On the road with a new album due in August, Tool continues to fine tune its sound.

Los Angeles, CA (June 28, 2019)—It’s been nearly 4,800 days since Tool released 10,000 Days, its most-recent album, back in 2006, but that hasn’t stopped the art rockers from touring in the intervening years. With a new album on the horizon—penciled in to debut August 30, 2019—the group has been crossing the globe this spring to rev up the fanbase, with longtime FOH engineer Alan “Nobby” Hopkinson and an audio system from Eighth Day Sound (Highland Heights, OH) in tow.

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As the group still plays arenas, the house system is a mixture of cutting-edge technology and the tried-and-true, with a brand-new d&b audiotechnik GSL array system conveying Nobby’s mix, handled on a trusted herald of the analog mixing age, a Midas XL-4 console. Capturing all the doom onstage is a slew of Heil Sound microphones.

As it turns out, Nobby has used Heil Sound mics for years. On the current run, he is using PR31s and a PR40 on the guitar cabinets, a PR40 and PR30 on the two bass cabinets, PR30s on Leslies (L&R), PR48s and PR40s on kick and floor toms and a PR30 for guitarist Adam Jones’ Heil Talk Box.

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“We were first introduced to the Heil range of mics during the recording of the previous album,” said Nobby, “and to keep things as near to form, we took them on the road with us. They have a very natural sound, which really is the bottom line. There’s very little coloration which keeps the sound raw—perfect Tool.”

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Much as it has in years past, Tool continues to draw little attention to itself while performing live, letting the music and accompanying visuals do the talking while the group performs in both the metaphorical and actual shadows. As Nobby put it, “The visual element is always at the heart of this show with audio being the silk stitching to complete the purse. We try to position audio to facilitate what the video and lighting departments are trying to create; all three departments have worked together for the years that I’ve been here—some for longer—so we have a pretty good understanding of each other.”

Heil Sound • www.heilsound.com