British singer-songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Ellie Goulding is on a worldwide tour to support her 2012 sophomore release, Halcyon. Mix caught up with her at the Fox Theater in Oakland, Calif., in early February.
“I’ve been using the Avid/Digi Profile for a few years now,” says FOH mixer Oz Bagnall. “With the help of Scott Penderson at Waves, I have put together a package of plug-ins. The toms all have Trans X (transient designers). Kick has an SSL channel, H-comp, Renaissance Bass and Phoenix Luster. Snares, SSL channel, H-comp. Overheads, C4 multiband comps. Kick and snares are all time- and phase-aligned with In-phase. SSL Comp over the group. The only non-Waves plug-in on the drums is the TC Electronic VSS3 reverb. For acoustic guitars I use C6 or C4, Renaissance EQ6 with a McDSP M4000 over the acoustic group, TC VSS3 reverb. On electric guitar, SSL channel, Bass H-comp, Renaissance Bass, In-phase. On keys, McDSP M4000 over the group. C6 on the piano and Renaissance Bass on the Bass Synth. Ableton Live, McDSP M4000 over the group and SSL comp on the melody tracks. For vocal I use Renaissance EQ6, C6, Renaissance Deesser. And McDSP M4000 on the group.
Front-of-house mixer Oz Bagnall at the Avid VENUE Profile console
Photo: Steve Jennings
“I have a MacBook Pro running MainStage, which has some additional vocal effects,” he continues, “all triggered from snapshots in the console via MIDI. The same Mac is running Smaart 6, which receives a source from Ellie’s vocal using the software in spectrograph mode so I can quickly identify any areas I need to change. Chris Chierello, our P.A. tech for this tour, also has a few PCs, one running Smaart and the other running the Lake controller software that is balancing and EQ’ing the system.”
Monitor engineer James Neale
Photo: Steve Jennings
“I’ve also been using the Avid/Digi Profile for a number of years now,” says monitor engineer James Neale. “I love the plug-in facility. It’s the closest you’re able to get to working in studio without carrying racks and racks of analog units, and I’m using a lot of plug-ins. McDSP is making a lot of really good products. I’m using their G channel on more and more inputs. They have emulations of SSL, API and Neve channel EQs that are really good. I’m also using their ML limiters. This really helps on Ellie’s vocal, which is really dynamic. Other plug-ins used are Waves C6, H comp and delay, SPL Transient Designer and Twin Tube, and the TC VSS reverb, which is stunning. No other outboard gear.
“We’re using the Sennheiser Series 2000 IEMs and a system 2000 handheld with e945 capsule,” he continues. “Their products are rock-solid and easy to use. We used a variety of different capsules in rehearsals, and the 945 just really suits Ellie’s voice. “
Backline tech Steven “Rusty” Russell
“Ellie, as well as singing and playing guitar, also plays a Korg padKontrol MIDI studio controller, a Roland SPD-SX sampling pad, and floor tom,” [pictured] says backline tech Steven “Rusty” Russell. “On stage left we have Maxwell Cooke on a Moog Voyager, Yamaha CP1 and Case acoustic guitar; at stage center we have Simon Francis on bass, using an Ashdown Engineering amp [pictured]. He also plays a Moog Voyager and floor tom [pictured]. And then on stage right is Chris Ketley on a Yamaha Motif XF7 and XF8, Korg padKontrol, and acoustic and electric guitars [pictured]. The DI rack has two Avalon DI’s for the bass and Chris’s acoustic; Ellie and Mazwell’s acoustics are on the Sennheiser radio systems with the Radial DI’s as backup.”
“In the Ellie Goulding live show every member of the band plays either keyboards or sample pads or both, so there is a lot of MIDI coming from the stage at any one time,” says Will Sanderson, backline tech/MIDI, not pictured. “I have two systems offstage receiving this MIDI via the MIDI Solutions M8—one running Mainstage, which handles the keyboards, and one running Ableton Live to handle the drum triggers, sample pads and track. While this rig lives offstage, during the show it is operated entirely by the band onstage via their instruments so they retain complete control of the show.”