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Live Sound

Miking Guitars on Lana Del Rey’s LA to the Moon Tour

FOH engineer Kevin Madigan (David Gilmour, CSN&Y) talks capturing live guitars

Burbank, CA (April 18, 2018)—Lana Del Rey has been all over the place on her current concert jaunt, duly dubbed the LA to the Moon tour, and keeping pace with her every step of the way has been FOH engineer Kevin Madigan, overseeing an extensive audio system from Sound Image (Escondido, CA).

Both Madigan and monitor engineer John Lammi are looking after DiGiCo mixing consoles, with the house mix handled on an SD5, while monitorworld is centered around an SD10. Having mixed FOH for the likes of Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young and David Gilmour over the years, Madigan knows a bit about miking guitars, and for Del Rey, he’s opted to use a Royer R-121 and adjacent dynamic mic to close-mic a Marshall 4 X 12 cabinet powered by a Metropoulos head. On a Vox AC30, he’s using a single R-10 centered on one speaker’s dome. The guitar cabinets are positioned under the stage to keep the onstage level down.

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“For the LA to the Moon tour, I’m using one R-10 and one R-121 specifically for miking the electric guitar cabs,” he explained. “The R-121 is a long-term favorite and the R-10 is new for me. Currently, the R-10 is on its first outing for this tour. I was excited to try it out after hearing about it from Royer and it’s working out perfectly. It has a slightly brighter tone, which has been just right for use on a Vox AC30 guitar amp.”

The mics have reproduced the sound he’s looking for out of the L-Acoustics house PA, which is based around K1 and K2 hangs, bolstered by K1-SB and SB28 subs: “When I put Royers on my guitar cabinets, what I get in the FOH system sounds like I’m standing in front of the amps; the reproduction is amazing.”

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For monitors, the band been wearing JH Audio Roxanne and Sensaphonics ear pieces, and those, too, have been affected by the Royer mics. “We’re trying to capture an authentic sound for our guitarist, who is using in-ear monitors,” said Madigan. “In-ears can be hard sounding, but when I put Royers on the cabinets, the in-ears sound and feel much more organic, less pointy and hard, which musicians really appreciate. We’re also running these offstage amps quite loud, but with the R-10 and R-121, the high SPLs have proven to be no problem for either mic.”

Royer Labs •