On the Road with 5 Seconds of Summer

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Adlib was back on the road with pop rockers 5 Seconds of Summer – fresh from winning the 2018 ARIA Award for ‘Best Australian Live Act’ – supplying a CODA sound system, monitors and a top Adlib crew to work alongside the band’s engineers Phil Gornell (FOH) and Pavan Grewall (monitors).

Richy Nicholson project managed for Adlib, Sam Proctor was the systems engineer on the road and he worked alongside Marc Peers – another talented Adlib engineer – who co-ordinated all things in monitor world.

Adlib 5SOS Touring Crew Shot
Touring crew shot L-R Pavan, Sam, Marc & Phil

Phil and Adlib have worked together before on several previous tours including All Time Low and Bring Me The Horizon; the Liverpool based company has been his preferred equipment supplier for the UK and Europe since around 2010.

The decision to spec CODA was a joint one made by Phil, Richy and the Adlib team. Adlib has used it very successfully on numerous tours, events and installations covering various genres of performance – from comedy to rock – and it has proved especially appropriate in theatre style environments.

Phil was very happy to go with that, as he needed something “flexible and easily scalable whatever the situation” to deal with the differences in venue size and shape.

The CODA speakers are extremely light and easy to rig, so they were an ideal practical solution, and their sonic excellence has been proven many times over.

The main hangs were CODA AiRAY. A total of 28 were carried on the tour giving 14-a-side for the largest configurations, plus up to four CODA ViRAY downs per side.

For in, out and front fills, there were a mix of CODA APS and HOPS8s together with the option of four SC2-F low frequency extension boxes that could be either added to the arrays if needed – according to the height and depth of the room – or ground stacked, leaving all options open.

Twelve ground-stacked CODA SCP subs provided a solid, robust and attitudinal sub array ideal for the 5SOS sound.

These were all powered by CODA’s Linus amps which also dealt with the processing, running over a LINET distribution network.

Phil and the band were delighted with the results. “Sam is an incredible systems tech” he commented, adding “his love for the CODA philosophy and huge general enthusiasm” helped achieve “exactly what I wanted” day-in-day-out.

Phil spec’d a Midas PRO X console. Midas has been his preferred mixing platform since 2012, and he reckons that it offers sonic characteristics that are still “unrivalled” in other products. The sound and capabilities of the PRO X suit his style of mixing perfectly, and integrate seamlessly with his Waves effects and processing, all allowing him to attain the exact sound he desired.

Adlib 5SOS FOH Engineer
Phil Gornell (FOH Engineer)

In addition to the two Waves servers, he ran a MiniMac and a KT DN9650 for recording, in total a very expedient footprint at FOH and great for the theatre venues on this itinerary.

Mixing 5SOS has some really unique challenges elucidated Phil! For many of their young fanbase, it could be their first show, so it’s essential to make it memorable. While their intense excitement and screaming can engulf the room … he can’t mix too loudly “or their fragile hearing is toast”. He also needs to compete with that shrill 115db wall of screaming and still deliver the recorded quality mix that they’re so used to hearing!

“That’s another reason why the Coda AiRAY was such a treat to work with – controlled dynamics, impressive bass response and a crystal-clear top end” he emphasised.

The monitor console was a DiGiCo SD10, also running with some external Waves plug-ins. The band were all on IEMs, with just a couple of d&b QSUBS for atmosphere around the drums.

There was a total of 10 channels of Shure PSM 1000 IEMs, coupled with some Shure P9 hardwired packs, so a very neat-and-tidy package. The full mic set up included six Shure Axient radio systems for the hand-helds, plus more Shure’s as part of an assortment of standard mics.

Adlib built one of their ‘wardrobe’ arrangements to accommodate all the accompanying I/O kit and stage racks, mic splitters, etc. for the DiGiCo and Midas consoles, so all that needed adding and plugging in onstage each day were the 240V and 110V power distros.

The tour’s production manager was Karen Ringland, “who is incredibly organised, and we really enjoyed working with her and her whole team again to help deliver a great sounding and looking show” commented Richy.

Adlib 5SOS Karen Ringland (Production Manager)
Karen Ringland (Production Manager)

Adlib client manager Phil Kielty stated: “We’ve worked with the band since 2014 and it has been fascinating to watch them grow up and into an incredible live act, as their ARIA Award confirmed. Phil Gornell is one of the best young engineers out there, and he has them sounding incredible every night. Thanks to Ant, Karen, Phil, Pavan and everyone at Modest Management for all their help over the years … we really do appreciate it.”

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