New York, NY (July 21, 2017)—Synth-pop progenitors Depeche Mode return to the U.S. in August on the latest leg of the band’s Global Spirit Tour. Once again, the group’s audio provider for nearly three decades, UK-based Britannia Row, is tackling sound, and for front of house engineer Antony King, that means providing two Solid State Logic L500 Plus digital live consoles (for more on the monitorworld, see the August issue of Pro Sound News, as monitor engineer Sarne Thorogood discusses the band’s changing IEM use over the years).
Original members Martin Gore, Dave Gahan, and Andy Fletcher are all in the show, along with touring members Christian Eigner (drums) and Peter Gordeno (Keyboards, bass, backing vocals). As a result, the whole show uses nearly 100 inputs, with the biggest contribution to that being Eigner's drum kit, with roughly 30 channels. "There are a lot of drums," notes King. "Lots of toms, two kick drums, two snares, two hats, and cymbals everywhere."
For most shows, there are two SSL L500 consoles at front of house connected together via Expander mode, which lets King move around a greater range of faders, while allowing his assistant to jump onto the second surface as needed to manage broadcast feeds and the like. The consoles are fed by SSL ML 32.32 Stageboxes via a redundant optical connection using SSL's Blacklight concentrated MADI technology. The Monitor console uses the analog mic amp splits from the SSL Stageboxes.
King’s mix is relatively simple, using input channels and VCAs, and taking advantage of the extra real estate afforded by using two L500s. He also uses the special SSL Stem Groups, both as aux busses with their own independent processing paths that do require return channels, and as sub-mixed sets of around 16 stems for video and broadcast feeds. "Of course, it also sounds great" King says, “which was the whole point of choosing SSL in the first place."
Solid State Logic