JPS Australia


Future Music Festival 2009

JAS audio supplied the audio for Melbourne’s Future Music Festival and the move from the Myer Music Bowl over to the Flemington race track increased the audience to around 35,000.

For the main stages in Melbourne and Sydney a Nexo Geo T system was used while L-Acoustics VDosc was used for the main stages in Brisbane and Adelaide.


February 28
March 1, 7-9

Melbourne Future Festival

Main stage

32 x Nexo Geo T
16 x Nexo C-D 18 subs
32 x Camco Vortex 6 amplifiers


1 x Midas XL4
1 x Digidesign profile console


1 x Midas H3000
1 x Digidesign profile console
16 x Wayloud Wedges
2 x Nexo Alpha E side-fill systems

God’s kitchen stage

16 x L-Acoustics VDosc
12 x Wayloud 218 subs


2 x Yamaha PM5D


16 x PS15 wedges

Yellow stage

16 x Nexo Alpha
8 x Nexo Alpha S2

Sydney Future Festival

Main stage

32 x Nexo Geo T
16 x Nexo C-D 18 subs
32 x Camco Vortex 6 amplifiers


1 x Midas XL4
1 x Digidesign Profile console


1 x Midas H3000
1 x Digidesgin Profile console
16 x Wayloud Wedges
2 x Nexo Alpha E side-fill systems

Godskitchen stage

16 x L-Acoustics VDosc
12 x Wayloud 218 subs


2 x Yamaha PM5D


16 x PS15 wedges

Brisbane Future Festival

Main Stage

16 x L-Acoustics VDosc
16 x Wayloud 218 subs
6 x L-Acoustics ARCs


1 x Midas XL4
1 x Digidesign Profile console


1 x Midas H3000
1 x Digidesign Profile console
16 x Wayloud Wedges
2 x Nexo Alpha E side-fill systems

Adelaide Future Festival

Main Stage

16 x L-Acoustics VDosc
16 x Wayloud 218 subs
6 x L-Acoustics ARCs


1 x Midas XL4
1 x Digidesign Profile console


1 x Midas H3000
1 x Digidesign Profile console
16 x Wayloud Wedges
2 x Nexo Alpha E side-fill systems

NERD Touring package

2 x Digidesgin Profile console
4 x Sennheiser G2 in-ears systems
4 x Shure U4D Radio mic systems

Oasis 2006

The Oasis Australian tour saw Bruce Johnston finally make it home after almost a year of touring. The Oasis juggernaut is an amazing phenomenon, with the band pulling enormous crowds throughout Europe and the Americas, with a huge resurgence in their popularity.

The Oasis shows sounded amazing, with 32 Nexo Geo-T elements and 16 Nexo CD18 subs powered by Camco Vortex 6 amps.

Bruce operated on his DiGiCo D5 console, while former Aussie Ian Newton operated the monitor rig from a Yamaha PM1D console.

The Oasis Australian tour was sadly the last tour for Johnston Audio by Drew Menard, who has moved on to look after the DiGiCo brand for Group Technology. Other Johnston Audio crew on the Oasis tour were Ivan Ordenes, who rigged the FOH and Mark Crawley who rigged the monitors.


December 14-16 2006

Veronica’s tour 2006


April 13, 15-16, 18-19, 21-24 2006


24 x Nexo Geo T 2405 line array
6 x Nexo Geo T 2815 line array
18 x Nexo Geo S line array
16 x Nexo C-D sub
Camco Vortex 6 Amplifiers
Nexo NX241 / Lake contour controllers


Midas XL4 FOH
Midas H3000


Wayloud monitor system

JAS crew

Bruce Johnston – FOH engineer / Production manager
David Quigley – System technician
Saul Skoutarides – Monitor operator
Craig Gordon – monitor rigger

Missy Higgins 2005

Fresh from collecting a swag of ARIA awards, Missy Higgins was on the road playing a series of sold out events in Adelaide, Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne.

Johnston Audio Services provided a Nexo Geo-T system for the tour. For the Sydney show at Centennial Park, which was a sell-out of 18,000 people, the Geo T was augmented by delay stacks of Nexo Geo-S.
Centennial Park is situated in the middle of prime real estate and shows held there invariably draw noise complaints from the neighbouring residents. The controllability of the Geo-T helped to contain the audio to the concert area which in turn kept the noise consultants happy – with no complaints! The same issues are prevalent at Melbourne’s Sidney Myer Music Bowl – and again – a faultless show without any trouble from the sound consultants!

