B.B. King, Morrissey and Plan B were just some of the performers whose sets at the recent Glastonbury Festival were heard via Midas digital consoles, which – once again – enjoyed a high profile at this year’s event.
d&b systems were also much in evidence across the 2011 festival, which took place at the end of June.
RG Jones supplied XL4s with XL88 matrix mixer at FOH for the Pyramid stage, where they were used by acts including B.B. King, Wu-Tang Clan and Plan B. Many of the other acts on the Pyramid stage elected to bring their own Midas digital desks with them, including Biffy Clyro, Paolo Nutini, Morrissey and Pendulum, who each brought their own PRO6s.
On the Other Stage, Skan deployed a tried-and-trusted configuration of two XL4s at FOH and two H3000s on stage. One of South West Audio’s PRO6s was used at FOH at The Park Stage as usual, where among the acts to play were Radiohead and the resurgent Pulp.
Indeed, Pulp and engineer Matt Butcher have now exchanged their usual digital desk for a PRO6 for the rest of their summer shows.“We did an A/B test in rehearsals and the PRO6 sounded so much better: bigger and wider and cleaner than the other one,” says Butcher. “The difference in sound was immediately apparent to me, and Jarvis [Cocker, singer] noticed too, so we ended up swapping consoles.”
Marcus Dalmeida and Jerey Denning ran FOH for South West Audio at The Park. “We ran a system of writing patches in the offline editor in real time at FOH, updating as the bands arrived, which enabled us to configure the desk for the incoming guest engineers,” said Dalmeida. “This made their time much more relaxed as the desk was configured to their patch list, and VCA and POP(ulation) Groups were preconfigured for them.
“We had many glowing comments, such as, ‘Wow this system sounds so good’, and ‘it was a real pleasure mixing on such a precise desk’, and the engineers were delighted at how easy it was to use.”
Over on the BBC Introducing stage, a variety of new bands were heard through a PRO9 manned by FOH engineer Aaron Sayers, also from the South West Group. Highlighting the “invaluable” nature of the POPulation Groups and VCAs in allowing quick set-up and implementation, Sayers described the PRO9 as “a joy to work on, and my personal first choice for FOH.”
d&b audiotechnik systems were also used across multiple Glasto stages. On The Other Stage, Skan provided a d&b J-Series J-SUB/J-INFRA system featuring J8 and J12 loudspeakers, with side-fill from cardoid arrayed B2-SUBs and flown Q-Series loudspeakers. M2 served as monitors.
Impressed by the equipment's performance, Skan system tech Matt Vickers remarked that "what you heard at the desk was what you’d hear anywhere else on the field, and with that almost subliminal extra warmth in the low end."
At the East Dance Tent, Manchester-based Audile deployed six d&b J-INFRAs with their J-SUBs, while Mark Hornsby's company Hark supplied a d&b Q-Series to Chai Wallahs - an 800-capacity venue in a custom tensile structure - and a T10 system with B4-SUBs to the smaller but similarly self-contained Chai Cafe.
"They wanted quality sound and that’s exactly what we give them: a flown Q system with Q-SUBs in cardioid array and a Soundcraft Vi desk. It’s a very high spec for a relatively small venue," said Hornsby.