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Skan PA Hire supplies audio for The Chemical Brothers’ UK tour

British electronic music duo The Chemical Brothers recently visited UK arenas in support of their new album “For That Beautiful Feeling”. Production Manager Toby Dennis and Tour Manager James Baseley chose Skan PA Hire as the tour’s vendor.


Audio engineers Shan Hira (FOH) and Ian Barton (Monitors) are both using Midas XL4 analogue mixing desks. For Hira, it’s a console he’s grown to know intuitively over the twenty-four years he’s been bringing the Chems’ sounds to live audiences. “It’s an absolute pleasure to mix FOH for The Chemical Brothers”, he says. “They have written so many great songs and their live interpretation of these songs turns the show into an amazing audio-visual experience, which is always a privilege to be involved in.”


“My objective with their shows is to present their songs in the best possible light”, he continues. “The mix from the stage is different for every show, so the same thing does not necessarily happen at the same time each night. I track what the band is doing and use the options in my FX racks to enhance what I am getting from the stage. After all these years, there is a lot of trust within that, so they leave me to do what I think is the right thing.”


Hira specified a selection of gear across three racks. Housing both classic and retro units, the dynamic rack includes XTA C2 Compressors, XTA D2 Compressors, XTAS Graphic EQ and a Waves Maxx BCL Mastering Limiter/Compressor. “For the two effects racks, there are some units from Skan, the band owns some, and I’ve brought some of my own too”, he explains. “I have an Eventide H7600 Ultra Harmonizer Effects System, Deltalab Timeline 2048, Lexicon PCM 70 Digital Effects Processor, vintage Korg SDE 3000 Digital Delay, Electrospace Spanner surround panner, Line 6 Filter, Lexicon 480 for digital reverb, Roland SRE 555 Chorus Echo, MXR Digital Delay System 2, MXR Pitch Transposer, MXR Flanger, Bel Flanger, Boss Re 20 and a Boss Re 202.”


The PA system is D&B Audiotechnik; GSL for main hangs, KSL for side and rear hangs, flown J Subs, stacked SL-Subs and V10p for front fills. On stage, side fills comprise boxes of KSL with SL-Subs, rave fills of V12 tops and V-Subs used by the production team. There is also a scattering of M2 wedges and B6 Subs on stage.


Monitor Engineer Ian Barton explains that a lot of fine-tuning goes into his monitor mixes in his “triangle of trust” between himself, Hira and Chemical Brothers’ Tom Rowlands. “I’ve got Ed (Simons) who plays different synths, and some satellite speakers dotted around the stage, so I overlay whatever the sound is”, he says. “There are twenty-four analogue keyboards running at any one time, but mixing it is completely second nature at this point.” Barton also has Lab.gruppen amplification on his own L-Acoustics speakers - two ARCs, two dVSubs, two 108s and four 108Ps.


Hira and Barton worked closely with Skan’s Scott Essen - the Audio Crew Chief and System Designer has been working with this team for years.


(Photos: Ray Baseley/Skan PA Hire)




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