For the first time in 25 years, Bruce Foxton and Rick Buckler from The Jam have embarked on a UK tour. Joined by Russell Hastings on vocals and guitar and Dave Moore on keyboards and guitars, Bruce Foxton and Rick Buckler: From The Jam performed 25 sold-out dates around the country during May. The mixer selected for the tour was Allen & Heath's iLive digital system, comprising an iLive-112 control surface linked via Cat-5 cable to the iDR10 stagerack, configured for 48 inputs and 32 outputs.
"We decided to keep things simple for this initial tour and use house systems rather than take a P.A. rig on the road. However, I wanted to take a mixer with us to manage FOH and monitor mixes so that the band's sound would be consistently good quality," explains the band's engineer, Ed Higdon (pictured). "I've always been an analog engineer, but iLive has convinced me that digital is the way forward. I got to grips with the system really quickly, and I really like the layout as all the mic preamps, EQ, limiting and compression are in front of you, not hidden in menus. The sound is as rich as the best analog desks; the clarity is stunning!"
Higdon used 24 channel inputs, with DCA groups for the drum kit, backline, vocals and effects, all assigned and color-coded how and where he wanted on the iLive surface. He also used four stereo sub-groups run through iLive's third-octave graphic EQs. Higdon employed two of
iLive's internal effects—reverb and delay—on vocals and drums for certain songs. The band's monitor foldback is set up on the mixer's auxes.
"On a day-to-day basis, working with iLive has been a breeze. I save the settings every night, then do a quick line check before the band arrives and use the previous night's settings as a starting point. The band loves it because it means they aren't doing long soundchecks," says Higdon. "With iLive, audio is running through the stagerack, not the control surface, so if there was a crash the audio would continue to run. Another advantage is that there isn't the latency I've found in other digital desks because iLive's DSPs and preamps are in the stage rack, so any changes I make are instantaneous, which is essential when you're mixing monitors."
Bruce Foxton and Rick Buckler: From The Jam' will be touring the UK at the end of the year with a full production rig.