Queen + Adam Lambert will complete their current year-long, 78-show world tour in July, which has seen them play sell-out shows in North America, Oceania, and over Europe. The tour provider is Clair Global, and at the heart of all things audio, is a pair of DiGiCo consoles.
FOH engineer Tom New moved into live sound when a former bandmate began promoting live shows at a small venue in Brighton asked him to help out with the sound.
“With limited knowledge, and a healthy enthusiasm, I threw myself into it, and didn’t look back,” says Tom. “Nowadays, I try to view things holistically: a show is about combining all the elements of a production, in much the same way you combine the elements of a mix, so when everything comes together in the manner that this has, it’s a huge feeling of job satisfaction.”
Tom has been with the band for nearly four years, and feels the current production is one of the finest he’s ever seen.
“Adam’s vocal range is nothing short of incredible; he throws himself into the role every night, and his performance is extremely consistent. Like many in his position, he is sensitive when it comes to his monitor sound, and that’s something that we all work together on – FOH, band, and monitor engineer – so that he feels comfortable.
“As you might expect, the band have a keen interest in how things sound, particularly where it involves effects or sound cues. There is always the question of whether or not to try to mimic the original recordings, or to allow the song to be ‘live’, and its generally a conversation which will guide this.”
Tom works from an SD5 at FOH and has been a DiGiCo advocate since 2011. “I began by teching DiGiCo consoles in my role as a freelance tech for Clair Global,” Tom recalls. “I found their approach to be logical, sensible, and flexible; and when given the choice, DiGiCo became my go-to console.”
Tom doesn’t use Snapshots, as he prefers to mix the show on VCAs, using macros to trigger FX or mix cues. For this reason, having a row of macros instead of the extra bank of faders in the master section suited him better.
At monitor position is experienced engineer, John James (JJ), with Monty Carlo coming on board with a third SD5 for Adam’s monitor mix during the recent Australian and New Zealand leg of the tour.
“Previously on Queen, I’ve been using the SD7, but for this tour, I have moved to the new SD5, which is ideal,” says JJ. “I love being able to easily mix and match banks of inputs, outputs, and VCAs, so I’m never far from the faders I want the most.”
Queen + Adam Lambert will embark on leg four of their world tour on 7 June, working their way across Europe before playing three nights in London, and wrapping up proceedings at Dublin’s Marlay Park on 8 July. Once the fourth leg is complete they will make their way to Las Vegas in September for a month-long residency in the city.