We do great work with some lovely people and we’ll try to give you some in depth stories from time to time on the following pages.


Big Sunday

Skan had a gentle start to September but Sunday 14th was a great example of the work Skan can and does do. Although still not at full stretch, this day saw Skan involved to varying degrees with three interesting one-off events in the capital.

September 14th was the show day for Jeff Lynne’s ELO as part of the Radio 2 Live in Hyde Park event. See http://www.bbc.co.uk/events/ernv4f/acts/amnbj5#p026c48r

Working for The Production Office and starting rehearsals at Cato Music on September 1st, Skan provided a pair of DiGiCo SD7s on an optical loop with two shared SD-racks. Monitor output devices included d&b M2s and Sennheiser SR2050 transmitters with over sixty EK2000-IEM packs. Looking after the complex monitoring requirements was Steve Lutley, ably assisted by Glen Fuller.

FOH duties were handled by Gary Bradshaw (also providing stems for the fantastic broadcast mix). FOH minder was Onno Ooms with Skan’s Liam Tucker dealing with the roughly 100 inputs from stage. These included the thirty strings of the BBC Concert Orchestra, all close mic’d with DPA 4099s.

A little north of Hyde Park, David Gray was performing at the iTunes festival in The Roundhouse. Repeating the touring work Skan did earlier in the summer, this was a one-off date for David in the middle of an extensive USA tour. As previously, the two engineers, Graham Pattison and Jamie Hickey used DiGiCo SD10s and were assisted by Rob Wilkins.

And, to the east, James Blunt performed at the Invictus Games. Engineers Mike Hornby & Gerry Wilkes were assisted by Skan’s Scott Essen.

A very successful day for Skan and our clients. Thanks to all involved.


May – September tours in brief

Through the summer, Skan provided control and monitor systems for ten tours in Europe. Although not our busiest summer ever, it was still a busy season. Some of these tours have been going since 2012 and some will continue into 2015.

We got lucky with routing on a few tours this summer which enabled efficient use of crew. The flip-sdie was a couple of tours with more difficult routing which necessitated duplicate or even triplicate systems.

John Fogerty. Production – Tim Schad. FOH Felix Brenner (PROFILE). Monitors – Joshua Cohen (PROFILE). Skan techs – Onno Ooms, Joachim Dewulf, Ron Kessels.

James Blunt. Tour & production management – Robert Hayden. FOH Mike Hornby (Heritage 3000). Monitors – Gerry Wilkes (PM5D-RH). Skan techs – Scott Essen, Ross Anderson.

The National. Tour management & FOH – Brandon Reid (PROFILE). Production & monitors – Stu Tenold (PROFILE). Skan techs – Ben Sliwinski, Rob Wilkins.

Snoop Dogg. Production – Paul Hoeppner. FOH – Andrew Stackpole (PROFILE). Monitors – Titus Woodham (PROFILE). Skan tech – Onno Ooms.

Elbow. Production – Mick Brown & Dave Jay. FOH – Danny Evans (PROFILE). Monitors – Julien Helme (SD10). Skan techs – Craig Bruce, J Summers.

Biffy Clyro (three systems globally). Production – Paddy Hocken. FOH – Jonny Lucas (Pro2). Monitors – Dan Speed (Pro2). Skan tech – Joachim Dewulf.

Queens of the Stone Age. Production – Bill Rahmy. FOH – Hutch (PROFILE). Monitors – Shaun Sebastian (SD5). Skan tech – J Summers.

Lily Allen (two systems). Production – James Basely. FOH – Shan Hira (SD10). Monitors – Franc le Moignan (SD10). Skan tech – Liam Tucker.

Foals. Tour & production management – Maarten Cobbaut. FOH – Nigel Pepper (Pro2). Monitors –  Steve Murray (Pro2). Skan techs – Craig Bruce, J Summers.

David Gray. Tour & production management – Trevor Plunkett. FOH – Graham Pattison (SD10). Monitors – Jamie Hickey (SD10). Skan techs – Ben Sliwinski, Rob Wilkins.

In addition, Skan was providing dry-hire packages to Belle & Sebastian, Morcheeba and Fat Freddy’s Drop for their European tours. Skan also supplied control and monitor packages for one-offs with Gary Barlow, Brian Wilson and more.

Sincere thanks to all involved and apologies to anybody I forgot to name-check. Thank you all.


Download & Glastonbury festivals

In June, as well as having ten tours out, Skan was busy with regular work at Download and Glastonbury festivals.

Skan provided a d&b J system for the “Zippo Encore Stage” at Download and “The Other Stage” at Glastonbury. The only difference being longer hangs at Glastonbury to accommodate the larger crowds. For both events, in addition to d&b J for main and side-hangs, Skan installed a cardioid array consisting of twenty d&b J-SUBs and eight d&b J-INFRAs all powered by d&b D80s.

The results were up to Skan’s usual high standards and this was recognised by engineers, production managers, audience and noise consultants alike.

Robb Allan from Avid and FOH engineer for Massive Attack made the following comments after their triumphant set closing Glastonbury on Sunday night. “Just wanted to say thanks again for the system at Glastonbury. Sounded far and away the best of all the systems we’ve worked on this summer. Also please say thanks to all the team. You were all really friendly and helpful after what must have been a long weekend”. We’re obviously flattered to receive feedback like this, thank you, Robb! You can read more from Robb here: http://www.avidblogs.com/music-on-tour-with-massive-attack-it-was-the-best-of-gigs/

The control and monitor package was the same at both festivals with Avid PROFILEs at FOH with a Midas Pro1 used to combine the house desks and guest desks before the drive system and to matrix wired and wireless communications.

Yamaha PM5D-RHs on monitors with M2s and V side-fills powered by d&b D80s.

