21 September 2017

Bring Me The Horizon go on UK arena tour with J

The first UK arena tour of Sheffield based Bring Me the Horizon (BMTH) represented the band’s largest gig to date. Kicking off at Nottingham’s Motorpoint Arena, 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.

“I am a huge fan of d&b and would happily never use another system ever again,” said front of house engineer Oliver 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 to metalcore to rock, are known for their sound. As Jack Murphy, System Tech at Wigwam/SSE, which supplied all the gear for the gigs explains, he and 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 PA hangs that would interfere with the visuals.

“To achieve the brief I spoke to d&b’s application support team,” says Murphy. “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 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.

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 setup.”

For the O2 gig, Murphy refined the system designs for the height – with no problems encountered with a lowest edge of eleven metres. The adjustments worked a treat, with The Independent’s 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 the impact could be felt across the whole audience, regardless of location. Hutch and I were very happy that every fan got the same experience.”