leader in this area and currently have similar installations in the Palais Theatre, State Theatre, Horden Pavilion, Luna Park, Festival Hall and The Forum Theatre. Bruce Johnston, one of JPJ Audio’s Directors based in Melbourne, headed the project drawing on JPJ’s extensive network of experienced audio specialists around the country.

For the Fortitude Music Hall, we decided on an L-Acoustics K2 speaker system with an L-Acoustic monitor system, as that would give us a bit of consistency with all the amplifiers and drive and thus some good redundancy,” explained Bruce. “In the console department we have gone with an Avid S6L 24C out front and a DiGiCo SD10 for monitors as this gives the venue both options and the ability to flip them end-to-end. We see that a lot in touring. We have also run multiple multicore options to cater for all consoles. Both consoles come with Waves servers.

When designing the system, Bruce asked Bob Daniels from JPJ’s Sydney office to plot and plan the room in order to try cover as much as the room as possible. The venue has viewing areas throughout and this had to be taken into account.

The main system is 16 x K2 (eight per side flown) with 12 x SB28 subs in pods of two running across the front of the stage. Downstairs there are two zones per side of two ARCS Focus, totaling eight, and four X8 live monitor enclosures for front lip-fills. Upstairs, to supplement the main hangs, there are three ARCs per side to service the outer corners and throw up the sides until the K2 takes over. At the rear of the room under the balcony are some more X8s filling in.

Fortitude Brisbane 7The venue built sub containment compartments in brick so JPJ could evenly run the subs across the front to reduce the sub-low getting back under the stage and this has worked really well.
We did have rigging challenges to get around some air conditioning ducting,” added Bruce. “However the overall result has been very good and we have now had a few shows through with some great comments on the system. Over the next few months we will do some tweaking and go from there.

JPJ supplied a variety of microphones to cater to all requirements including Shure B58A, B57A, SM57, B52A, B91A and Sennheiser 904 and 901s.

Bruce commented that Jay Van Lieshout from JPJ in Brisbane managed the installation and with his team, did an outstanding job.

We wanted to give the Brisbane shop ownership of the install and be a part of the process,” he said. “They were there day after day as the room changed and evolved. Brendan Keane spent time aligning the system with a great result. It’s a very seamless sound walking around the venue.

JPJ Team:

Jacob Elmer, Dan Charlton, Clint Crawford, Brendan Keane, Justin Ryan, Mathew Morrison, Regan Downs, Andrew Werlick.

Gallery

 

JPJ Audio further their services for the NRL

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JPJ Audio have had a long affiliation with the NRL and supplying an audio solution for all their major events.

Wednesday night saw the first of the State of Origin 2019 games and the new role JPJ now play in helping the NRL deliver major events.

As well as all things audio for game day and pre show entertainment, JPJ now supply the signal distribution backbone for all game day and pre show elements as well as all the coms required for this major event.

Account Manager and System Engineer for the event Wayne Mulder says, “This has been months in the planning, and I’m over the moon with the result achieved by JPJ and the crew. I really enjoy working with the team from the NRL and delivering great results like this for a valued client. It was a big change from just looking after the audio element, but I was ready for the challenge, and I couldn’t have done it without the JPJ crew behind me.

Gallery – click to enlarge


JPJ engaged the services of D2N Communications to supply the Hytera 2way Radio solution required for the event, and future games, and it was great working with Managing Director Jason Owen on this event. JPJ use D2N for all our radio needs and can’t thank Jason enough for his support on this.

George Gorga the Audio Director for the NRL mixes the music element for broadcast and pre show element for the stadium and his console of choice an AVID Venue Profile.

For Brisbane, JPJ installed an L-Acoustics KUDO ground PA system to supplement the in house PA. Stage monitors were L-Acoustics 115xt HiQ’s, all radio mics for the show are from the Shure Axient series and IEMs used were Shure PSM 1000s. There was a mixture of Shure and Sennheiser microphones depending on the band’s spec.

Gallery – click to enlarge


For coms and signal JPJ used their Artist system running 2300 series panels on an AES67 network and rolled out 24 wireless Bolero packs for all the NRL crew on the field. MediorNet was used to move audio and vision around the stadium and interface with OB as required as well as a large amount of Vlans on a Cisco Catalyst network for all the different production suppliers to use as required.

