London (April 10, 2006)–Before the start of The Prodigy’s “Their Law’ greatest hits tour, FOH engineer Jon Burton had been talking to Simon Daniels from Neve about compressors. The Prodigy is a loud and dynamic show, often pushing PA systems to their limits. Several system compressors had been tried with varying success and Jon was hoping to find a Neve compressor to do the job. After a bit of sideways thinking it was decided to ship an 8051 surround sound compressor to PA supplier Wigwam to fit in the rack.
The 8051 is not a stereo compressor, rather it has six transformer balanced audio paths and two independent side chains to which these can be assigned. The six channels were then assigned to the different desk outputs, the main left and right mixes as well as the side hangs and in and out fills. This meant that with just the two side chains, all the discrete mixes could be controlled, whilst maintaining phase coherence over the whole system.
“The 8051 did the job superbly, with a fast attack and release it kept a lid on the mix without being obvious,” said Daniels. “The PA stayed away from limit and the sound retained its dynamic nature. It was interesting to use mastering tools in this way, applying them in a way that would not immediately seem obvious.”