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58 l November 2012


www.prosoundnewseurope.com industrytalk


YOU MIXED with a Midas PRO6 for The Stone Roses; have you always been a Midas fan? Yes, absolutely. For me, the PRO6 is the best digital desk around, though I should also say that anyone who claims digital desks sound better than analogue obviously never had good sex with a [Midas] XL4. I, unfortunately, had a huge affair with it, and I just think it’s an amazing, very musical and incredibly easy-to-use console.


How much of that XL4 ‘magic’ has been translated to this machine? Well, the PRO6 is also incredibly musical, and the compression is second to none. I also like its interface: it feels analogue, but it isn’t; and it’s easy to get around. It may not have all the plug-ins that some other consoles have these days, but when mixing live, why do you need them?


What did you want to see go into the PRO6, in particular? For me, the Midas EQ has always been absolutely brilliant, and thankfully they’ve translated it into digital really well. The whole thing with digital is VCA – it’s all voltage control – so there is no real sound going through the desk at all, if you think about it. But on the whole, I am extremely happy with the PRO6, and it’s never let me down yet.


What’s your current FOH setup then, and what kind of outboard do you have in tow? Well, for The Stone Roses, I used 56 channels – and that’s with everything: the band, effects, the ambient mics, multi-tracking, which we do every night onto our Klark Teknik DN9696 recorder. And then I have my favourite bits of outboard, which include some classic tube compressors, a couple of Lexicon units to get those nice rich reverbs for the vocals, and a Yamaha reverb which I use on the drum kit to give it more of an attitude; it might sound cheap, but somehow it knows how to provide that rock ’n’ roll feel!


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The fruit of


Did you feel there was extra pressure on you to deliver, considering The Roses were on such a publicised ‘comeback’? Well, at the very beginning the nerves all round were pretty evident – that’s every


department, not just the band members. It’s one thing touring


something like this where you can get a chance to iron it all out, but just to focus it on three shows over a weekend is another thing... But actually, this brought us together as a team; the crew was superb, and the band trusted us to just get on with it, which is how you want it to be.


HK Audio......................................50 IBC ...............................................26 Innovason.....................................29 ISE................................................54 JBL.................................................7 JTS Professional...........................24 K-array..........................................15 Kling & Frietag..............................53 KV2 Audio...............................47,48 L-Acoustics..................................IFC


“Anyone who claims digital desks sound better than analogue obviously never had good sex with a [Midas] XL4”


Robbie McGrath


L-Acoustics K1 is such a good sounding box, so everything was totally manageable.


You mic up the drum kit fairly extensively, don’t you? I do when working with The Stone Roses, yes. Probably 16 or so channels in total are dedicated to the drums. We have about six channels on the bass and guitar respectively: there’s a DI that comes straight from the bass guitar itself and then a DI that comes off his FX, then several DIs that come out the back of the amps, as well as a number of mics positioned at the front of the cabinets. It’s a lot to play with, and they’re all compressed, delayed, phased, out-of-phased, to give it a kind of image. You have to build a wall of sound; it’s just bass, drums, guitar and vocals, after all, so you need to use a few little tricks to make it sound as big as possible.


his labour


Robbie McGrath is somewhat of a superstar in terms of his FOH acclaim, having mixed for huge acts including The Rolling Stones, AC/DC, Simply Red, Kasabian and The Stone Roses, the last of whom have just completed a sizeable European tour. When riding the faders, McGrath is old school in his approach: he lets the band do the talking, and doesn’t cut any corners; for him, it’s all about the music, writes Paul Watsonx


The weather was horrendous for some of those summer shows – did this affect the sound? The main problem at an open-air show is always going to be the wind, and it was pretty blustery, particularly on the first night. We had a few problems, but the


MC2 Audio....................................39 Midas.........................................OBC MIPRO .........................................30 NAMM..........................................25 Outline Srl .....................................19 Powersoft Srl.................................17 Primacoustic...................................3 Prism..............................................4 QSC Audio ......................................6 Radial Systems Engineering.........IBC


Do you listen to the artists’ records before you do a show to get an idea of how you need to make it sound? Well, with some bands you can, yes, because they might be on sequencers or using samples, or whatever; but for this band, absolutely not, because you have to listen to what they’re doing here and now – they’re not trying to reproduce any album, they’re just trying to get their songs up and be a band.


The Stone Roses tour was an SSE/Canegreen production; how has that worked out for you? Oh, fantastically well. They are very in to the project, if you know what I mean. I would be lost without Pete, the Canegreen systems engineer; he is absolutely amazing. The thing is, once people are really into the show and the band, they can understand why you’re asking for silly things, because they are aware of all the upheavals involved; and that makes a huge difference when you’re out on the road, believe me. n www.l-acoustics.com www.midasconsoles.com


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