JPJ look forward to working with the NRL on all future events coming up this season and the future.

JPJ Touring Crew for all NRL events this year: Chris Skin, Nathan Todd, Jason Owen
JPJ Local Crew Brisbane: Murray Lewis, Matt Loncar, Dan Charlton, Regan Downes.

 

Maroon 5

Maroon 5 2

Photo: Vince Casamatta and system engineer Mathew McQuaid

Vince Casamatta learnt his trade mixing bands in small, Chicago dives eventually expanding to going on the road. At the same time he had his own studio and truthfully, he always wanted to be a studio mixer.

But this is just what ended up working out!” he said. “I still occasionally mix an EP or album but mainly for indie artists.

On the Maroon 5’s Red Pill Blues tour, Vince is the new guy although he has been with them for nearly a year.

This is one of those camps where people have been around for a really long time,” he added. “I think a lot of people have many opinions on what Maroon 5 should sound like so initially it was challenging to navigate my way through that, but these guys were all very good at giving me space to do my own thing. Although Maroon 5 write a lot of pop-leaning songs, they are very much a rock band and want to be treated as such live.

Maroon 5 7Vince was clearly enjoying mixing for a real rock band that can all play together without any backing tracks, saying these sort of acts were becoming less and less.

It’s very much a rock mix that I want out of the gates to grab you and be surrounded in,” he elaborated. “I don’t want it to be a wall of sound that just hits you for an hour and a half. I don’t think anybody enjoys that. I try to find places to work with the dynamics of the musical arrangements and sometimes accentuate them so you can hit hard for a bit and then pull back. These guys are really aware of those things anyway with their set list choices and live arrangements, I’m just trying to present that the best way I can.

As a fan of DiGiCo consoles, Vince opted for an SD5 favouring its’ work flow and complexity. As well as some outboard gear, he had a Waves SoundGrid server running up on the SD5, with anything that needs to be automated going on the server and anything that is static for the entire show in his outboard rack. The Waves plugins mainly group compression and parallel compression which gave the mix flavor and texture as the DiGiCo is such a neutral surface to begin with, according to Vince.

The API 2500 is a great compressor and the SSL Quad compressor is always good to add parallel compression to drum busses,” added Vince. “I really like the API 560 EQ plugin on the kick and snare buss; as it’s a live drummer his dynamic changes throughout the set, and the API 560 allows me to re-tailor how the drums are sitting in the mix on the fly.

On the road, you don’t know what kind of support you’re going to have so I like to keep things as simple as possible so if things go wrong, you can troubleshoot them easily,” he said.

Maroon 5 6Outboard gear included a Bricasti M7 for Adam’s main effect reverb with Vince using Midi triggers from the snapshots to change patches in the Bricasti. A Tube-Tech CL 2A is used for a compressor on Adam’s vocal and spare vocal, whilst a Neve 5045 primary source enhancer saves Vince a few headaches as most of the show designs feature Adam in front of the PA for nearly the entire set. However in Australia the set was scaled back with a design that kept Adam behind the PA!

He’s always in a different place with respect to the PA, L-Acoustics being so tonally linear as you walk through it is helpful but the Neve 5045 is super helpful,” explained Vince.

Maroon 5 5PA was an L-Acoustics K1/K2, K1 main and sides with K2 below with the sub configuration often changing depending on the venue.

We are flying K1 for main and side hangs with K2 below, so that we keep the coverage consistent close to the stage,” explained Vince. “Rear hangs are almost always K2 only. K1SB are always flown directly behind the main K1 hang for added low extension and punch. We also use a cardioid sub arc on the floor. All powered by LA12x wherever possible. One of our main concern in design is how to keep low end off the deck so the band aren’t rattling around up there. Mathew McQuaid is responsible for overseeing the entire design process and has done a great job of maximizing FOH coverage while nulling the low end on the deck.

Systems engineer Mathew McQuaid used Soundvision, L-Acoustics’ proprietary acoustic prediction software, and Rational Acoustics Smaart 8 to align the system each night.

There are a lot of good PAs on the market and you can have a great show with many of them,” said Vince. “This is the most vocal forward mix I have ever had and the L-Acoustics has made me feel like I’m not fighting myself as far as where the vocal sits in the mix. I want a really cool, rock-sounding mix but I don’t want to sacrifice the fact the vocals have to be over top, in fact the vocal presence has been pretty easy to dial in.

