London (April 27, 2006)–The Strokes recently wrapped up a run around the UK, teaming up with its long-time British sound engineer, James Gebhard, for a theater/arena tour.
The Strokes recently wrapped up a UK tour using Martin Audio line arrays each night.Aiming to get the band sounding “Raw, loud and in your face,” Gebhard, teaming with Capital Sound’s systems tech Al Woods, went with a Martin Audio line array, depending on the venue size and configuration. “The W8L/LC is my preferred system of choice,” said Gebhard. “Martin is always the first name on my spec–which is why I use Capital, apart from the great working relationship I have with them.”
With the Strokes since the beginning five years ago, Gebhard still masterminds their live sound with a largely transparent approach, keeping processing to a minimum. “I use a bit of reverb and delay–largely because the new album has it–and I use the Avalon preamps on Julian’s (Casablancas) vocals for distortion on the older songs, but that’s it.”
Throughout the tour, production used both the W8L and W8LC as the main hangs, adding outfills and sidehangs and, wherever necessary, Martin’s dedicated W8LD downfill box. At Hammersmith they introduced the W8LM mini line array for infills. “Other line array systems may sparkle but sometimes are just too ‘polite’,” said Woods. “The Martin system has always had a really raw energy to it, especially at the low end. On the W8L, especially, the low end is stunning–pure rock ‘n’ roll; but having said that I have mixed orchestras with it and achieved great results.”
On stage, monitor engineer Jamie Landy provided eight monitor mixes via 12 Martin LE700Cs, while a W8C/S218 sidefill stack keeps the sound focused on stage. “Nicolai (Fraiture) has a lot of kick to his bass,” says James, “and so the S218s were recommended–and he’s not kicked his wedges off the stage yet.” Another stage mix is sent to the W2/W2SA drum fill combo for drummer Fab Moretti.