The main system included 24 x Nexo Geo-T 4805 cabinets, 6 x Nexo Geo-T 2815 cabinets and 12 x Nexo CD18 subs. Nexo Alpha-e was utilised as front fill. The system was powered by Camco Vortex 6 amplifiers and controlled with Nexo NX241 processors and Lake Contour.

The delay system included 16 Nexo Geo-S 805 cabinets and 2 x Nexo Geo-S 830 cabinets, powered by Camco Vortex 6 amplifiers.

The monitor rig was Nexo PS15 cabinets – also powered by Camco.

Missy Higgins’ FOH engineer Brent Gray mixed the show on a Midas XL4 and monitor engineer Saul Skouterides utilised a Midas Heritage 3000 console.


October 14 – 31 2005

Main System

24x Nexo Geo-T 4805 Tangental Array
6x Nexo Geo-T 2815 Tangental Array
12x Nexo CD 18 Subs
20x Camco Vortex 6 Amps
4x Nexo NX241 Processors

Front Fill

2x Nexo Alpha-E M Cabinets
4x Nexo Alpha-E B118 Cabinets
2x Camco Vortex 6 Amps
1x Nexo Nx241 Processors

Delay System – (Sydney Only)

16x Nexo Geo-S 805 Tangental Array
2x Nexo Geo-S 830 Tangental Array
4x Nexo CD 12 Subs
4x Camco Vortex 6 Amps
2x Nexo Nx241 Processors

FOH Console

1x Midas Xl4 Console

Drive Rack

1x BSS Fcs 960 Dual 31 Band Eq
1x Al Smart C2 System Compressor
2x Lake Contour Processors
1x JAS System Management Computer C/W JBL Smaart
1x Denon DN600-F CD Player

FOH Effects

1x Tc Electronics M 5000
2x Yamaha SPX 990
1x TC Electronics D-Two Delay
1x Eventide H3000 Harmoniser


3x Drawmer DS 201 Noise Gates
5x DBX 160x Compressor
2x Avalon Vt 737-Sp
2x DBX 566 Valve Compressors
2x Empirical Labs Distressors

Monitor Console

1x Midas Heritage H3000 Console

Monitor Inserts

4x Klark Teknik Dn360 Eq
2x Drawmer DS 201 Noise Gates
1x Yamaha SPX990

Monitor Speakers

12x Nexo PS 15 Wedges
3x Camco Vortex 6 Amps
3x Nexo TD Mk Ii Controllers

Powderfinger 2003/2004

Powderfinger returned home to tour Australia after a very successful tour of Europe and UK. They brought the biggest version of their show to date. The arena sized show might be a major step up for the band, but the show has been translated to the big stage quite successfully by the team behind the production.


November 21, 23, 25-27, 29-30 2003
December 5-7, 10, 12-15 2003


24 x Nexo Geo T 4805 Array
6 x Nexo Geo T 2815 Array
12 x Nexo Cd-18 Ultra Subs
20 x Camco Vorte x 6 Amps
4 x Nexo Nx241 Processors

Side Hang

8 x Nexo M3 Mid-High
8 x Nexo B1 Bass Cabinets
8 x Camco Vorte x 6 Amps
2 x Nexo Nx241 Processors


4 x Nexo Alpha E-M
1 x Camco Vorte x 6 Amp
1 x Nexo Nx241 Processor


Midas Heritage H3000
52 Channel Console
1 x Al Smart C1 Compressor
1 x Klark Teknik Dn 360 Eq
1 x Lexicon Pcm 91
2 x Lexicon Pcm 80
1 x Tc M 5000
1 x Tc 2290
2 x Tc D-Two
2 x Eventide H3000 SE
2 x Empirical Labs Harmonisers


7 x DBX 160 Compressors
1 x Al Smart C1 Compressor
8 Ch Drawmer 201 Gates
4 Ch Db x 903 Compressors
2 x Avalon Vt 737 Sp Mic


1 x Midas Xl250 52 Channel Console
8 x Klark Teknik Dn 360 Eq
1 x Tc M2000
8 Ch BSS Dpr 402


8 Ch Drawmer 201 Gates
16 x Nexo PS 15 Wedges
8 x Nexo M3 Mid-High

Side Fill

8 x Nexo B1 Bass (Side Fill)
12 x Camco Vorte x 6 Amps
6 x Nexo Td Mkii Processors
2 x Nexo Nx241 Processors

