On the Everly Brothers’ current UK tour, front-of-house engineer Dave Wooster is relying on gear supplied by Capital Sound, which includes a substantial amount of XTA equipment, with the new DP428 audio management system playing a major role.
“This is the first time I’ve used the DP428 in front of everything as the system driver,” says Wooster. “We’ve got eight DP226s behind it, but the DP428 is driving the entire rig. We’re using it to EQ the Martin Audio W8Ls on the main hangs, W8LCs on the side hangs and W8Cs for the choir fills, and it’s also acting as a matrix. I don’t have any standard graphic EQs in the racks anymore.”
Wooster has the first four outputs as two stereo pairs; the remaining four outputs can be switched between mono or stereo, depending on how things are running on a particular day. “And I don’t have to alter anything on the mixing console [a Midas XL4],” he continues, “so we can have mono fills everywhere or we can have a smaller stereo ground stack. It’s really flexible. After using the DP428 on the League of Gentlemen theater tour, I knew it was going to be very handy, but I didn’t realize it could be quite this effective for equalization, switching and moving things around in the system as a line driver.”
Wooster is using XTA’s AudioCore 8 software with his XTA Walkabout Kit, which he found particularly helpful in the Royal Albert Hall. “It means I can go between floors without any issues,” he explains. “I can sit in a seat and say, ‘Okay, here we need to fix that; a bit louder here; a bit less here.’ Running three different columns of speakers isn’t my ideal situation, but the wireless system means I can get around the place easily.
“We flew the right-hand-side of the system first and I EQ’d that while the lads were flying the other half of the system,” he continues. “This doesn’t save a huge amount of time, but you can get quite a good feel for the venue by doing one half and then just mirroring it across to the other. Again, the tablet has proved invaluable, especially in a venue of the size and complexity of the Albert Hall, with the floor arrangements the way they are. You do need to be able to move around quite quickly.”
The engineer has his XTA SiDD inserted across the stereo bus on the console for final EQ during the show. “It’s very musical and controls things very nicely,” he says. “The band is very consistent. There are no real highs or silly lows, and the guys are singing very well. The SiDD just gives a bit of a mastering. It’s not excessive, it’s just a final piece of compression and EQ.”
Additionally, XTA C2 compressors are used on the bass drum, the toms group, the keyboard group and the guitar group, as well as on Don Everly’s acoustic guitar. “And it’s just perfect,” says Wooster. “The C2 is acoustically transparent and does exactly what it says it’s doing. I seem to have more XTA C2s in my rack than any other sort of compression. Not only are there two compressors in 1U, but they’re two in 1U that really work!”
For more information on the XTA gear, visit www.xta.co.uk.