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Autograph Deliver Solutions And Service To Ed Sheeran Tour

Salisbury-based Major Tom are supporting long-term client Ed Sheehan with a full production package on his current ‘Divide Tour’, an extraordinary global trek for the singer-songwriter that started in early 2017 and is scheduled to continue well into 2019.

The European dates featured opener Anne-Marie, for whom FOH Ben Dexter specified some new DPA microphones for her drummer. Major Tom turned to Autograph’s Ben Tredwell who not only sourced the new mics but also arranged a super-fast courier to catch the touring system before it left Salisbury.

Ben Dexter said, ‘I had had first heard the 4099s and 2011s on drums while I was on a tour with another artist and was really impressed with how they sounded. I purchased a set of each for myself when I returned from that tour to use on Rae Morris, who I was also mixing at the time and haven't looked back - although I’m not mixing her show at the moment as I’m busy with Anne-Marie, she still has a selection of DPA microphones including 2011 and Dfacto II.’

‘I have always been impressed with how natural and detailed the microphones sound with minimal EQ. I find I don’t really have to EQ at all to compensate for the response of the microphone, only for the tonal changes I require for the instrument. I was pretty impressed that the new Core versions we are using currently sound even more natural and open especially with the high SPL from a drum kit.’

Ben concludes, ‘I would say that the mounting system is also a big plus for me on drums - Anne-Marie’s drummer has a large setup with a lot going on so the clip and unobtrusive profile of the microphones makes attaching them very easy and I don’t have to worry about him giving them a whack. On top of all that, both her drummer and MD have commented on how they like the sound of the DPAs - I will always spec 4099s / 2011s on drums!’

Soon after Ben Tredwell’s visit he received another request from Major Tom, this time to assist with an on-the-road upgrade to their comms system.

Ben arranged a demo of the Clear-Com Freespeak II system at Sheeran’s Manchester concert and then subsequently delivered and assisted with the setup of the final configuration at the Newcastle show. The final package (all running on the 1.9GHz DECT frequency band) includes eight Freespeak II Beltpacks, one Base II base station, four Active Transceiver Antennae plus a range of accessories including batteries, chargers and headsets.

With everything now up and running Ben commented, ‘We were lucky to have the opportunity for me to do a proper, real-world demo of the Freespeak II system at Manchester and the guys picked up on it straight away.’

‘I then spent a further two days with the tour helping to get all the new hardware installed and the result is even better than originally anticipated - not only does it give them the flexibility they needed but the group feature allows them to have groups of different departments talking to each other and other users able to have multiple private conversations simultaneously.’

Dave White, Ed Sheeran’s ‘Chewie Tech’ whose tour duties include their comms systems said, ’Being able to have a ‘real world demo’ from Autograph was essential for us to see if the Clear-Com system would be suitable for our touring crew and our existing tried and tested method of co-ordinating Ed's production. We need to have clear departmental communication as well as global co-ordination to be able to manage the last minute changes that can occur with our show.’

‘Being able to have Ben on site for two days to help up set up a comms network that integrated with our existing system and give us some excellent advice on how to deal with setting up the system in multiple venues was essential. After our two day introduction the order was placed, and within a week our new equipment was delivered and installed by Ben personally.’

‘Finding the right equipment to suit a global tour is sometimes challenging, but with help from Ben and Autograph, this process seemed fast and effortless.’

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