United Kingdom (November 12, 2004)–On tour throughout the UK at the moment, singer Katie Melua is touring with a system provided by Concert Sound. The audio rig is based around an EAW system with Lab.Gruppen amplification all round. Meanwhile, up on stage, Russell Sladek has the responsibility for Melua and the band’s stage sound.
“On this tour, we have been working with new JBL floor monitors,” said Sladek. “The speaker processing that came with the system sounded OK on Katie’s monitors, but we tried out an XTA on them and the sound just opened up. It was a night-and-day comparison. We though it was worth trying and it proved correct. I have used XTAs before and love them. I have done a lot of work with their GQ600 graphic EQ at home in Finland and these are the best.”
The other element Russell wanted was some dynamic compression to work the low-mids on the wedges themselves. “The DiGiCo D5 has so much processing power, but I have much of that set-up in Graphic EQ mode instead of Dynamics. What I needed was some extra control and when Matt [Manasse, FOH engineer] showed me the SiDD, I had to get it off him. I run the Dynamic EQ section and pick out just over 300Hz when it needs a little attention.”
Manasse had originally requested the XTA SiDD for an upright bass which had two mic channels: “In the end, we decided to go to just one mic because Russell just didn’t want to let the SiDD go,” commented Manasse.
Assisting Russell and Matt is Tim Peeling, no stranger to SiDD himself. “I tried one out when the unit first became available. It was just so good I bought it myself. Whenever I am asked to engineer, I always take my own mini rack, as it just falls below the airline baggage allowance level. My SiDD goes everywhere with me, as I never know what problems I have until I get there.”