The band are Shure endorsees with lead singer Adam Levine using the Shure Axient system and singing into a black SM58, a no frills approach that Vince admires and although Adam beats the mic and tosses it into the crowd every show, it always holds up.

It’s the right approach to pick a microphone that is tried and true, meat and potatoes, nothing fancy as he basically uses it for everything but a hammer,” laughed Vince. “With this show, I have been less concerned with microphones than with other acts and I don’t really know why that is. I have the new D12 kick mic, a dynamic microphone that, when supplied with phantom power has a few different EQ curves. I have a 57 on snare top which sounds great, all no frills. If you have a good band with good tones and a great mixing console, a lot of it is just getting out of the way and letting it happen.

The band changed a lot of the guitars to Fractals from Royer Ribbon mics, which Vince says sound way better and sit in the mix well taking up less headroom. With seven people on stage headroom becomes a real challenge quickly.

Monitor engineer Bill Chrysler mixed on an Avid VENUE S6L-32D with the latest version of Waves SoundGrid. Most of the plugins he used were in the console, with the exception of Adam Levine’s vocal reverb, which is a Waves TrueVerb.

Everyone has both IEMs and wedges, except the bass player who has no IEMs and Adam who only has IEMs.

The wedges help to retain a bit of vibe onstage as stages become quieter and more isolated, it’s a way for the band to feel connected,” commented Vince.

JPJ Audio supplied the tour.

Maroon 5 4

This article first appeared in the print edition of CX Magazine April 2019. CX Magazine is Australia and New Zealand’s only publication dedicated to entertainment technology news and issues. Read all editions for free or search their archive www.cxnetwork.com.au

David Byrne’s American Utopia

David Byrne band

The most talked about and critically acclaimed concert this year has to be David Byrne’s American Utopia, which had the critics raving.

Not only was it a visual feast, it also sounded pretty damn good, thanks to FOH engineer Pete Keppler (who has mixed tours for music’s biggest icons, from David Bowie to ZZ Top) and JPJ Audio.

JPJ Audio’s Clair Cohesion system was out with the tour using an almost identical set up to the rest of the world tour.

We’re using all CO-12s here in Australia”, commented Pete, “as opposed to the Co-12/Co-10 rig we were using in the USA. I had never brought Clair on a tour until I worked with Katy Perry starting in 2010, and she was a Clair account. Her production manager told me ‘you can use any sound company you want, as long as it’s Clair!’ And I’ve hardly used any other company since!

When the Cohesion series became available, I was blown away at how well it performs, and how easy a system it is to set up and rig. I myself was one member of a group of engineers invited out to Clair a few years back for some lengthy questioning about line arrays, hardware, electronics and all kinds of stuff, and the information gathered was used to help design and create the Cohesion system.

At Sydney’s ICC Theatre there were 16 x CO-12 per side on the front hangs and 12 x CO-12 per side on the side hangs. Because of the simplicity of the stage setup, Pete was not allowed to have any of the usual front-fill on the downstage edge, so a stack of (4) CO-8s was put on each of the two downstage corners, aimed in at the center 3-5 rows of audience.

I use them as near-fill mostly to cover the very front rows in the center where the main PA doesn’t quite reach,” added Pete. “Also, I have 6 drummers on stage and no other instruments with any acoustic output, so the mix I send to the CO-8s is separate and has very little drums in it, and the CO-8s really cover that space and fill in the rest” And as for far-field coverage. “We’ve found with the CO-12 that the smaller angles (1 and 2 degrees) will exponentially increase the high-frequency throw. We did some outdoor shows where the Co-12s covered 400 feet with no trouble at all. Arrayed properly physically, this PA will save you a lot of work.

In keeping with the clean stage design, the entire show is wireless and Pete says this show would not have been possible without the Shure Axient D, saying it’s hands-down the best RF system he has ever heard. “We did a shoot-out last year against a wired mic and an analogue RF system and I swear I could not tell the difference between this and the wired microphone,” he said.

