Capital Sound has supplied a d&b J-Series system for the UK and European leg of Kylie Minogue’s Golden Tour.
For the UK and European legs of her Golden Tour, long-time FOH engineer Kevin Pruce specified a d&b audiotechnik J-series PA system, supplied, along with the rest of the audio infrastructure, by Capital Sound.
“I like the J-Series with ArrayProcessing,” stated Pruce. “It has improved a good system by making the coverage of the arena more even. I’m using Meyer Sound Galaxys to EQ and time align the system, with Smaart and a wireless tablet to be mobile around the arena. The two Galaxys feed the d&b D80 amps with AES and analogue inputs via an Optocore fibre from FOH.”
Capital Sound’s Head of Operations and Sales, Paul Timmins commented “Kevin Pruce’s wish to take out a sizeable d&b J rig and our policy of providing customers with the equipment of choice, led to us calling on the resource of the SSE Audio Group we are now part of. Our continued global support of Sam Smith with d&b resulted in us asking Wigwam to supply the array processed d&b package on this occasion. This also enabled us to maintain our day-to-day customer supply of smaller d&b jobs”
Pruce was spotted during setup moving around the audience area with the tablet in his hand. “I use four analyser mics placed around the venue for data collection and then walk the venue for a listening test with music of playback from virtual soundcheck, using the tablet to adjust the levels and EQ of the various system zones.”
He had a DiGiCo SD7 console at FOH: “I really like the DiGiCo consoles, and my favourite is the SD7. It just feels right ergonomically to mix on and has good metering – it sounds good too! I use Waves plugins, via Extreme servers, for effects. Every engineer has a favourite console, for various reasons. Take Gavin Tempany (monitor engineer), he is using the SSL, which is undeniably a great sounding and powerful console. It is all subjective and a personal choice.”
Indeed, Monitor Engineer Gavin Tempany is working on a Solid State Logic L500 Plus. “I love it,” he exclaimed. “For me it’s like a sports car – it’s unreal. The sound of it is just mega – it’s really good. Like audio steroids – but not cheating, if you know what I mean?”
Tempany was looking after Kylie plus two backing singers and five musicians. While he described the 50 or so instrument and vocal inputs as “not too much, compared to my usual madness,” the aesthetics and design of the show have created a few side challenges. First, the monitor console position is under the stage, so video feeds are used for sight to stage. The backline is also under the stage, out of sight, as were the guitar and bass pedal boards.
This meant good communication is even more critical than usual: “There are a lot of talkback mics,” said Tempany. “All the musicians and techs have shout mics and there are a few techs with switches that route their talk either to the band and crew or just the crew.
“The production comms are also fed to my cue bus so we can follow what is happening at the top of the show. This all means that the cue mix is quite busy with not only the solo bus in play, but a lot of information being passed around on top of it.”
“We’re using all Sennheiser radio with 16 Sennheiser 2000 Series transmitters and 8 5200-II Series handhelds. Then some Sennheiser 6000 Series radio for the instruments – for the guitars and bass and stuff.”
Kylie used 4 Sennheiser SKM5300-II capsules in custom colours to match her costume choices, working over a Sennheiser EM3732-II system. Tempany uses the SSL’s Stem Group path type to group all four microphones as a single input to the monitor mixes. “It becomes one fader and one channel where I can adjust levels, EQ, and dynamics for all four mics during a show,” he explained. “If one player wants to vocal up a bit, I simply do a group automation change in relative mode on that stem in their mix. It then scales for all mics through the show.”
Paul Timmins, summed up: “To work, once again, with Kylie and her team has been a pleasure – 18 years providing her tours and for her to be back in Europe’s largest venues and sold out shows is a testament to a great performer.”
Adapted from an article originally published in TPI Magazine
Photo credits: TPI magazine and Andrew Whitton