Gaz Lewis, monitor engineer for UK folk outfit Eliza Carthy and the Wayward Band, has spoken exclusively to PSNE about the “versatility and flexibility” APG’s SMX15 wedges brought to the star’s latest tour.
The band, which is comprised of 12 musicians playing mostly acoustic instruments, took in a diverse array of venues when they last hit the road.
“Having used APG SMX15’s on countless shows for King Sound Reinforcement in Bristol, it was an easy decision for me to take them out on the road with Eliza Carthy and the Wayward Band,” Lewis told PSNE. A a high energy, dynamic band, coupled with a wide range of venue shapes and sizes, meant that I needed a set of monitors that were both flexible and predictable.
“I’m always impressed with the amount of level I can gain without feedback issues on these wedges,” he continued. “That, together with the ability to readily and easily change the angle of the boxes and position them better, allowed me to use less surgical eq, and more creative eq, ultimately meaning I could tailor mixes to the musicians individual tastes, even in demanding environments, and provide an enjoyable and consistent stage sound for the band.”
Lewis was also impressed by the intelligibility of quieter sounds on the mix.
“With some monitors, the loudest thing in the mix can tend to mask the lower level sounds,” he explained. “With these boxes there is much more detail in the quieter sounds, which allowed me to better layer up a mix and control the level on the stage, which also the FOH engineer Joe Garcia happy.”
However, it was the versatility of the wedges that most impressed Lewis during the course of the tour.
“Their low-end response is impressive; it’s a full sounding box with loads of punch. I’ve used them for a heavy metal festival, and they more than stood up to the task, and for Eliza Carthy and the Wayward band, their LF extension meant I didn’t need a drum sub! Equally I’ve uses them on jazz gigs, and they sound sweet and natural, with a great response above 6k.
“Overall I’m really happy with my choice of monitor for the tour, and am yet to hear anything bad said about them by touring engineers who come through the local shows I work at with King Sound Reinforcement. My only slight criticism is of size and weight. It can be a bit of a squeeze in smaller venues, and with twelve wedges, flight-cased in a trailer the weight adds up quickly. That said though, they are easy enough to manoeuvre with the various handles on them, and I’d rather have that low-end extension from the bigger box. I’ll be looking to use them again in the future for sure.”