The crew for the two festivals included many Skan staff and familiar freelance crew including Matt Vickers, Tom Tunney, Ron Kessels, Chris Barton, Harm Schopman, Onno Ooms, Matt Besford-Foster, Finbar Neenan, Dan Parkinson, Glen Fuller & Alvin Russ. Thanks to all involved for contributing to two brilliant weekends.


BBC Radio 1 Big Weekend 2014 – Glasgow

As part of Radio 1 Big Weekend, Skan provided reinforcement for the Opening night in Glasgow City Centre.  The night played host to some of Radio 1’s Top DJs, including Annie Mac, Pete Tong, Zane Lowe, Danny Howard, Martin Garrix and, new to the Radio 1 team, Tiesto.

With DJs like this, it was essential that Skan provided an intense club experience for 15,000 people, while also being mindful of the noise sensitive environment of a city cente.

Matt Vickers designed a system using d&b ArrayCalc that would maximize the spl within the audience arena, whilst still keeping within the perimeter noise limit of 75db.  Utilizing a cardioid sub array of 18 x J-sub and 12 x J-infra, Matt was able to provide very accurate pattern control for the low frequencies. Also by carefully focusing the flown arrays of 16 J-series (main) and 8 V-series (sides), there was a clear transition at the edges of the listening plane.  All of these factors combined allowed the system to run at 98dB LAeq,15min at Front of house.

Lindsay McIntyre (KSG Acoustics) was the local noise liaison working on behalf of Vanguardia Consulting, to help all parties stay within the noise licensing agreements. Lindsay made the following observations:

“Staging a live event of this scale was always going to be extremely challenging in a location like George Square in Glasgow. Adjacent to the fashionable Merchant City, Radio 1’s dance party was only a street away from the closest residential dwellings. Glasgow City Council had set a License Condition of 75dB LAeq,15min to protect the amenity of local residents so Skan’s PA design was going to have to work wonders to meet this requirement while delivering optimal levels in the live area for 15,000 revellers. They did not disappoint – no breaches of the License Condition were measured at the locations agreed with Glasgow City Council for monitoring, even during Tiesto’s headline set when sound levels rose to a crescendo. Based on our experience of other live events in residential areas, PA design can make or break the ability to meet licensed levels off-site and for Skan to have achieved this was no mean feat.”

Production manager, Dick Tee commented:

“I was delighted with the PA in George Square.  The system sounded great – it was well balanced and the output was very well contained within the Square itself.  I am not aware of any significant noise issues – so very well done to all involved.  Tom did a great job and I am personally very happy that we finally got you involved again with a major Radio One event and that the result was excellent.  I sincerely hope that we will be able to repeat this experience at future events.

“On behalf of everyone involved with the Big Weekend and especially the show in George Square –  many thanks – it was, as always, a pleasure to work with Skan PA.”

On site representing Skan were crew chief Tom Tunney with Onno Ooms looking after FOH and Richie Gough looking after monitors.



James Blunt 2014

Since his first album in 2004, Back to Bedlam, James Blunt has relied on Skan to supply audio systems for his live shows. Now in support of his fourth album, Moon Landing, James is once again touring the world.

FOH engineer Mike Hornby has again specified a Midas Heritage 3000 with a modest selection of outboard. Although he is now in a small minority of analogue console users, the results speak for themselves. The combination of an analogue front-end with XTA DP448s driving 96KHz AES3 into a d&b J-system is hard to beat.

Monitor duties are handled by Gerry Wilkes, an engineer with a thirty-year association with Skan. Like Mike, Gerry is bucking the current trend and using a Yamaha PM5D-RH. Continuing the retro feel, the band are primarily monitoring with d&b M4s.

Tour & production manager Robert Hayden has been working with Skan since the late-90s with acts such as Ash & The Flaming Lips. It’s a pleasure to continue working with Robert who leads an efficient tour with a relaxed atmosphere…

So relaxed, in fact, that Mike Hornby and his long-time FOH minder, Scott Essen have been making full use of their down-time to indulge their passion for climbing and road cycling. In between all the leisure, there was time to fit in a successful run of arena shows in Europe with some more intimate UK shows including a stunning show at the Royal Albert Hall.

As well as sounding great, the show looked amazing with lighting & visuals by Glen Johnson & Lite Alternative.

Our thanks to you all.


Gary Barlow – 2014

Skan has just completed our first tour with Gary Barlow. Working with Chris Vaughan of The Production Office, the tour was a pleasure to be involved with.

Long standing monitor engineer, Steve, Lutley operated a DiGiCo SD7 providing mixes to six Sennheiser 2050 dual IEM transmitters and d&b M2s. Inputs and outputs were handled by two SD-racks connected via optical loop including FOH. Steve was assisted by his usual tech., Glen Fuller. They make a fantastically efficient monitor team and great to work with.

Also mixing on a DiGiCo SD7, FOH engineer Davide Lombardi hadn’t previously worked with Skan. Happily, Davide enjoyed the working with us and commented “It’s been a really good experience, you’ve put together an A Team and we did not just work very well together, but we also had fun. Hope to work together in the future.” Davide was assisted at FOH by Nigel Pepper (in downtime from his Foals mixing duties).

Skan’s crew chief was Onno Ooms with the touring team of four completed by wingman, Rob Wilkins. Tom Tunney joined the tour for a couple of key dates such as London O2 where he installed a ring-system for the upper tier consisting of six pods of eight d&b V elements. Pre-production system-design was handled by Matt Vickers.

The FOH system was d&b J providing up to 270-degree coverage augmented with d&b V and Q-series boxes. Low-end was provided by J-SUBs, both flown and under the stage. Lake LM44s were used for system front-end driving d&b D12s via 96KHz AES.