The band’s rescheduled ‘POSTHUMAN’ tour visited 18 European cities ahead of their summer 2023 festival appearances
After a lengthy wait due to Covid-19 restrictions surrounding the tour’s original dates, Sheffield metalcore titans, Bring Me The Horizon, were finally able to perform for their dedicated European fanbase.
Having worked with the Clair Global Group last year for their Reading & Leeds headline shows before US and Australian runs, the band’s touring crew recently enjoyed another faultless vendor experience.
Production Manager Mitch Gee and Tour Manager Tim Boardman had worked with Eighth Day Sound’s Stuart Wright many times previously.
Boardman commented: “Knowing we could rely on him to provide the gear we needed at the price we needed and with a great attitude the whole way through, was key. Consistency is very important to us.”
He describes the production’s attention to detail from the musicians, to techs and the front of house sound as simply “incredible.”
“I’m blown away by how good everything sounds!” he said.
Handling the difference between the Bring Me The Horizon’s genre-bending back-catalogue of hits – which sees a constant dynamic shift – leaves FOH Engineer Jared Daly charged with keeping the show’s sound cohesive and impactful.
“The band spend a great amount of time curating their live shows. The level of detail that goes into every aspect of their production is more detailed than any other artists I’ve ever worked with… and their expectation of a FOH Engineer is no different,” states Daly.
Experienced in touring with the band – lead vocalist Oli Sykes, lead guitarist Lee Malia, bassist Matt Kean, drummer Matt Nicholls and keyboard player Jordan Fish – for over a decade, Daly is accustomed to honing in on the elements that expertly curate these huge productions.
Unwavering vendor support is essential, and Daly describes Eighth Day Sound’s service as accommodating of these micro details: “From the moment we started to work with them, it has been fantastic. The system on stage is fairly complex and given the amount of MIDI distribution and Optocore pathways we need, Stuart Wright worked with us from the very beginning to understand our exact requirements and streamline our package as much as possible.
“Everything came out of the shop ‘show ready’. There were no tweaks required during production rehearsal, and the crew on tour with us have been incredible. The support and knowledge from Eighth Day’s tech department has been invaluable.”
This tour is the band’s first without an analogue split, instead Daly pulls inputs from the stage Optocore network to minimise the SL rack footprint and to simplify the line system.
For this tour, Daly is using an Allen & Heath dLive S5000 with a compact dLive MixRack and a DX32 Expander. He continues: “I’ve been a dLive user for years, spanning from my time mixing monitors for the band. I’ve loved my time on the Allen & Heath platform; being able to move up and down the console range has been key, as I never have to change or rebuild the show file during any fly show configurations.
“For Outboard, I have one analogue piece for the final stage of the mix before broadcast, a Neve Portico MPB, which gives one last stage of saturation and mid-side processing.”
A broadcast mix from FOH needs also to be ready for use at any point.
“The show has been built to prioritise the broadcast mix. Working backwards from that near field mix and configuring the PA to translate has been a great workflow,” he explains.
The FOH show file relies heavily on Timecode and is being constantly adjusted underneath the fader.
“Throughout, there are elements of theatrical performance that require specific mutes to support moments reflected in the video and lighting designs. There’s volume automation into reverb returns, EQ changes to blend older and newer songs, and a vocal that goes from a full belt scream to a whisper. It’s been a big challenge to match each of the other departments in their level of detail!” adds Daly.
For vocal mics it’s DPA D:Facto 4018 models across the board.
Daly has a Waves Super-Rack with Extreme Servers from Eighth Day, alongside his own side cart rack running Audiostrom’s Live Professor & UAD’s Apollo Hardware. “I have Reaper chasing Timecode from stage and sending out MIDI automation, recalling all snapshots required during the performance.
“Oli is running a Shure Axient wireless handheld and Jordan has a wired DPA. I requested that we move to them in 2019 as I had the chance to trial them with another artist and loved them. The off-axis rejection is excellent for those moments where Oli stands close to the drum kit,” he adds.
There has been a Group effort from the Clair brands to ensure every detail was met. Group partners Skan PA were drafted in to assist with the PA deployment – the band’s first outing with a main d&b audiotechnik’s KSL hang.
As designed by his right-hand man, Jack Murphy, Daly elaborates on the decision: “We had some weight considerations and with flying the sub hangs, with advice from Jack Murphy & Eighth Day, it was decided to move onto KSL to allow more boxes to be flown. The KSL sounded exceptional, as d&b always does. It’s a very tight sounding box. Having flown subs affords me the luxury of not having to push the low end as hard for the audience in the front rows. A lot of the new material has plenty of low end that needs to reach everyone, and we’ve had great success doing that by incorporating flown subs,” he concludes.
Adam Dickson, Eighth Day’s Systems Engineer, agrees: “Jared and I are huge fans of flown subs. Our goal is to try to get as much of the low end energy off the floor and into the air as possible, resulting in an even sub coverage for the audience, particularly for those sitting in the wings.
“On the odd occasion where that hasn’t been feasible, the alternative solution is to bring those subs from the air onto the floor for a more traditional sub array. This ensures that regardless of what configuration we’re in, the low end is evenly distributed and punchy but not overbearing for the front rows.”
He continued: “In wanting to achieve this, there was never a moment where I felt like we weren’t being supported by the central team at Eighth Day. They are so quick to respond to developing situations on the ground, and their ability to quickly replace or swap out equipment if required is unbelievable. I really enjoyed working for them on this tour.”
The system comprises KSL loudspeakers with SL subs both flown and on the floor in an array, with a handful of Y10P deployed along the front for fills.
Dickson continued: “It’s driven by d&b D80 amplifiers, making full use of the d&b Array Processing to help achieve a consistent listening experience while fully exploiting the acoustic potential of the KSL.”
In monitor world, Engineer Jon Simcox is running 18 wireless IEM mixes and a hardware pack for drummer Matt Nicholls, plus side fills, extra sub lines on stage, drum thumper, and around 11 FX sends. The band all opt for Jerry Harvey Audio JH Audio Roxannes.
For Simcox, this job had DiGiCo written all over it. “I’ve used DiGiCo for quite a few years, and have chosen a Quantum 338 for this tour. I run a Waves server and my plug-ins include PSE, 1176 for parallel drum compression, SSL channel, BSS402 and H-Verb and have two J subs and a J8 per side.”
He continued: “I’m a big fan of DiGiCo, I find the configurability great, and being able to set Macros to make FX changes on the fly can be a really creative way to mix. I also make use of Timecode. A MIFF converts to MIDI and allows my snapshots to fire automatically in the background at the right places during the show, which is really important in the overall coordination of the show.”
Offstage, worldwide coordination has been a huge part of the tour’s audio success, as Tour Manager Tim Boardman concluded: “Knowing the Clair Group has offices globally gave us faith in the fact that we would be brilliantly looked after. We were able to bring in extra boxes and crew at the drop of a hat, and everyone in the company has been great throughout.”