Multicore System

Optocore L x 4 Network

Powderfinger Crew List

Production Manager: Ifan Thomas
Production Assistant: Oana Gilbert
FOH: Mark McElligott
Monitors: Steve Brown
LD: Jason Boyd
Stage Manager/ Matt “Matrix”
Backline: McNamara
Drums: Duane Billings
Guitars: Chris “Toph” Hough

Johnston Audio Crew

FOH Rigger: Drew Menard
System rigger: Paul Gould
Monitor Rigger: Mark Crawley

About the Audio – CX Magazine Article (January 2004)

Mark McElligott is not a fan of Line Array systems, so it must have taken some convincing to get him to use the new Tangent Array system from Nexo. His close relationship with Johnston Audio and previous reliance on the Nexo Alpha system probably had a great deal to do with the decision. From Mark’s point of view, the Alphas were perfect for this band.

“They still have that rock pedigree. The guitars sound like guitars. Not like Line Arrays – off axis they sound like shit.” The “clean, pristine” sound with little bottom end is not what Mark needed, so he was initially skeptical about the Nexo GeoT Tangent Array. However, after hearing the system in Brisbane during rehearsals for the tour, he decided to take a punt. The result has been very impressive sound for this tour. He said it took him a couple of shows to get used to the clarity and spread of the sound. “You hear the PA as one unit, they don’t sound like they are split up.” This is despite the fact that the subs are sitting in front of the stage and the main PA is set so high. The Nexo system is also capable of flying the Subs with the main PA, something that Mark would have liked to have done so that the front rows of punters were not flattened by the sound. However the hardware needed was not available by the time the show was underway, and standing in the front row in front of the PA subs wasn’t all that bad – in fact the audio quality there was exceptionally good!

Coming from a studio background, Mark likes heavy use of compression in his live mix. The drum kit runs a special system of hard compression that is run back in the console and mixed with the live output. It probably runs about 50/50 compressed audio to live audio, which Mark describes as giving the kit some real punch. There is also lighter compression run over the Guitars and the whole mix output.

The mics run into Avalon SPS727 valve based mic preamps – giving the vocals the warmth that Mark likes to hear in the vocal mix. Running with a slew of other effects – gates, reverbs, harmonizers, distressors (see list), this is a reasonably complex rig that Mark runs from the Midas Heritage H3000 console.

Interestingly, Mark also uses a baby Allan and Heath 16ch console – one that would be more at home in a pub – for the small ‘acoustic style’ section. The idea is to give this part of the gig a different sound – which it certainly does.

Another interesting part of this gig is that the FOH is connected to the stage via fibre optic cable rather than a traditional multicore. The Optocore LX 4 Network System allows for 48 channels of audio to be sent from the stage and 16 returned to the stage, all without signal loss and for a seriously long distance if required. The stage end of the system incorporates a remote controllable head end with built in mic preamps, remote switchable phantom power and even some data transfer.
There are two RS485 returns from the FOH position which can be used for DMX or AES/EBU outputs, as well as a video send from the stage. A laptop at FOH controls the system, allowing the user to control master level for system balancing as required.

How Mark McElligot got started

Like many FOH engineers, Mark McElligott was a musician first until he saw the light and the employment prospects.

A native of Townsville, Mark managed to get himself into Brisbane after lying about his abilities as an engineer to a covers band that needed an urgent replacement.

Apparently there was enough native talent that he pulled off the gig without the band noticing – and thus started a career in studio and live engineering.

Mark comes from the days when Brisbane had a vibrant live scene, and the bands used to occupy what is affectionately remembered as “The Target Building” – a disused Target store in Fortitude Valley that was taken over for a number of years in the eighties by Brisbane’s up and coming bands. This was a period of excitement for Mark, as he worked on numerous projects and bands in his studio. This was the environment that fostered Powderfinger themselves.

Silverchair “Across the Night” 2003

Article courtesy of CX Magazine (May/June 2003 issue)

Silverchair approached Rolling Stones levels of interest and enthusiasm on their Australian Tour across autumn. The five week run was designed for theatre and stadium, and featured an Australian pragmatism that a forty year old band like the Strolling Bones could never achieve.

The parallels – guitar rock band; theatre AND stadium shows; fans who are welded on. The differences? About 150 people less on tour with the Chair. No physiotherapist, no personal chefs, no valets.

Production values were similar, and in proportion too. Where the Stones toured the largest LED video wall currently in use on the planet, the Chair toured the new Barco LED wall from Technical Direction Co – Australia’s largest and best new wall. The Rolling Stones had a new line array PA – the Chair had a modern NEXO Alpha PA system.

