Paris, France – Alternative NY hip hop/funksters, the Fun Lovin’ Criminals, are currently on tour in Europe for the first time in three years with their new album, Classic Fantastic. Paul Nicholson of Red Square Audio was asked to specify the PA for two of their UK dates – the Arena in St Albans and City Hall, Salisbury. Nicholson opted for a full APG Uniline compact line array system complete with SMX15 stage monitors along with an Eclipse digital mixing console from Innovason.
“Both APG and Innovason make high end systems that, in my role as a consultant, I have no hesitation in recommending,” said Nicholson. “It’s not just because RSA distributes these brands that I recommend them either. I’m a very proactive engineer who uses different systems all the time, but I genuinely believe that they are the best on the market at the moment. It just so happens that I am lucky enough to have them in my RSA portfolio! Saying that, we had to go to considerable lengths to get hold of a Uniline system as there wasn’t one available in the UK at the time. But it was well worth the effort; the results were superb and FLC’s FoH engineer Walter Jaquiss was very impressed.”
The Uniline system comprised twelve UL210 full-range mid/hi cabinets; six UL115B 1 x 15” subs and six TB218S 2 x 18” subs. This was complemented by eight SMX15s which were used as floor monitors and listening wedges. All the processing was provided by APG DMS26 digital loudspeaker system processors. The system was flown in City Hall, Salisbury, with the subs configured in Left/Centre/Right cardioid mode, whilst in St Albans, Nicholson opted for a ground stacked configuration with a conventional L/R sub array. Nicholson reported that the system performed beautifully in both configurations “the vocal, guitar, snare and hi-hat were right there in the near-field with an exceptional degree of clarity and power, which is something I’ve not witnessed for many years.” and Walter Jaquiss commented on the high quality of the Uniline mids and highs.
On stage it was a similar story. “The SMX15s provided an impressive amount of power and clarity for all three band members,” noted Nicholson. “Huey [Morgan] and Fast each used a pair while drummer Frank had a TB118S behind him and a pair of SMX15s to each side. During the soundcheck no-one asked for any extra gain or EQ which was impressive given the heavy duty backline that was also on stage. All in all a thoroughly convincing UK debut with an internationally recognised band for APG’s Uniline system.”
Paris, France – Plus 4 Audio is one of the leading suppliers of PA and monitor systems to the UK TV industry. Operating out of Surbiton in Surrey, Plus 4 Audio serves the London Studios, Fountain Studios, Maidstone Studios and the BBC as well as various OB events with shows such as Dancing on Ice, Mercury Music Prize, Must be the Music, Over the Rainbow, Strictly Come Dancing and Sports Personality of the Year to name but a few. The company has just taken delivery of twelve DX12 compact, low profile monitor speakers from APG for rental stock from APG’s UK distributor, Red Square Audio.
Plus 4’s Stewart Chaney is extremely satisfied with his new investment. “I had been looking for a micro wedge monitor for our smaller shows for quite some time, but I just couldn’t find anything that met our requirements,” he explained. “They were either too big or simply not good enough, or both! Then Paul Nicholson said he’d got something that might interest me, and gave me a demo of the new DX12s from APG. I was more than pleasantly surprised . The DX12 is a light, compact unit that presents an extremely low profile, and sounds good enough for me to put in front of any major artist with confidence. They are a very welcome addition to my inventory.”
“I have known Stewart for many years,” remarked Red Square Audio’s Paul Nicholson, “and I can state quite categorically that he wouldn’t put anything in front of his clients that wasn’t 100% in every aspect of its functionality so this purchase is confirmation that APG has what it takes to become a logical and realistic acquisition for any rental or installation company.”
“APG is a new and exciting brand for RSA and it’s also totally new to the UK,” continued Nicholson. “The entire APG range is beautifully designed and every product is class-leading. Clearly, we want to convince the market that APG is a major competitive brand, and being able to cite clients like Plus 4 Audio as the first UK customer goes a long way to establishing market credibility.”
APG’s Xavier Pion agrees. “Apart from anything else, this sale confirms that we made the right choice with Red Square Audio. It’s also validation that the new generation products from APG position us as a class A player in the field. There’s still a lot of work to be done yet, but it’s a tremendously encouraging start.”
Following a brief introduction at the ABTT show, the APG range will be making its full UK exhibition debut on the RSA stand at PLASA 2010.
Australian surf/roots artist Xavier Rudd is currently in the middle of his “Koonyum Sun” world tour which spans the UK, North America, Australia and Europe. The European and US legs of the tour are being handled by Concert Sound Clair and Clair Brothers respectively. Concert Sound supplied an Innovason Eclipse digital mixing console for monitors for the first UK part of the tour and Clair Brothers has supplied one for the US leg. When the tour returns to Europe in November, they’ll be going out with a pair of Eclipses from Concert Sound supplied by Red Square Audio.
Production manager Simon Skeet, who started off using the Eclipse on monitors before handing over to engineer Lenny Goncharov, has thoroughly enjoyed using Eclipse. “The first thing to say about Eclipse is that it has proven to be both reliable and stable,” he noted. “From an operational point of view, the flexibility of the control surface and the ability to configure it however you like enables me to mix on a layout that I’m comfortable with, and the smooth encoders and faders are a pleasure to use. Sonically the board sounds very good indeed, and the on-board effects engines are truly impressive.”
Lenny Goncharov who took over from Skeet on monitors for the US leg agreed, and also added that the M.A.R.S. recording facility was a great feature. “It is such a timesaver, especially during – or rather prior to – sound checking,” he enthused. “With M.A.R.S. – which is really easy to use, by the way – I can get most of the sound check done before the guys even show up, and when they are here, it’s just a question of fine-tuning. It’s much quicker than a traditional sound check. That makes me happy, and the band even happier! I also love that once programmed, the Eclipse is incredibly fast access, especially for monitors.”
“I’m really looking forward to the new version NOVA 2.0 software,” added Skeet. “All the updates and new features it will bring will make the console even nicer to use, and more importantly, easy to set up. Hopefully by the time we get back to Europe we’ll get two consoles both running on NOVA 2.0 – then we’ll really be cooking on gas!”