Eddi Reader's monitor engineer,
Shona Steadman, with the Midas Pro6
United Kingdom (October 31, 2008)--Eddi Reader is unknown in the U.S. outside of those 1980s college radio buffs who recall her old band, Fairground Attraction (its "Perfect" just might tie with The La's "There She Goes" as the most faultless pop song ever). Back home in the UK, however, the songstress sells out dates throughout the land, and is currently on the road with Midas XL8 and Pro6 digital systems provided by Scottish rental company EFX.
EFX has been using its two XL8 Live Performance Systems for front of house and monitors on Reader's UK tour and deploying the Pro6 Live Audio System on monitors in smaller venues.
FOH engineer Joe Thomas and monitor engineer Shona Steadman started the tour with an XL8 each, working seamlessly through dates across Scotland and the north of England before arriving at London's Shepherds Bush Empire, where the Pro6 took over on monitors.
No stranger to the XL8, Steadman has used it on a Deacon Blue tour and festivals and concerts throughout the summer, becoming very familiar with the system. Moving onto the Pro6, she simply transferred all her show settings across from XL8. "They all came up perfectly the first time, which was very reassuring!" she says. "I'm keeping my mixes exactly the same, and all the controls are in the same place as they are on the XL8, so it's really easy to move from one to the other. The Pro6 has a nice small footprint on the stage, so even though the house console was in place when we got here, we've just pushed it back a little and there's still plenty of space to work."
Reader is touring with a seven-piece, mainly acoustic band using monitor wedges, and Steadman says they've really noticed the difference in the sound on the stage. "They've all commented on the great sound they're getting, and they're really enjoying themselves onstage," she says.
This was Thomas' first time using an XL8 extensively. "I'm having great fun and I can't speak highly enough of it," he says. Thomas saved scenes for each show as the tour progressed.
"I don't have a scene per song as the nature of this show is that there's no set list - I have to watch the stage like a hawk to figure out what they're going to do next," he says. "So I'm mixing off one scene as I go, and pretty much using it just like an analogue desk. I love the fact you can get access to all the things you need very quickly and easily; and the POP (population) groups really help in that respect. The most important thing is it sounds absolutely fantastic--what a digital desk can do often comes second to how it sounds, but this has really got the classic Midas EQ that everyone loves."
EFX recorded some shows from the front of house XL8 onto the Klark Teknik DN9696 hard disk recorder. "It was the easiest thing to plug it into the XL8, forget about it and end up with high quality multitrack recordings," says Thomas.