Monday, June 13th, 2011
Plougoumelen, France – The weekend of 20th-22nd May saw the inaugural edition of the Friends Of Mine festival held against the stunning backdrop of Capesthorne Hall near Manchester. FOM Fest boasted a fantastic line-up for a first-time festival. Organisers had no hesitation in drawing from the rich pickings of the Mancunian music scene over the years with acts such as Kid British, Badly Drawn Boy, The Buzzcocks, The Fall, Dutch Uncles, Bad Lieutenant, The Cribs (OK, so they’re from Wakefield) and of course the inimitable Charlatans amongst many others. The weather might not have been too kind, but it didn’t dampen the spirits of festival goers who braved the elements to support the cream of the crop of ‘local’ bands who, for once, were all playing in their own back garden! Paul Nicholson from Red Square Audio / Midas ProSound handled the audio requirements across the festival’s four main stages, including a fleet of three Innovason Eclipse digital mixing consoles to equip the main stage.
Paul, who also engineered some of the bands, selected two Eclipses for FoH in order to be able to flip-flop between acts, and a third Eclipse on stage at the monitor position. Innovason engineer, Eddy Josse, was on hand at FoH to assist visiting engineers with setting up the console and answer any questions they might have, while Andy Reeves looked after monitor world.
“The consoles did a sterling job and were incredibly well received by all of the engineers who used them, both at FoH and monitors,” confirmed Paul. “Almost everyone commented on how easy they were to use, which is so important in a festival set-up where the pressure is really on. From a sonic point of view, I truly think that Eclipse is one of the best-sounding consoles on the market today, and the combination of the Eclipse with the APG Uniline system made for jaw-droppingly great sound.”
The integrated multitrack M.A.R.S. recording system was also put to good use throughout the festival. “M.A.R.S. is just such a great tool,” enthused Paul. “It was there for any of the bands who wanted to make use of it – and many did. Just a couple of mouse clicks ensures that up to 64 tracks are recorded onto the internal (removeable) hard drive. All the engineer has to do is download it onto their PC / Mac, mix it, and put it on YouTube or whatever they or the band want. We recorded Bad Lieutenant’s set and then played it out over the main PA when we were setting up the next morning – it was exactly, but exactly as if they were there on stage again. Fabulous!”
FOM Fest was deemed a success by organizers and festival-goers alike, despite the severe weather conditions on Sunday which were such that the Big Top and Lake stages were obliged to close. However, the cheerful, family atmosphere was appreciated by all, as was the outstanding sound quality on all four stages, especially the main stage.
Monday, June 13th, 2011
Paris, France – APG’s line array system, Uniline, was deemed a resounding success after its first outdoor UK appearance at FOMFEST (The Friends Of Mine Festival) Manchester over the weekend of 20th-22nd May. Uniline was in excellent company on the main stage with Mancunian legends such as the Charlatans, the Buzzcocks, Bad Lieutenant, The Cribs, The Fall, and many more over the course of the three days. APG was also specified for stage monitoring using a combination of SMX15 and DX15 monitor wedges plus TB118 subs and M3000 Side Fills. All of the audio requirements for the festival were handled personally by Paul Nicholson from Red Square Audio/Midas ProSound, and APG’s Mathieu Delquignies assisted Paul with the Uniline system tuning.
“It’s great to have such amazing support from the manufacturer,” commented Paul. “We were particularly pleased to have Mathieu with us on this occasion, firstly because it’s the biggest Uniline system we’ve had out in the UK to date, and secondly because we really weren’t helped by the weather that weekend – we had strong, blustery winds to contend with for most of the set up and show days, which turned into gale-force blasts with occasional hail storms on Sunday. It’s a challenge making any system sound good under those conditions, but Mathieu and the team did a great job, and the results were truly stunning.”
Paul’s comments were backed up by punk rocker Goldblade’s frontman, John Robb, who posted a review of The Fall’s performance at FOM Fest (which was engineered by Paul Nicholson, incidentally!) on his website Louder Than War, where he noted that, “It really did sound good. Rare for a festival, the PA was crystal clear and the blustering winds couldn’t ruin it.”
For FOM Fest, Paul specified L and R hangs of 9 x UL210 full range mid/hi cabinets supplemented by 2 x UL210D downfill cabinets and 8 x UL155B bass cabinets with a total of 16 x TB218S dual 18” subwoofers (four units beneath each hang and eight across the front of the stage). APG was also in evidence on stage, where bands benefitted from a combination of 16 x SMX15 wedges supplemented by 2 x DX15 drum fill monitor speakers plus 2 x TB118S subs. A pair of 3000C’s were also used for side fills. DSP throughout was handled by APG DMS26 digital loudspeaker processors.
“I think that APG proved without a doubt at FOMFest that Uniline is a system to be reckoned with and deserves its place amongst the “big names” of the industry,” remarked Paul. “Despite challenging conditions, we had nothing but compliments for the sound, both for the PA and the stage monitors. At FOMFest we were using Uniline in what APG refer to as its “complete” mode for a high power system. Our aim was to provide coherent coverage with constant directivity throughout the listening area up to a distance of 75m from the stage. We achieved that easily – in fact, we might need to rein it in a bit for next year! However, the compact modular design of the system means that it can be adapted to pretty much any sized event, large or small, so it’s a really versatile system for any rental inventory. I have to say that FOMFest was a great success and as close to perfect that I could have hoped for, and we’re all looking forward to doing it again next year.”