Adventures In Audio
Ashlee Simpson Technical Rider: P.A.

David Mellor

David Mellor is CEO and Course Director of Audio Masterclass. David has designed courses in audio education and training since 1986 and is the publisher and principal writer of Adventures In Audio.

Monday July 10, 2006
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Ever wondered what goes into the rider for an artist's contract for a live performance? Now you can know. Here is the section of Ashlee Simpson's rider that covers the P.A. system. You will see that whoever wrote this has a sense of humor...

What to expect:

Ashlee Simpson will be performing with a 4 piece band. Orchestration is as follows: Drums, Bass, 2 Guitars, and pre-recorded sequences operated by the drummer.

Audio Requirements:

The FOH and Monitor Consoles, Outboard Gear (including Inserts and Effects), and In-Ear Monitors shall be for the express use of Ashlee Simpson. This equipment is not to be shared with any other support or headline act or for any other purpose. Once the equipment has been soundchecked, it is not to be removed, changed or struck until after Ashlee's performance is over.

Soundcheck:

Ashlee will require a minimum of 60 minutes for soundcheck prior to doors. This 60 minute period begins only after all backline gear is in position and operational on stage. All inputs must be line-checked and the FOH and Monitor systems must be fully functional and in a showready state. It is expected that all sound equipment provided is of professional quality, in perfect working condition, and is accompanied by professional, competent, and pleasant technicians/engineers. A sense of humor doesn't hurt either. There will be no tolerance for any hiss, buzz, hums, clicks, pops or "Hey... that was that $%*@ noise?" in any audio system. Ashlee's designated FOH engineer must have access and control over all House EQ, Delay and Crossover settings. (Realistically, he won't touch a damn thing other than the EQ... he just likes to know he can.)

FOH Speaker Systems:

The speaker system provided must be stereo and arrayed to provide hi-fidelity even coverage to every seat in the audience area. Our goal is to be able to achieve 110 dB (A weighted) for the entire audience area.

Preferred Cabinets:

  1. Nexo Geo T series
  2. L'Acoustics V-DOSC
  3. JBL Vertec 4889

Preferred Subwoofers:

  1. Nexo CD18
  2. EV MTL4 - Aura 218
  3. Turbosound 780L 21"
  4. Anything with a whole bunch of 18" speakers in it...

Preferred House Consoles:

  1. Midas Heritage 3000 (loaded 44 mono, 4 stereo)
  2. Midas XL4 (40 mono, 8 stereo)
  3. Yamaha PM5000
  4. Yamaha PM4000

House Inserts and Effects:

  • 2 Channels Tube Compression
    • Summit TLA100 or DCL200
    • Avalon 2044, Tube Tech CL-18, or ADL 1000
  • 10 Channels Conventional Compression
    • dbx 160X or Empirical Labs EL8 Distressor
    • BSS DPR402. dbx 900
  • 1 Stereo Buss Compressor
    • Alan Smart C1 or C2
    • SSL FX G384
  • 8 Channels Gates
    • Drawmer DS201
    • BSS DPR502, Drawmer DS404, BSS DPR 504
  • 4 Reverbs (four discrete effects units)
    • Dual Engine Lexicon 480L with LARC and two Eventide H3000 Harmonizers
    • Dual Engine TC M5000 and two Eventide H3000
    • (NOTE: if two H3000's are not available, an SPX 990 may be substituted for one of them)
  • 2 Delays
    • TC Electronics 2290
    • TC Electronics D-Two
    • Lexicon PCM42

Monitor Overview:

Ashlee on stereo in-ears. The drummer also takes an in-ear mix, whilst the rest of the band may alternate between in-ears and wedges. This may change depending on the nature of the show. I will also need a stereo matrix mix from FOH to the monitor desk consisting of music only (no vocals) for Ashlee's in ear mix. There should also be a provision for stereo sidefill with subs. All monitor gear preferences are outlined below. I strive for a top-notch show for my artist, but I also understand the need for substitutions from a rental point of view. Rest assured, I am not an unreasonable man. That being said, I request that you call me when you receive this spec; my mobile is -----, and my e-mail is -----. I would be more than happy to discuss both my needs and the needs of the show. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Monitor Console:

Preferred: ATI Paragon II, Midas Heritage 3000 (44 mono, 4 stereo)
Not-too-shabby: Midas XL-4 (40 mono, 8 stereo), Yamaha PM4000M
These don't suck much: MIdas XL250, Soundcraft Series 5, Soundcraft SM24
Not a big fan: Soundcraft, Crest... but we'll talk if we have to...

Monitor Inserts and Effects:

Compression:
2 Channels Tube Compression
Preferred: Summit TLA 100, Summit DCL 200 or Focusrite Red
Perfectly Acceptable: TubeTech, Focusrite Green Series... call if you've got something in mind.

Effects:

1 Vocal Reverb:
Preferred: Lexicon 480L, TC M5000, Lexicon PCM91
Perfectly Acceptable: TC M3000, TC M2000, Lexicon PCM80/81
1 Drum Reverb:
Preferred: TC M-One, Yamaha SPX 990
Acceptable: Yamaha REV500, Yamaha ProR3

Output Devices:

In-Ear Monitors:
Ashlee carries her own Sennheiser Evolution EW300 IEM-G2 in-ear transmitter system, as well as her own Sennheiser SKM5000 Main and Spare WX mics. The rest of the band, however, requires the following:
6 In-Ear Mixes: Preferred In-ear Units
1. Sennheiser EW300 IEM-G2
2. Shure PSM 700
3. Shure PSM 600

1 Hardwire Stereo In-Ear Mix: Shure P6HW preferred, Whirlwind PA-1 or Shure FP22 begrudgingly acceptable. This is dedicated to the drummer, and is his only means of receiving the click track.

1 Tactile Transducer: AKA "Butt Kicker" for the drummer. We prefer the Butt-Kicker, since I firmly believe all drummers deserve a swift kick in the pants, but we can also use 2 Aura Bass Shakers.

Wedges: 1 mix; 2 wedges. Preferred cabinets are the following:
1. Firehouse F12 or F15
2. ATK M2 or M5
3. Clair 12AMII
4. Sound On Stage KB
If you've got something else, I'm sure it's fine... Call me to talk to me about it though... I hate surprises. Call for other options. These are for: Drum, Bass, Guitar SR, Guitar SL, DS, Cue, Guitar Tech and Spare.

Sidefill:
To be honest, I hate sidefill. Unfortunately, I do need to put a little low-end onto the deck. So, if you can provide stereo sidefill with 2 channels of EQ (or no EQ if you're using an XTA or BSS Omnidrive... I'll use the Input Parametric), I'd appreciate it. Preferred boxes are 1 KF850/SB850 stack per side, 2 L'Acoustic ARCS on top of any 2x18" sub per side, or 2 Turbosound FLoodlight/780L 21" sub per side. If you've got something else, I'm sure it's fine... just let me know what it is.

Thank you for taking the time to read this lengthy list of requests... like I said, I'm not unreasonable; I've just got a job to do. Feel free to call me with any questions, and I'm sure that we'll be just fine... I look forward to working with you.

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