Patrick Woodroffe’s lighting design for the Stones had everything that moved, all controlled from a Hog II. Hugh Taranto’s design for Silverchair had more than enough in the way of fixtures – controlled from a Whole Hog III.

What I’m getting at, is that Production Values need to fit the scale of the show, and the Rolling Stones 14 truck tour is not that far removed from Silverchair’s two truck loads. The people who matter – the audience – were well satisfied in both cases.

I caught the tour at the Pallais Theatre and then two days later at the Vodafone Arena. The light and vision production was essentially the same in both venues, with less speaker boxes used for the 2000 Pallais than for the 6000 seat Arena. “It scales up nicely”, said the polite Hugh Taranto, veteran of many Silverchair tours. His lighting design was clever, because there was nothing flown in the grid that needed focusing, so no one needed to climb up there. That made a huge time saver, since the house worklights didn’t need to go out, and the safety issues of not having climbing crew are obvious.

“We can go up there (there is a ladder) and we have the rescue gear. But if we need to change something we usually lower the grid.” I have arrived at the Arena at 3pm, and Hugh is sitting arranging his cues. The load in was at 0800, so good time has been made. The stage set is loosely based on the Diaorma album cover, so rainbow colours and weird set pieces are used. Three LED video walls are flown at the rear quarter of the stage, hung intentionally crooked. Huge fake picture frames make them look kind of grunge-retro. Each wall is 5 panels wide and 3 tall, so they each measure about 4.5 x 2.5 metres.

Hugh operates the Whole Hog III, a wingboard, and three Catalysts – with 3 Mac G4 and 2 laptops. His FOH setup is complex, and hubbed together via an Ethernet switch. It is impressive to watch him work all this, alone, while calling two followspots. For the first half of the show, the three Silverchair members are joined by two guest keyboard players who are set on stage left, above and behind the backline. Coloured panels are over each backline speaker. Six ‘zip rings’ which are a circle of ten MR 16 lamps, are hung around the backline, giving Hugh another element to go with six Zip strips – sitting vertically around the stage, and gelled in rainbow hues.

The band take to the stage with pungent incense burning, plumes of smoke rising, and do a set of new material than builds to a break. Hugh has imagery generated from 3 Catalyst systems (with 3 Mac G4’s) feeding the three screens. The images combine moving black and white clips from band videos, and a smorgasbord of patterns generated on Catalyst. As the sole lighting operator, Hugh has control over outputting the images through the Hog III – making the show very harmonized.

“For the first half, the screens are set to 1000 nits. Then I turn them up (to 2000) for the second half. I’m using them more like lights them. They come in and flash, in colours, and are a big bright light.” Bright they are! The band wanted a quieter set with a different look for the first half. Behind the three oversized picture framed LED walls is a red drape. Lights play out a lot of looks, and two followspots very subtly fill out.

The second half is achieved after the crew reset the stage behind a curtain. The rear red drape is gone, revealing three pods of 24 Par 64’s, using 240v lamps so they can be chased in many combinations. Each is gelled.

A directive from the band is that the second half is not full of technology looks, so the moving lights are generally restricted to reset when dark, not moving while on. “It’s a traditional rock show – not the different world theme of the first half “, says Hugh. At the sound desk the two halves of the show are simply delineated by volume. The show grows louder as the night goes on. By the second half it is pumping fat, or phat as we call it in soundland.

This tour marks the first time that Melbourne sound engineer Bruce Johnston has mixed the band. The former Chair engineer took a gig in the USA, and the band had been looking to use Bruce for a while.
Bruce also owns a sound compact company – JAS – which means he was naturally keen to tender to supply equipment for the tour. He won. “I would use whatever they wanted to use, bar one kind of system that I have on my contract”. Bruce wouldn’t say which is the brand of system he dislikes, or why.

Bidding for the tour was intense, but Bruce’s system choice of Nexo won the contract. Owning it means the contract wasn’t awarded by Bruce in any case, the decision went back to management with recommendations from Baily Holloway, the crew boss.

60 Alpha boxes made up the rig, 24 M3 (mid/ high); 24 B1 (low) and 12 S2 subs were flown and floor stacked to cover the audience. These were powered by just 2 amp racks per side – each rack loaded with four Camco Vortex 6 ultra-high powered amplifiers. Each rack produced 24,000 watts for a system total of 96,000 watts.

For the first time, Bruce used all Nexo on one tour, as the monitor system was also Nexo branded. Rod Matheson generated 4 in ear, and eight equalized sends of stage monitors from a Midas XL 250 console. 14 Nexo PS15 wedges were used, along with 2 Alpha E full range boxes on each side of stage as sidefills.

