Case Study: Adlib Audio and the Motion J3500 Tablet PC

Feb 09, 2014 • HardwareAdlib Audiomotion computingCase Studiescase studyhardware


Established in 1984, Adlib Audio  is one of the most well-known and well respected names in the live performance industry.  Across rental and installation divisions, the portfolio of Adlib clients includes Radiohead , David Guetta, Skrillex , Toby Keith, Ellie Goulding, The Script, Glastonbury, V-Festival, Professor Green, Swedish House Mafia, Bring Me The Horizon, The Overtones , John Barrowman and The Specials.

Due to the stature of these events and touring artistes it is imperative that Adlib Audio capitalises on the latest technology to ensure reliability, quality of service and performance.


As acknowledged leaders in performance and production, Adlib Audio demands a comprehensive system to manage and control multi-million pound PA systems in a variety of conditions; indoors from an intimate stage to a complete theatre or large scale venue and outdoors, in all weathers from a beach in Ibiza, to a rain-soaked British festival.

To this end, Adlib Audio has designed a bespoke Windows 7 disk image which simplifies management of multiple computers and enables all machines to be easily upgraded to the same standard or reset to Adlib’s factory settings complete with the full suite of live software.

From a hardware perspective, this demands not only extensive ruggedisation but an ease of use and Windows integration in which Adlib Audio can have full confidence.  As a result, Adlib Audio turned to RUGGED MOBILE Systems who recommended the Motion Computing J3500 Tablet PC.  As the primary control interface for the system, the J3500 is now at the heart of many Adlib-produced performances.


With such high demands on performance, Adlib Audio developed a very clear, specific protocol for the implementation of the technology.  Tim Robinson, IT Administrator, Adlib Audio explains: “When the tablets first arrived, we quarantined them all until one had been fully configured as a template machine and approved by all concerned.”

“This ‘image’ was then rolled out across the others so that they all matched perfectly. This whole process took about three days, but that included learning how to do it in the first place. By the time I did the sixth one, I had the time from unboxing to ready-to-use down to 14 minutes.”

Many features of the J3500 were attractive to Adlib Audio.  Tour Sound Specialist, Tony Szabo said: “For us, the tablet had to run Windows because our software depends on it.  We then looked at features such as the pen-based input for making fine adjustments; the option to defeat any finger-based input to avoid any accidental or malicious adjustment to the system; the 5GHz Wi-Fi to avoid interference with the majority of consumer devices and the RJ45 port in case Wi-Fi proves to be unreliable - in a live situation we prize reliability beyond all else.”

In addition the industry-leading ruggedisation and sealed design of the J3500, alongside the extra protection and portability afforded by the Motion Bump Case, means Adlib Audio can take the tablets out on the road, into the field or on the beach with full confidence that they will perform.


Compared to the older tablets and legacy hardware that began to suffer hardware failures and were no longer available, the J3500 has given Adlib a contemporary hardware platform that combines quality and reliability. Dave Kay, Technical Director, concludes:

“So far, the J3500 has not missed a beat.  Financially we make a saving by not having to repair them, but, in truth, the real ROI is within the operational realm.”

“When you have chart-topping acts on stage, relying on your people and a technology to perform in front of thousands, there is real value in the confidence that the J3500 delivers.”

“Looking forward, we are only barely scratching the surface of what the tablets can do. We expect within the next twelve months or so, for another of our larger systems to introduce a new processing and control system, at which time this too will be controlled from the Motion J3500.”

Ian Davies, UK country manager, Motion Computing adds:

“Behind the incredible performances of top artists is a small army of engineers and they demand the best kit that will not let them down despite challenging environments and dynamic requirements.  This requires an uncompromising attitude towards performance, reliability and usability and that is exactly what we seek to deliver with the J3500.”

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