Pete was running roughly 44 inputs of wireless from drums and vocals, another twenty or so inputs from keyboard interfaces, guitar amp modelers, etc. and the IEMs use 16 outs of Shure PSM1000. It’s an RF challenge for sure, but Clair’s Jamie Nelson ensured smooth sailing. “She’s our secret weapon,” says Pete, “Especially at festivals when the RF coordinator you were promised never shows up!

FOH Pete uses a DiGiCo SD10 console, a surface he says he knows like the back of his hand. His one piece of outboard gear was a Lexicon PCM41 for use on just a few songs. “I’m a minimalist, and I like a small footprint.

To cut down ambience and spill from all the live percussion into the vocal mics, Pete uses the Waves F6 Dynamic EQ plugin.
I’m using the six bands of the F6 to really make the most of all the gain I have available on the vocals,” he explained. “I’m not a fan of permanent EQ on many sound sources, particularly vocals. I have the F6 plugin inserted via MultiRack on all the vocals, and I externally key one band of the F6 to act as a high-frequency downward expander, in addition to using several of the other bands as normal dynamic EQ.

As the musicians rapidly change instruments throughout the show, the microphone systems have to be robust. The vocal mics are all DPA 4088s, DPA 4099 on most of the drums, Audix D6 on bass drums, Shure Beta 98s, Sennheiser e904s and Audio-Technica AE2300 for snares and high hats.

The setup at monitor world is a DiGiCo SD5, and SD rack, an SD Mini Rack, and two Soundcraft real-time rack units, in addition to all the RF transmitters and receivers. In Australia, Dan Matthews ran monitors as the tour’s original monitor engineer, John Chadwick, took a dive off the stage and injured himself.

Pete remarked that the other key piece of gear used was his ears and that he doesn’t look at sound if he can possibly avoid it! “Some folks spend their time focusing on what they’re seeing on metres and other visual indications, but I’m old school that way,” he laughed.

David Byrne Crew

Tony Szabo, Pete Keppler, Tim Jones

To the audience, this show appears to be very simple but no one sees what is behind the success of the show – a very significant amount of technology. Pete commented that JPJ have been great and that his techs, Alex McCormack and Tim Jones, did an amazing job.

 

WWE Super Show-Down

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WWE, in partnership with TEG Dainty, returned to Australia with WWE Super Show-Down, an historic event that took place at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) and featured the largest collection of WWE Superstars and Legends ever to appear in the country.

JPJ Audio provided the audio for this prestigious event including a Clair Global Cohesion 12 Line Array PA that was located in the centre of the MCG firing outwards. Also supplied were a flown monitor system inside the ring, all the RF requirements, consoles, patch equipment and of course, an excellent crew.

The design was based on twelve boxes of CO-12 per hang with two hangs at each corner of the stage,” said Alex McCormack, JPJ’s Crew Chief. “However, despite what appears to be a small amount of boxes, the coverage was great all the way to the very back of the grandstands.

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For the FOH mix there was a DiGiCo SD10 along with a fully redundant SD9. Monitors also used an SD10, added in case there was a live band thrown in at the last minute. Our experience with WWE is you need to be prepared for last minute additions based on the direction of the live event, this set up allowed us to deal with any such situation.

The entrance stage at southern end of the ground featured a ramp down to the ring for the wrestler and host entries. The stage and ramp housed monitors and wedges but no control gear as they were covered by the monitor system.

A full, cutting edge Shure Axient RF system was positioned at front of house with wireless workbench monitored by the FOH engineer and JPJ RF tech monitoring the spectrum. Despite the MCG having significant challenges with multiple TV channels clashing in the middle of the stadium, it ran very smoothly.
The channel count was kept relatively low compared to what we were prepared for,” added Alex.

WWE’s Lance Vardis did FOH and Clair Global’s Daniel Laveglia executed all of the prep work in consultation with JPJ’s Mats Frankl to ensure a successful event. This was no mean feat as the event was nothing like a typical WWE arena setup.

Despite being held in Melbourne, there was not a single drop of rain during the six days our gear and crew were exposed to the elements!

 

Cher – Here We Go Again Tour

Cher 2018

The Here We Go Again Tour is the seventh solo concert tour by Cher in support of her twenty-sixth studio album Dancing Queen. The Australasian tour was a brand new production and as Cher shares the same management as Pink, some of Pink’s crew stayed on for the tour.

JPJ Audio supplied an audio package and crew for the tour including an L-Acoustics K1/K2 PA system.

