Adlib Supplies O2 Academy Bristol

Photography: Jim Ellam

O2 Academy Bristol, an Academy Music Group ( AMG) venue, recently received a new audio system design and installation in conjunction with Liverpool-based Adlib.

AMG’s Divisional Manager, Helen McGee and O2 Academy Bristol’s Technical Manager Mickey Spillane worked with Adlib’s John Hughes and Roger Kirby to specify an L-Acoustics KARA PA system.

The final design was based on offering all visiting artists a high specification, in-house system, as with other recent new audio installations within the Group.

UK Rigging was commissioned to coordinate the installation of new steelwork in the roof, optimising the weight loading and bringing the main left and right arrays into around 11 metres apart, which is a lot closer together than the original PA hangs.

These main hangs each comprises seven L-Acoustics KARA speakers in optimum positions to cover the downstairs audience, along with low-frequency support from four SB18’s – two hung at the top of each KARA array.

Two areas to the extreme left and right of the stage now receive sound coverage via a pair of flown L-Acoustics ARC WIFO loudspeakers – an ARCS Focus on the top and an ARCS Wide at the bottom.

A pair of ARCS Focus elements are positioned in the centre of the venue, acutely angled downward to cover the near-field audience area in the centre of the front-of-stage barrier.

A total of ten Adlib AA1214 12-inch delay loudspeakers already at O2 the venue have been re-purposed, with a pair, relocated to give coverage to the side balcony positions, just wide of the main arrays.

The system is driven by a combination of L-Acoustics LA8 amplifiers, with L-AcousticsLA4Xs appointed for the ARCS WIFO boxes, together with several Crown Audio XTi4000 legacy amplifiers running the Adlib AA1214s.

Adlib’s Roger Kirby explained: “We all went to great lengths to establish the main priorities for O2 Academy Bristol, and the nuances of the environment, and listened to those who work there every day.”

A new monitor system was also part of the upgrade, with Adlib’s MP5 bi-amped wedge monitors and an Adlib AA215DS drum sub, together with Linea Research 44m20 amplifiers. A pair of ARCSII and SB28 subs were supplied for side-fills, again driven by L-Acoustics LA8 amplifiers.

Mickey Spillane, Technical Manager at O2 Academy Bristol said: “We knew we had to fully-spec the system to facilitate the sheer variation of trade, from production-heavy club nights to the biggest international touring artists, and in all cases, the feedback has been fantastic”

A complete new cable infrastructure was included, consisting of a new stage box, house racks and patch position for the monitor breakouts, plus a new 48-way copper multi, digital tie lines and fibre lines to cater for a variety of visiting productions. Plus two DiGiCo SD12 consoles were specified for FOH and monitors.