United Kingdom (December 7, 2005)–After all these years, Don and Phil Everly are still on the road, bringing their sweet harmonies and jaunty pop across the UK, and every single show is sold out. Front of House engineer Dave Wooster is keenly aware that when people are paying £80 a ticket, it’s very important to make sure the sound is absolutely right. “And the toys in my racks help me do that,” he said. Sound equipment for the tour, supplied by Capital Sound, includes a substantial compliment of XTA equipment, with the new DP428 audio management system playing a major role.
“This is the first time I’ve used the DP428 in front of everything as the system driver,” said Wooster. “We’ve got eight DP226s behind it, but the DP428 is driving the entire rig. We’re using it to EQ the Martin Audio W8Ls on the main hangs, W8LCs on the side hangs and W8Cs for the choir fills and it’s also acting as a matrix. I don’t have any standard graphic EQs in the racks anymore.”
Wooster has the first four outputs as two stereo pairs; the remaining four outputs can be switched between mono or stereo, depending on how things are running on a particular day. “And I don’t have to alter anything on the mixing console [a Midas XL-4], so we can have mono fills everywhere, or we can have a smaller stereo ground stack.”
Wooster is using XTA’s AudioCore 8 software with his XTA Walkabout Kit, which he found particularly helpful in the notoriously tricky Royal Albert Hall. “It means I can go between floors without any issues,” he explained. “I can sit in a seat and say ‘OK: here we need to fix that; a bit louder here; a bit less here.’ Running three different columns of speakers isn’t my ideal situation, but the wireless system means I can get around the place easily.
“We flew the right hand side of the system first and I EQ’d that while the lads were flying the other half of the system. This doesn’t save a huge amount of time, but you can get quite a good feel for the venue by doing one half and then just mirroring it across to the other. Again the tablet has proved invaluable, especially in a venue of the size and complexity of the Albert Hall, with the floor arrangements the way they are. You do need to be able to move around quite quickly.”
Wooster has his XTA SiDD inserted across the stereo buss on the console for final EQ during the show. “It’s very musical and controls things very nicely,” he said. “The band is very consistent. There are no real highs or silly lows and the guys are singing very well. It’s not excessive, it’s just a final piece of compression and EQ, which SiDD does very well.”
Additionally, XTA C2s are used on the bass drum, the toms group, the keyboard group and the guitar group, as well as on Don’s acoustic guitar. “And it’s just perfect,” said Wooster. “The C2 is acoustically transparent and does exactly what it says it’s doing. I seem to have more XTA C2s in my rack than any other sort of compression. Not only are there two compressors in 1U, but they’re two in 1U that really work!”