This year, Adele made a welcome return to the stage with 25, her first arena tour,
which received rave reviews during its European leg. Now travelling round the US,
the tour’s much anticipated nature, and Adele’s status as one of the world’s
favourite artists, prescribed a production with values that aim for nothing less than
perfection – right across the board. In audio world, that aim is aided by the use of
DiGiCo SD7 mixing consoles, which are situated at both the Front of House and
Front of House engineer Dave Bracey has been using DiGiCo consoles since the
company first started manufacturing 14 years ago but is new to the Adele crew.
Whilst Joe Campbell at monitors is new to the desks, he has been working with
Adele since her 21 tour. Both are happy that they have all the right tools for the
The audio design for the show is complex, with several points where Adele moves
from the A to the B stage, with the audio following her from one to the other. “We
also have complete arena coverage from the B stage,’ says Bracey. “I don’t know
that anyone’s ever done that before. Normally, if a singer walks out to the B stage,
you’d be looking at her there, but still hear her coming from the A stage. That’s not
the case for this show, we follow her around, which has its own challenges.’
The audio system was designed by Bracey and systems engineer Ulf Oeckel.
“Richard Young, the Production Manager for the show, came up with the initial idea
and we worked out how to do it,’ smiles Bracey.
The pair have previously worked together on tours for Pink and Cher with great
success and their tried and tested teamwork has undoubtedly helped to pull
together a piece of audio engineering that threw up new challenges. Working with a
tool as familiar as the SD7 is to Bracey, has undoubtedly helped. “It does
everything that you want it to do,’ he says. “If I think of something I need to do, I
can always work out a way to do it on that desk. For me, as a live engineer with
my particular needs, I don’t need any more than that does.’
In monitor world, Joe counts 130 inputs and around 55 outputs, the vast majority of
which are stereo. “We’re using all in ears, so we have quite a lot of ins and outs,
which the desk easily handles,’ he says. “Most other consoles you come across
would struggle with such numbers.
With Bracey’s expertise on the SD7, there hasn’t been much requirement for
support from DiGiCo. However, there are those times when a quick phone call is
The team is extremely satisfied with their achievements and Adele herself has
commented on the audio.
The fact that the tour has met with universal praise should reassure Bracey that his
comment is wholly justified.