Hillsong Young & Free have been inspiring audiences around the world since first uniting to compose and perform contemporary worship music in 2012 at Hillsong Church in Sydney, Australia.
To support their most recent studio album, III, the group spent the majority of 2019 touring Canada and the U.S. with a production package supplied by Canada’s Soundbox Productions, including a versatile audio system anchored by Adamson Systems Engineering’s sub-compact S-Series loudspeakers.
“The Canadian leg of the III tour was the second time we deployed a complete Adamson S-Series system with the Soundbox crew, and for the U.S. run, we decided it was too good not to use it again,” begins Y&F FOH engineer Nate Balderston. “The S10 is a fantastic product. The mid-range and clarity really make creating space within the mix so easy.”
Considering the wide range of venues the group visits – from churches to theatres of varying sizes – the fall U.S. dates made use of a variety of set-ups from a total of 24 S10 two-way, full-range enclosures and 14 complementary E119 subwoofers.
“Our biggest hurdle each day was obviously coverage,” Balderston adds. “Some days, we had 120-degree seating; other days, we had three-tier-balcony theatres. What we loved about using the S10s was we always had a solution for whichever configuration we might encounter.”
As Soundbox Audio Head and Systems Tech Jamal Bleasdell explains, in most churches, they didn’t have access to a rigging point for the PA, so they carried Sumner Eventer 25 stage lifts. The typical set-up for these shows included eight S10s per side for main hangs, two S10s for front fill, and three ground-stacked S10s per side for outfills.
“The Adamson S10 system is very easy to deploy thanks to the Slidelock rigging technology and S-Series Extended Beams,” shares Bleasdell. “Sonically, the proprietary drivers make the mid-range sound so much warmer and respond to low end really nicely. Also, Adamson’s Blueprint AV software has great tools like the Mirror Functions and Vertex/Edge Link that allow me to build for each venue very quickly. Bottom line, I know when using Adamson, I have nothing to worry about!”
Hillsong Young & Free boast a fresh, modern pop sound and have engaged with audiences young and old the world over. They’ve topped Billboard’s Christian Albums charts multiple times and were nominated for a 2017 Grammy Award for their sophomore studio album, Youth Revival. Since dropping III in mid-2018, the band has released III (Live at Hillsong Conference), III (Studio Sessions), and III (Reimagined) and will support those releases with more U.S. dates in early 2020.
“The comments we received from audiences across both tours, and from many house audio techs we had the pleasure of working with, was fantastic,” concludes Balderston. “The Adamson S-Series being so easy to deploy and configure, as well as its sonic consistency from venue to venue, really made for an amazing experience.”
Photos by Jeremie Ngandu