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Live Sound

Brown Note, d&b Avert Disaster for Gorillaz

Pre-tour gamble paid off for Gorillaz’s live audio team

London, UK (February 8, 2018)—The kickoff for Gorillaz’s world tour last year had all the ingredients a potential audio disaster: One of the production’s two audio vendors had its brand-new PA shipped direct from the factory to the tour, where it was then used by an audio team that had never heard the system before.

Luckily, that gamble by Denver, CO’s Brown Note Productions paid off—its new d&b audiotechnik GSL system fit the Gorillaz tour perfectly and the audio team was thrilled with the PA. “It is quite a major step forward,” said the band’s longtime FOH engineer Matt Butcher; “It’s been a revelation,” added monitor man Dave Guerin.

Since that first show date at The Printworks in the spring of 2017, the Gorillaz tour in support of the band’s latest album, Humanz, circled the US and Europe, and more dates around the globe are lined up for this year.

d&b audiotechnik Debuts Soundscape

Ben Shapiro, Brown Note’s client manager for the tour and head of their audio department, and company owners Ryan and Sara Knutson attended an early demo in Germany of the GSL system before the tour started. As Shapiro recalled, “what we heard was a phenomenal leap forward in technology and accuracy.” Placing a purchase order immediately, Brown Note then partnered with Entec, the British audio vendor providing all desks, control and IEMs for the venture on the European Leg of the 2017 tour, and had d&b ship the new GSL system from the factory in Germany direct to the tour.”

For Matt Butcher, getting to know the new system was interesting: “I’d not heard it, but I’d heard from people who were at Glastonbury where d&b beta tested it. But the bottom line is when d&b say they have a new system and that its cardioid way down, then of course I’m interested. We had one day to listen to it before the first show. We did our normal playback sound check off the desk and immediately it sounded very clean, very clear and very near.

Gorillaz In The Midst Of A Concert

“Immediately I notice an added punch out front, the snare sound emerging from the kit is just wonderful. Everything sounds much more direct. Myself and Perttu Korteniemi, my excellent system tech, have Y10Ps out front as desk monitors and on several occasions, we’ve gone to turn them off only to discover they were already off, and what we’re hearing is the main system.”

Guerin on monitors observed, “I can now actually hear things in my local wedge that was just not possible before. Things like the low end of an acoustic guitar or the keyboards; those sounds would formerly have been masked by the sound coming off the back of any system. It’s so profound that there have been gigs where I’ve called up Matt out front on talkback and asked if he’s OK because from where I’m sitting it sounds like the PA is turned off.”

With the European leg of the tour now compete, Brown Note’s GSL system has been shipped to the U.S.

d&b audiotechnik •