Out at front of house, the mixing console was an ageing but still good PM 4000, which is the top of the line desk in the JAS inventory. “I’m buying a Midas XL4, because when everyone is busy they are hard to get”, Bruce explained, adding that it can cost $2,500 a week to cross hire one. Some changes arose with the Silverchair sound when Bruce started the tour with the band. Previously the band used almost all triggered drums, with as few as eight open microphones on stage. “The band’s drum kit was all electronic except the snare and overheads”, said Bruce. “We changed that! It’s more melodic now, the samples just didn’t cut it. There’s more light and shade in the kit (sound).”

“We cut a hole in the front of the kick (for a mic) and re-skinned the kit. We put a note on the song list for Ben (Drummer) to retune the snare after the third number.

The samples are still sent to the desk from the drum tech area, so there are a massive 16 drum channels. Only the snare is still mainly sampled, “the kit is 90% live now”, asserted Bruce. The almost vintage but still popular Yamaha SPX 990 features as a snare reverb, Bruce says he just can’t escape the 1980’s. With four guitar inputs, bass, and two keyboard players – one of whom has a Leslie (rotating) speaker box, the rest of the desk inputs are filled.

“He (Daniel Johns) is a soft singer, so I ride his gain. I got an Avalon tube preamp for his channel and noticed the difference from the PM4k input preamp straight away. There is shit for days, like ride (cymbal) and guitar that will come through the vocal mic.”

Bruce is referring to stage spill. This band has an enormous live rock guitar sound. Truly phat, creamy and about 420 horsepower. During the final part of the show, when the three core musicians are alone on stage, Silverchair are possibly the tightest hard rock band on the planet.


March 19, 22-23, 25, 28-29
April 1-2, 5-6, 8, 10-11, 13, 15, 17, 19, 20 2003

Jack Johnson 2003

Jack Johnson – on the road with Bruce Johnston – and Geo-T

When Jack Johnson toured Australia and New Zealand recently he asked his Australian Tour Manager Nik Tischler to find FOH and monitor engineers for the tour.

Nik straight away called Bruce Johnson and Drew Menard. Nik said, “I have worked with Bruce and Drew on a number of international tours of Australia and knew they were the most competent and able guys in the country. That Bruce comes with his own PA system wasn’t a consideration – quite simply Bruce was the best man for the job – as his work with Oasis and silverchair shows.

Mixing Jack Johnson gave Bruce the chance to take out his brand new system – the amazing Nexo Geo-T in Canberra and Brisbane. At the Palais Theatre in Melbourne the system was Nexo Alpha and the three Enmore Theatre shows in Sydney utilised the in-house EAW system.

Mixing Jack Johnson on the Geo T was a dream,” said Bruce. “Actually all the shows were great – we had put the house system in the Enmore a while ago but hadn’t actually mixed on it – I was really impressed with how good it sounded.

The system for the Canberra show highlighted some of the many benefits of the Nexo Geo-T. The whole system fitted easily into an 8 tonne truck, and its capability to be flown at a high trim creates clearer sightlines. Unlike many other line-array systems, Nexo Geo-T is flown from within its own footprint. The system for Jack Johnson was down and in the truck inside an hour!


April 6, 11 and 14 2003

Bob Geldoff 2003

Bob Geldoff at the Athenaeum – Packed house…what a sound!

3 hours – three encores. What can you say? The guy has a calm casual persona that tends to endear most everybody he meets. Bob was great. The band was great. And the sound was fantastic. Amazing really when you consider, the little Nexo PS8’s are so small, it almost looked like there was no PA system at all.

Sean Busby-Little was in control of FOH and he did a great job. Sean, as you would expect, has worked throughout the world and used a multitude of systems. He has been using Nexo’s in the UK but said “This has to be one of the best setups I believe I have used” and then with tongue in cheek he went on to say “It must be the air down under or something”.

But seriously, Sean only had extremely nice things to say about the setup. Big credit really to the whole crew. Not so much for any effort of lugging boxes, but simply for the careful and thoughtful placement of the system.

Sean Busby-Little at the FOH desk. At the sound check, he got a bit serious and had it so cranked that we could hear the drum check very clearly from the coffee shop next door (If you know the Athenaeum – it is through two sets of closed doors, the foyer, past the stairs another set of doors and in the rear theatre). And even from the coffee shop it was as clear as a bell.

Prior to the gig. Looking back at the Athenaeum from the bands perspective. Very refreshing to not see stacks of PA speakers everywhere.