Irish rockers The Script returned to the road in February this year after a two year break. The band’s Freedom Child Tour filled arenas across the UK and delivered an evening that even the most careworn of cynics would have been hard put to dismiss.
Engagement with their fans is in the band’s DNA and there was never a chance that they wouldn’t pull out every stop in staging a performance of the very highest quality. A production that involved the use of a main and B-stage, as well as ‘seat stages’ for acoustic sets, was employed to connect the musicians as closely as possible to the audience and spectacular video walls (12m high in places) provided a breathtaking backdrop to the urban-themed stage scheme and brilliant lighting. Every aspect of this painstakingly crafted show was of the highest calibre, including, naturally enough, the sound. First and foremost, The Script are about the music and of paramount importance was the selection of a sound system that would do justice to this ambitious production. CODA Audio Systems were chosen in the first instance for the sheer quality of their sound but as is quickly becoming clear, these ultra light, ultra compact boxes, offer a great deal more besides.
9 Hangs of PA were used for the shows. These constituted left and right main hangs of 14 x AiRAY plus 4 downfill, left and right side hangs of 12 x AiRAY plus 4 downfill, left and right upstage hangs of 8 x ViRAY, a centre cluster of 8 ViRAY and 8 x 15” SC2 flown subs per side. On the floor 32 x SCP 18” subs were used in a spaced array, with end fire on the extreme edges to direct the subs out to the side.
System Tech Alan Harrison described the system as “phenomenal”, praising CODA’s philosophy of directing attention towards perfecting the speaker cabinet and reducing the reliance on processing and amplification to obtain optimal results. Citing CODA Audio’s annular ring driver technology as key to reducing harmonic build-up, Harrison was unequivocal about the quality on offer:
“It’s super clear and has almost zero distortion. The high frequencies and high-mids throw for miles with a clarity you’ve not heard before. That’s all down to the speaker technology. Couple that with fly-behind bass elements and you get a frequency response that’s extremely predictable and homogenous over the entire audience area.”
FOH engineer Ste ‘Patty’ Pattison shared Harrison’s enthusiasm, describing the system as “super revealing” and praising its scope for achieving great results. Superb audio aside, Harrison was equally effusive about the tour-friendly nature of the system:
“It’s extremely light, AiRAY is only 39kg a box, it has 6dB more output than some of its competitors, twice as powerful over the whole frequency range AND its about half the size, which means you can fit more of it on a truck or put another way, you can really save space! Not stressing over the truck pack every night is a real bonus. I load the speakers in at 9am and they’re up at trim by 11am. It just makes my life so much easier, without any loss of quality and means I’ve never had to compromise on quantity or placement of hangs due to weight or sightlines.”
The UK leg of The Script’s Tour was a phenomenal success and earned rave reviews from fans and journalists alike. Delivering quality, power, punch and portability, CODA Audio Systems, played a central role and proved once again to be masters of the arena environment.
At the end of March, The Script performed on top-rated ITV show Saturday Night Take Away (to around 7 million viewers) – an evening that also included an appearance from another multi-platinum selling artist, Paloma Faith. Aside from selling millions of records and being household names across the world, it might be thought that the two acts have very little in common. That may be true in an artistic sense but when Paloma Faith embarked on her own UK arena tour, following hot on the heels of The Script, she took at least one leaf from the Irish trio’s book on the road with her – a CODA Audio AiRAY system…