I do like the L-Acoustics K1/K2 PA and although there are many good PAs on the market, I believe it to be the best sounding,” commented Cher’s audio engineer Tony Blanc. “The setup on this tour is pretty generic from the board out, it’s exactly as L-Acoustics recommends; the cable lengths, the hangs and the combination of the K1s, K2s and the KS28 subs. It’s configured off LA Manager and I’m fortunate to have Johnny Keirle with me and he is probably the best system tech in the business. He knows how to tweak the PA. He sets the PA everyday depending on the parameters of the room, the sizes, the elevation of the seats and the throw. I am in the driving seat and it feels like a Ferrari.

Tony reports that the K1/K2 combination allows him to precisely ensure that all the seats have the same energy. Quantities of PA varied a little at each venue depending upon the ceiling height and how far round the seats had been sold. However, the specified system had 24 x K1, 36 x K2, 24 x KS28 and 9 x Kara.

For FOH control Tony ran a DiGiCo SD7 console which he said is worth twice as much as his original house!

It’s an amazing console,” he said. “Before I started with Cher, I had three or four years on budget tours and I got quite used to Waves as a source. I had it with this console but after a day, I turned it off as it just changed the way the console felt. The only auxiliary gear I have are six channels of Summit DCL200 compressors to warm things up and a Lake EQ inserted on Cher’s vocal subgroup. I also have a couple of Bricasti M7 reverbs.

With a fifty year career, a Cher show covers many different genres of music including ballads, sixties pop, rock and disco, all of which keeps Tony on his toes.

Monitors were run by Martin Pare also on a DiGiCo SD7 console with a TC Electronic M6000 MKII system. All of the band, and Cher herself, wore Shure PSM 1000 IEM systems with L-Acoustic ARC sidefills to give the dancers some audio to dance to.

Cher’s customized, handheld microphones were Sennheiser SKM5200s. Guitars and keyboards are all direct outputs. The kick drum had a syn901, plus the Audix D5, the snare an e905, toms e904 and cymbals ATM450s.

Tony made special mention of the two JPJ crew out on tour with him – Kellie McKee and Joel ‘Cellphone’ Pearson – praising their work effort.
Cher 2018

Stage is covered by Hilario Gonzalez, a Solotech audio crew chief tech who works on the Vegas show, and his main concern being prepping Cher.
Cher 2018

 

The Merivales

The Merivales

The Merivales (the Merivale Company’s Internal Awards) brings together some of the leading hospitality personalities in Australia to highlight success within the Merivale business. It’s an evening charged with the electricity of celebration, decadence and communal spirit.

The 2018 Merivales was held this year at Fox Studio’s Stage 7 with JPJ Audio working closely with Bailey Holloway, Group Production Manager for Merivale, to ensure a successful event. The night comprised of speeches, DJs and a traditional Japanese drumming troupe.

Fortunately Stage 7 is a very well treated room – well it is a sound stage after all – which benefited FOH engineer Will Krienke who remarked that the production was fairly simple in terms of time alignment.

It wasn’t like a standard show where you’re mainly taking care of a band,” commented Will. “It was the same amount of priorities but applied to making sure the client was satisfied with the flow. It was seamless from beginning to end with no changeover or down time.

With the back of stage exposed, including dimmer racks, and high bay lights used, the theme was set for an ‘industrial’ feel to the night.

We used an L-Acoustics KARA system which is a smaller box but it worked out perfectly for this job as there was no band and we were throwing on the short end of the building,” said Will. “We had nine KARAs per side over four SB28 subwoofers and ARC outfills. We had also had 108Ps around the stage for front infills. As simple and standard as it was, the main obstacle was making it look good as the client was very concerned with the aesthetics of the room.

At FOH Will ran a DiGiCo SD11, the perfect size console for this job, using solely onboard gear as he only had ten inputs.
Shure radio microphones were used for the speeches with DPA d:vote 4099 added specifically for the drummers.

They’re just more musical as far as wireless is concerned,” said Will. “They’re full range and great for drums and all sorts of percussion.

The entrance to the event featured a small L-Acoustics 112P PA which was driven wirelessly with a Sennheiser in ear unit.

