LA rock band Imagine Dragons have completed a European Tour with audio from UAC, the transatlantic collaboration between SSE and Sound Image.
The Imagine Dragons European tour was the latest project for United Audio Companies (UAC), the rental collaboration between SSE Audio in the UK and California-based Sound Image. The band are long established clients of Sound Image in the States so when the band headed over to Europe, using the combined assets of UAC was a logical choice.
Imagine Dragons tour with an Adamson system so for this UAC project Sound Image supplied the PA while SSE provided the control package. Imagine Dragons Production Manager Matt Miley explained, “We did ten dates with the UAC set up. Basically Sound Image is our vendor in the US and we’ve worked in reverse for these dates. Normally you would bring your control package and use locally sourced PA boxes, but in this case Sound Image brought the Adamson system over to Europe.”
The Adamson system was shipped over in advance to SSE’s Redditch HQ where the system was prepped and tested prior to the European tour. The US spec system operated at 110v so SSE provided the required transformer power for the tour.
Audio Crew Chief and System Tech Cameron Whalley, who has worked with Sound Image since 2004, commented on UAC, “For a US company coming into Europe, touring can be a little bit diifficult because we don’t have the same contacts or know all of the different regulations in the same way that the local crews do. Coming into the UK and having a partnership with SSE, (the process) has become seamless.”
“Although on this occasion we freighted the Adamson kit over as SSE, for other tours SSE has provided the PA. For example, when UAC worked with Neil Diamond, we used a JBL VTX system, which SSE also had so the resource sharing can work both ways depending on the tour’s PA preference. On our first EU date of the tour our FOH engineer commented that it was a really fluid transition for all working on the show.”
The PA system comprised 15 Adamson E15s per side with out-hangs of six xE15s and six E12s with eight Adamson S10s for rearfill. Subs comprised of eight flown and four ground stacked Adamson E219s per side. All amplification was Lab Gruppen PLM 20000Qs with Lake LM44s providing system processing and routing.
Imagine Dragons FOH Engineer Scott Eisenberg opted for an SSE-supplied AVID Profile mixing console at front of house. The 96 channel desk utilised Waves plug-ins and a 128 channel Pro Tools Recording set up. He explained, “ I try to create a dynamic mix because the band themselves are very musical; it’s not all just one volume throughout the show. I try to capture a wide range of sounds so that it doesn’t sound stale or boring. The Avid console definitely helps me accomplish this.”
Monitor engineer Jared Sweetman also used an SSE Avid Profile for the tour. “The band are very used to how this desk sounds so it made sense not to disrupt that for this tour as it’s been non-stop.”
The entire band use Shure PSM1000 IEM wireless packs for their individual monitor mixes. “There were only six mixes in total including my own key mix," explains Jared, "which made it really easy when we were doing so many different dates at different venues in different countries.”
Cameron Whalley summed up the benefits of the UAC collaboration: “SSE’s Sammy Murphy was our PA Tech and ‘Power Guru’ for the tour. I can’t tell you how great it is to have somebody who is familiar with European touring to manage all the different voltages going on with the transformers for the US spec PA and the backline that’s on local power. Sammy has been brilliant and taken away a headache for sure.”