It was first in the studio where Marilyn Manson’s FOH engineerTom Abraham used Waves’ L2 as a plug-in for Digidesign Pro Tools.Abraham was able to shape and compress the signal without detractingfrom the sound that he specified the L2 for Manson’s in-earmonitoring system on his current tour. In addition, Abraham reportedthat he is integrating the L2 into the monitoring and FOH systems forGarbage, for whom he also mixes FOH, when they embark on their tour inJanuary.
“The L2 makes a world of difference,” said Abraham.“The current state of in-ear monitoring is that they don’thandle ‘peaky’ program material very well, and‘peaky’ is what rock is all about. Normally, you have toset the input of the monitors low in order to create headroom to handlethose peaks without distorting. Once I discovered the Waves L2, I founda way to tame those peaks seamlessly. It prevents the input to thetransmitter from clipping, so you can maintain all of the dynamics of aperformance—the peaks, if you will—but lose the extraneouspeaks that aren’t musical. The performance in the in-ear monitoris very consistent, which makes it much more comfortable for theperformers onstage; they’re not constantly trying to adjust themonitor sound.”
Abraham has also applied the L2’s processing power to the mainP.A. system, using the L2’s compression to limit the transientpeaks with a “brickwall” of pump. “The L2 gets rid ofthe peaks and that lets the system cruise without affecting the tone ofthe mix,” he explained. “The difference between usingconventional compression and the L2 is that regular compression appliedacross the bandwidth can make the mix sound small. The L2 lets you keepall of the bandwidth and generate a lot more headroom on the system.That translates into a big sound, but without the rough edges thatclipping causes.”
In addition, Abraham noted that the L2’s digital operationmakes for an easy and reliable interface with the DiGiCo digitalconsole used on the road. “The L2 has AES I/O, so it converseswith the console directly without having to do any extraneousconversions,” he said. “The sound stays digital until theoutput of the transmitters. That’s why the L2 is part of theband’s sound now, and part of every live sound system I’llbe working with from now on.”