JPJ Crew:

Joel Larsson, Chris Robinson

The Presets

The Presets 1

Legendary Australian electronic duo The Presets have been back on the road promoting their Hi Viz album and JPJ Audio were with them all the way.

Having used an Avid Profile console for many years, FOH engineer Craig Gordon was keen to take an Avid Venue S6L console, with Waves card, on this tour and now he doesn’t want anything else!

I love the Venue S6L and will find it hard to go back to a Profile,” he admitted. “I did a show last night with The Presets using a Profile and it was definitely not as good! The S6L certainly sounds better and there are way more options to customise the surface to how you want to use it. You can move all the groups and channels to wherever you want and set layouts, which you couldn’t do on the old console. You have outputs and auxes all on the same page, wherever you want to put them – and I really missed that last night on the Profile.

Craig says that mixing for The Presets is fairly straightforward, as they have good backing tracks and decent sound coming to him.

The Presets 2
We had to do a few little things with Kim’s toms because he has really dead sounding disco toms but we figured it out with a few plugins,” added Craig.

Julian had his own effects for his vocal onstage to which Craig sometimes added some distortion or reverb just to beef up what he is already being sent. The majority of the effects were Midi timecoded so through the songs they change to different presets which is all done onstage.

I mainly use the dynamic stuff in the rack and a few plugins onboard like a C6 but not too many,” said Craig. The outboard rack is pretty good with Alan Smart Research C2 stereo comps and Puigchild compressors. I still like to have the knobs and visual more than the plugins.”

The tour utilised inhouse PA systems but carried extra d&b B22 subs to reinforce the low end which worked well and was particularly useful in the smaller venues. The exception was Melbourne’s Forum Theatre where JPJ provided an L-Acoustics V-DOSC system.

Microphones were a Shure package as the band have been Shure endorsees for a long time. Vocals were Shure BETA 58s on UR radios, a standard Shure drum package of BETA 52s, KSM overheads and KSM 32s.

Cam Elias ran monitors on an Avid Profile using Shure PSM1000 IEMs.

JPJ Crew: Stacey Handley, Tim Lonergan

The Killers produce a Killer Tour

The Killers 1

FOH Engineer Kenny Kaiser has been working with The Killers since the start of their Battle Born tour, where he started out as a system tech, then moved into the role of FOH mixer towards the end of that tour.

Kenny comments that when mixing The Killers there are many, many elements to consider. As there are so many people, instruments, and inputs on the stage he aims to keep things very simple at FOH saying that he prefers to keep as little failure points as possible!

Out front Kenny was running a Solid State Logic SSL500 console which he says sounds great.

So right off the bat that is the best feature of this console,” he added. “After that it had to do with reliability. By far the biggest thing on this console that does not get much press is the All Pass filter. It’s a game changer to me. I am also a big fan of the delays and reverbs on the L500 followed by the bus comp and the subharmonic tool.

The Killers 1Outboard effects were a couple of Bricasti M7 reverbs; one for lead singer Brandon Flowers and one for the snare. Kenny admits that’s a little over kill but it does sound good on the snare!

For the Australian tour, the show featured an L-Acoustics K1/K2 PA with the mains and sides comprising of K1 with K2 underneath. The amount of K1 for each hang changes per show but it is four K2 for the under hangs. Between the main and side hang at a 45 degree angle are flown K1-SBs.

The PA has been great with even coverage and no complaints so far, from myself or the crowd,” commented Kenny.

Monitor engineer Marty Beath also ran a Solid State Logic SSL500 console with everyone but Brandon utilizing Shure PSM1000 IEMs and Axient AXT400. Brandon used a total of ten M2 wedges with two d&b J8s on top of a single d&b J-Sub for side fills.

For microphones, Brandon favoured a Shure Beta SM-58A, all the mics on the drums are Telefunken M80s and M81s, the cymbals are Heil PR30, guitars are Heil PR30, and all the backing vocals are on Heil PR35.

The service from JPJ Audio had been great and the crew is A-level,” remarked Kenny. “Marty and I came into this run with a little concern about packaging because there are a lot of elements to the show and being able to set everything up in time is a big deal. JPJ Audio were able to make all the carts and dollies we asked for, so every day we were able to have a little time for a coffee before the band showed up …… so my hat is off to JPJ!

JPJ crew were Tim Seconi, Paul Kennedy, Joel Pearson and Kellie McKee.