Depeche Mode took to the road last summer, playing sold-out sheds and arenas around the world in support of Exciter, their 13th full-length release. Mix caught up with the tour in Northern California, where shows in Sacramento, Concord and Mountain View were all sell-outs.
The set list favored material from the band’s most recent studio efforts, plus a few notable classics, including the title track from the ’86 release Black Celebration, “I Feel You,” and, of course, “Enjoy the Silence.”
During tour pre-production at Santa Barbara Sound Design in Southern California, the band decided on how many components of the original studio recording were needed for playback tracks and created an elaborate synth and sample library. During soundcheck at the Shoreline Amphitheater, band and crew were working up a truncated version of the current single, “I Feel Loved,” for an appearance on The Tonight Show. Engineer Andrew Phillpott managed playback and editing of pre-recorded tracks from a pair of iZ RADAR 24s (a main and spare rig aptly named “Master” and “Servant”) and a rackmounted Pro Tools system. Once an edit was approved, Phillpott burned a CD-R for each bandmember and saved the mix that was eventually flown into the RADAR rig.