Photos: Dave Vann
Currently touring throughout Europe, UK darling Amy Winehouse flaunted her brazen attitude with which critics and fans alike continue to have a love/hate relationship. Fortunately for front-of-house engineer Dave Swallow, Winehouse maintains a professional demeanor when it comes to her sound onstage. Mix caught up with Swallow and the songwriter when the artist performed at Lollapalooza 2007 in Chicago. For a photo gallery from the festival, visit mixonline.com/photos/lollapalooza07.
How much gear are you carrying?
For Lollapalooza, we are only carrying mics due to the very short time we were going to be at the festival and our early afternoon slot. In Europe, we would normally carry a FOH rack containing a Crane Song Hedd 192, an Avalon 737, a BSS DPR-901, a TC Electronic M2000 and a pair of Sennheiser ew300 IEM transmitters. We carry Amy's wedges and amp rack to drive them and all our microphones. Depending on our slot on the festival, we might carry our own boards, as well. When we are touring, we will nearly always carry boards.
Any piece of gear you can't live without?
My Beyerdynamic DT770 headphones — these aren't the flattest-sounding headphones, but I find them to be very true sounding. I can line check on these when we can't put audio through the P.A. and it comes out pretty close to where I want it. Also, my Avalon is a godsend for Amy's vocal, especially when using a digital board. I find that due to Amy's unique vocal sound and the range that she sings in, digital preamps make her vocal sound very sharp and mechanical.
Where can we find you when you're not on the road?
I'm always on the road at the moment, but when the time comes for us to have a break, I'll get home and spend most of my time doing everyday stuff that everyone else does all the time — not very glamourous.