HALMSTAD, Sweden – Bringing its unique brand of melodic death metal to its fans across the Atlantic Ocean, Swedish band Arch Enemy is currently touring North America with a HARMAN Soundcraft Vi6 digital console at front of house.
According to Hagen Weigel, Arch Enemy’s FOH engineer, Arch Enemy’s shows are dynamic and full of energy and theatrics. “Arch Enemy is a band that has beautiful melodies arranged around very intricate drumming, which is mixed with heavy shredding guitars and spiced up with brutal growling to form a nice mélange that feels like a kick in the face,” he said.
While “melodic death metal” might seem like an oxymoron, it is in fact a popular sub-genre that is nonetheless quite challenging to mix. “There are heavily distorted guitars that are also wide, open, and melodic which mix with very fast double kick drum playing,” Weigel noted. “Frequency differentiation is key to the mix—getting all of the instruments to sit and work around each other. I need to have clarity and separation and still be able to put [lead singer] Alissa's voice out in front. I'm always looking for the result to be something that is beautiful and brutal at the same time.”
In his search for a digital console for this tour, Weigel placed a priority on reliability. “You can have the best-sounding, most feature-packed desk, but when it crashes in front of 30,000 people at a festival none of that matters,” he said. “What Soundcraft has done with the Vi6 is create an incredibly stable, ergonomic console that still has all of the features that I am looking for.”
Those features, in turn, are multiple. “In order to fulfill my vision of what the Arch Enemy sound should be I need really good dynamics—fast responding gates, compressors that are smooth and predictable in behavior, EQs that are responsive and accepts boosts well, and effects engines that are able to give me reverbs that range from ‘80s plate sounds to modern large reverbs,” Weigel added.
For all these reasons, Weigel chose the Vi6, which he noted has performed flawlessly to this point. “From metal to orchestral and symphonic music, Vi consoles are able to translate the vision you have for your mix in your head to the PA,” he noted. “It is incredibly reliable and consistent and sounds beautiful.”
Lastly, Weigel notes the Vi6’s intuitive user interface is icing on the cake. “The whole concept of having a dedicated touchscreen for every eight channels is great,” he said. “The fader bank, all angled really steep, gives a very nice feel of having a perfect overview and also puts every single parameter in reach, all the time. I don't have to step through menus and sub-menus, it's all right there. In my opinion the Vi interface is probably the fastest interface there is to work on.”
For more information on Arch Enemy, please visit www.archenemy.net
HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures and markets premier audio, visual, infotainment and enterprise automation solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets. With leading brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, Mark Levinson ® and Revel®, the Company is admired by audiophiles, musicians and the entertainment venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of approximately 16,600 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $5.6 billion for the 12 months ended September 30, 2014.