English gemstone brace Royal Blood has called on Britannia Row Productions to give audio support for their 2022 stint cycle, which started in Swansea, UK, in March, carried on through Europe, across the US, and straight into a packed jubilee season this summer.
The band, conforming of bass player/ voice Mike Kerr and drummer Ben Thatcher, demanded a fearsome audio setup to transmit their unapologetically fustian sound – a demand that was now well- known by their regular supplier, Brit Row. “ We moved to Brit Row at the morning of 2015 when we demanded to move into full product, ” says the band’s FOH mastermind, Phil Jones. “ We demanded the support of a establishment that could deliver on a global scale, particularly in the States. It’s always cheering that we can admit gear from Brit Row while we ’re out there, as well as sourcing other rudiments from Lititz, PA where parent company Clair Global is grounded. ”
One of the keystones of Jones ’ magazine is his Yamaha PM5 Rivage press, a office in fairly short force outside of Brit Row’s well- grazed storehouse. It was secured by Brit Row Director and Royal Blood regard tutor, Lez Dwight.
“ We started using the Yamaha for recording in the afterlife of 2020, but it was always the idea that we’d ultimately take it out on stint, ” says Jones. “ I have been really happy with it so far. I hardly use any outboard now and it’s been really solid, so I ’ve got no reservations about continuing to use it worldwide.
“ The band’s sound has changed a lot since they added a keyboard player – a close friend of ours called Darren Watts – so the input list has expanded to include some samples, however there is still no track or click to be heard. The main change is that I ’ve laboriously made everything quieter, as it was a little too loud ahead, in my opinion. I want it to have serious impact, like it always has, but upgrade everything and try to pick out the finer details a bit more. ”
This dynamic admixture of retaining power while conserving intelligibility was a delicate one to perfect, though the choice of an L- Acoustics Dad system was a crucial component for Jones and his PA Tech – Brit Row freelancer – James Collee.
Jones ’ original vision for the stint was that the PA setup should correspond of an L- Acoustics K1/ K2 system, with flown subwoofers for the upper/ side seats to glass the bass impact that could be felt at the front of stage.
“ I designed systems for all the venues, trying to fulfill Phil’s remit as nearly as possible, ” notes Collee. “ I ’ve had a long and happy working relationship with Phil and Royal Blood over nearly eight times and, during that time, I ’ve come to understand what Phil wants from a system and how stylish to round his blend and the guys on stage. Phil is great to work with as he has a genuine interest in the PA design and trying new ideas. He also accepts when it’s not possible or may not work, and throws out a decent blend too, which helps vastly! ”
Collee went on to explain that Royal Blood has long favored an L- Acoustics Dad system, as the sonic hand and presence complement everything the crew looks for when designing such an poignant gemstone show.
“ L- Acoustics give excellent turnkey systems that match response through their entire range, irrespective of whether it’s main hangs or frontal stuffings, ” he says. “ The constant elaboration of their vaticination and amp control software and the capability to integrate these functions make the workflow much easier and give veritably harmonious results when compared to their Soundvision vaticination modeling. ”
The choice of K1 was an easy bone
for the crew to make, considering the size of the venues that would be hosting them, while the K2 was a happy companion for the downfills and side hangs needed on utmost dates.
“ The option to affect the dissipation with the louvres means some energy can be directed from where it’s not needed, mollifying some reverberance issues and perfecting stereo imaging, ” explains Collee. “ We ’ve always used a fair quantum of sub energy in order to get the full impact of Mike’s bass. On this stint, due to the size of venues, we were suitable to make sure that the followership up in the farthest rung of the arenas had a analogous experience to those on the bottom by exercising flown subs. ”
In addition to the flown subs, the crew stationed a large bow of KS28 subs in front of stage for bottom impact. This frontal line was rounded by a serape of A15 speakers on each side of the stage as outfills, and Kara speakers distributed across the frontal subs in dyads as frontfill. The system was entirely driven by LA12X amplifiers, while a P1 processor allowed the crew to run spare AVB with analogue back over to every unit.
“ As always, a PA design is only ever as good as the crew that emplace it, ” says Collee. “ To this end, I was veritably lucky to have Luca Serge and Megan Clements with me, who did an exceptional job every day and were an absolute pleasure to have out on the stint. ”
Examiner mastermind Darren Connor is a fairly new addition to the Royal Blood crew, originally joining in July 2021 as cover for long- term Examiner mastermind, Dave Bennet. Connor was formerly familiar with Brit Row from his position as FOH mastermind for songster- tunesmith Laura Marling.
“ I ’ve always been well looked after by the platoon at Brit Row, ” says Connor. “ The way the systems are packaged are always logical and as compact as they can be, and Tim Mole has been exceptional in going over and beyond to get effects to us last nanosecond when unforeseen changes do. ”
For this Royal Blood stint cycle, Connor switched from an Allen & Heath SL5000 to a Yamaha Rivage PM5.
“ I like to keep myself up to date with the new technologies available, so I also had a training day at Brit Row with Yamaha and decided to make the switch, ” he says. “ The on- board Portico 5045 is exceptional at reducing the stage slip in our vocalizers ’ oral mics. I love the natural sound of the Bricasti reverbs and spare heavily on the dynamic EQs on the lyrics themselves to help keep them as controlled and natural sounding as possible. ”
Connor reiterated Jones ’ sentiments about the significance of working hard to insure the sounds at source are as good as they can be, as well as singling out the strengths of the DPA microphones chosen.
“ The tackle is tuned incredibly well and sounds great, and the DPA4099 on the toms are veritably natural and capture them precisely, ” he adds. “ Mike’s bass/ guitar sounds are run through four Neural DSP Quad Cortex units, which mimic his old amp set ups for each reader. This means that creating a natural, controlled in- observance blend is fairly straightforward. Both of them are happy with the standard ‘ FOH with their instrument a bit louder ’ blend, and I use a side fill on stage right to add a bit of weight for the kick barrel and sub bass, and a thumper for drummer, Ben. ”
Collee, who started his career lading exchanges and oil speakers Brit Row’s storehouse before going on to come an established freelancer in his own right, concludes “ I ’ve worked for Brit Row for nearly 20 times, so the choice to use them as a supplier is always a no- brainer for me, ” he says. “ They give great tackle, great support, and great people. In my opinion, they ’re among the stylish in the business, and the care and professionalism they ’ve come to exemplify can be seen in the quality of the new generation of masterminds coming through their species. ”