Vancouver Sleep Clinic - 2023 Show Build
Vancouver Sleep Clinic aimed to streamline their setup and improve efficiency during performances, and asked me to re-build their touring set up from the ground up.
The primary objectives for the new Vancouver Sleep Clinic show build were as follows:
Create a three-person setup consisting of Luke, who plays guitar and leads on keys; Dex, responsible for live drums; and Tim, the lead vocalist.
Reduce the number of cases required for the tour while maintaining self-containment.
Minimise setup and pack-down times to increase efficiency during live shows.
Incorporate new gear, such as MIDI-controlled lighting, IEM packs, wireless microphones, and custom monitor rig looms.
Equipment and Setup Details
Luke & Tim’s Setup:
Luke played guitar and performed lead keyboard lines and hooks during the live shows.
He also triggered samples and tracks throughout the performance.
To facilitate these tasks, Luke & Tim utilised a combination of guitar and keyboard equipment. They both swapped their pedal boards for Line 6 Helix’s for maximum control over their sounds & tones.
The setup was designed to be compact, allowing for quick setup and pack-down times.
As VSC’s drummer, I stood during the performances and was responsible for live drums.
I used a rack system that incorporated a hybrid set-up; Triggered live snare, floor tom, electronic kick, and other drum components.
Similar to Luke & Tim’s setup, my arrangement was designed for ease of use and quick assembly.
Lighting and Stage Setup:
The show incorporated a MIDI-controlled lighting floor package.
The lighting system focused primarily on backlighting.
This setup allowed for synchronised lighting effects that enhanced the visual experience for the audience.
The band introduced new Sennheiser G4 IEM packs to ensure optimal monitoring during performances.
Tim, the lead vocalist, used a Sennheiser EW-D wireless microphone.
These wireless solutions provided greater mobility on stage and improved sound quality.
An onstage talkback system was implemented, enabling communication between Luke and Myself.
Both Luke and I had microphone switchers for seamless interaction during performances. We also had the capability to route our talkback to Tim’s ears, should we need to communicate with him mid-show
We utilised a Behringer X32 console for self-monitoring during the show.
We created a show file on the console with pre-mixed FOH settings for quick and easy setup, allowing us to send a ready-to-go left and right output to the FOH engineer if necessary.
To ensure reliable audio connectivity, we used Vandamme looms from Designacable, which connected their splits, the X32 console, Monitor rack, and the FOH system, maintaining audio integrity and minimising signal loss.
All show cabling was carried by the band.
The reduction in the number of cases to approximately 12 (compared to 17 on the previous tour) allowed for improved manageability and portability, along with reducing transport costs.
Setup and Pack-Down Goals
To optimise efficiency, I aimed to achieve specific time goals for the setup and pack-down processes.
The setup goal was set at 30 minutes, ensuring we maximised soundcheck time.
The pack-down goal was established at 20 minutes, allowing for swift dismantling and smoother transitions between shows.
By implementing a three-person setup, incorporating new gear, and refining logistical aspects, we successfully improved the efficiency and convenience of their live shows during the 2023 North American tour. The streamlined setup, along with reduced case count and simplified logistics, allowed for quicker setup and pack-down times, while the introduction of new equipment such as MIDI-controlled lighting, IEM packs, and wireless systems enhanced the overall performance experience.
A significant aspect of the project was the collaboration with industry professionals who played vital roles in different areas of the show. We enlisted the expertise of Mike Park and Luke Jenkins to assist in building the musical elements and programming the lighting, respectively (Luke also assisting with transitions and additional musical sections of the show, as well as programming during rehearsals and whilst on the road). Their contributions ensured that both the musical and visual aspects of the show were cohesive and captivating.
To source the required equipment and cases, we partnered with SA Touring, a renowned provider of touring solutions. This collaboration involved close communication and coordination to identify the specific gear that aligned with the our requirements. Working within the allocated budget, SA Touring played a crucial role in ensuring that the right equipment was acquired to support the revamped show.
In addition to equipment sourcing, I also sought assistance from TAG, a travel and accommodation agency. TAG provided support in arranging transportation and accommodations for the tour, helping to streamline logistics and ensure smooth transitions between shows. Their expertise in the touring industry contributed to the overall efficiency of the touring experience.
Furthermore, wecollaborated with Rockit Global, an organization specialising in Carnet’s & the movement of goods. Rockit Global's expertise facilitated a smooth and hassle-free process, ensuring that the necessary documentation was in place for international shows.
To prepare for the tour and refine their performance, we chose to rehearse at RMS studios in London. This dedicated rehearsal space provided them with a conducive environment to fine-tune their musical arrangements, incorporate new elements into their show, and ensure a seamless and polished live performance.
By leveraging the budget effectively and collaborating with industry professionals such as SA Touring, TAG, Rockit Global, and utilising RMS studios for rehearsal, we were able to successfully execute the show build for 2023. These partnerships and logistical support were instrumental in achieving the desired outcome and delivering a memorable experience for their audience.