London, UK (July 6, 2011)–RG Jones Sound Engineering provided audio production on Glastonbury’s Pyramid Stage for the fourth year running.
The London based company supplied a Synco by Martin Audio PA, a custom designed Synco sub-bass array and Synco stage monitor systems. Additional crew and matching equipment came from Ampco Flashlight of Holland.
The production, for a bill headlined by U2, Coldplay, Beyoncé, Paul Simon, Elbow, Paulo Nutini, Pendulum, Plan B, Morrissey, B B King and Biffy Clyro, was based on last year’s Pyramid Stage setup.
The PA was a Martin Audio W8L Longbow rig, with a total of 64 cabinets flown in 16-deep dual inner and outer main PA hangs per side, and a further 64 W8LCs flown in four delay positions, all timed using Smaart. Loudspeaker control was via XTA DP448 digital controllers, with Klark Teknik DN360 for engineers’ “grab” EQ.
A cardioid broadside sub-bass array of Synco triple-18” woofers, custom made for the Synco Network by Martin Audio, had been refined over the past three years, in conjunction with noise monitoring specialists RPS Planning & Development, to help keep the sound contained to the Pyramid Stage area.
FOH was handled by Project Manager Steve Carr of RG Jones and Hugo Scholten, with Mark Edwards as system engineer, supported by PA rigger Remco Verhoek and Martin Audio R&D director Jason Baird supporting the system design effort.
At the front-of-house mix position, a pair of 48-channel Midas XL4 consoles handling the core mix duties along with an Avid Venue Profile, all supplied by RG Jones. Some acts brought their own consoles with a Midas Pro6 and DiGiCo SD7 in use for several bands. All consoles were matrixed via two Midas XL88 mixers.
The stage was headed by Mark Isbister with Alistair Viles, Matt Sussex and Tim Wann, and monitor engineers Steve Watson and Ben Milton. A pair of Yamaha PM5D consoles streamlined stage operation, along with the team’s usual Yamaha LS9 ‘shout’ board. Isbister commented: “The equipment was very similar to last year’s; we know we’ve got a formula that works including ARCs sidefills and Synco wedges. More bands than ever this year used our FOH and monitor desks, partly I think because more bands are aware of what’s available, and we fulfill an element of being caretakers: here’s your wire and power, and off you go.”
U2, meanwhile, brought a completely self-contained stage system. Says Isbister: “The great thing about that was Jake Berry, U2’s production manager, was on site last year with Shakira, so he’d seen how busy it can be and made some decisions that enabled them to be really streamlined and slick and take up less space on stage. Their monitor consoles – one for each member of the band – were housed in a 40’ truck parked in the backstage dock, so we didn’t have to dedicate any extra stage space to their setup and it worked really well. They were also providing stems for the outside broadcast – the BBC team received 18 submixes from the U2 monitor department.”
He concludes: “One of the best moments from our point of view was BB King. He didn’t bring an engineer or any equipment, just a basic list of instruments and let us get on with it. Steve Carr mixed him at FOH and our monitor engineers did his stage mix – it was fantastic to have a band just turn up and let us get on with it.”