This is the signal chain between the microphones and the speakers. Pretty much all of the stuff that has knobs or faders on it. We’ve kept our processing gear simple and analogue as we like the extra warmth and character we get from older equipment.
A mixer is really the heart of any performance audio set-up. Our favourite mixer is the Allen and Heath GS3. This mixer has warm transformer-based mic pre-amps and gorgeous tone controls on each channel.
For smaller gigs, we also use an Australian Monitor line-level mixer with some external pre-amps when space is at a premium.
Whilst equalisers can be used to tailor frequency balances, a compressor tailors the tone and dynamics. Compression can make the music sound more intimate and allow the audience to hear the subtle elements of the performance. The compressors/gates we use most often are:
- Drawmer MX30 – great for vocals and most instruments
- Aphex Easyrider – fantastic on vocals
- dBx 166A – excellent for bass and kick drum
- Audio Logic MT66
- Art MDC 2001 limiter
- dBx 1047 gate
Having 12 channels of compression and gating is vital when mixing a band.
- Devil Pedals Spring Reverb – a fantastic mono reverb for lead vocals
- Alesis Quadraverb – an industry classic that does a great dark stereo reverb
- Peavey AddVerb II – used for it’s delay effects
Equalisation and Speaker Management
- dBx Driverack PA
- DAS Crossover
- dBx 31 band graphic EQ
- Presonus 31 band graphic EQ
Specialised pre-amps help in those situations where one needs features not found on standard mixers. In particular; phase inversion, impedance selection or added tone control. The pre-amps we use are:
- dBx 386 dual value pre – fantastically warm and detailed
- Focusrite TwinTrak Pro – a variable impedance pre able to take a variety of input sources
- dBx 286s channel strip – this has some unique signal processing coupled with a no-nonsense mic pre
- Focusrite Tone Factory – variable high & low pass filters, compression, EQ, gate and overdrive