XTA tickles Floyd Pink

Monday, 4 July 2005
XTA tickles Floyd PinkPhoto©Warren Buckland.
New Zealand - Six years ago in New Zealand a six-piece cover band was formed and called themselves the Pink Floyd Experience. Their success was such that they grew into their home countries biggest touring production with a three hour plus show that features performances of the original Floyd's albums Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall, as well as Shine On You Crazy Diamond from the Wish You Were Here album.

Having successfully toured New Zealand, they moved on to Australia and South Africa with a sound system that has encompassed just about every loudspeaker brand there is. But the consistent element throughout is XTA loudspeaker processing.

Front of house engineer Andy Craig explains the ethos behind the Experience's sound: "On a show like this I work on two levels and XTA products help me throughout the day. My first task is to ensure that the sound system interfaces correctly with the room." For this he uses XTA DP226 processors and XTA's proprietary AudioCore control software. "I've used DP226s for years and I take their sonic excellence for granted. I've toured with them for so long I have a library of previous room encounters, but each time I go to a venue the opportunity is there to fine tune the system/room interface just that little bit better."Craig is now confident that once the system is dialled in, every seat in the house will get optimum coverage. "This year, having XTA's WiFi Walkabout Kit made the job even easier. Although it's possible to position an analyzing mic in different sections of the venue and tune the system remotely, there's no substitute for wandering up to the individual zones, sitting in a punter's seat with a laptop, and getting it exactly right. For some of the more spread out venues, I only had to walk up the three flights of stairs once, instead of the three or four times I have had to do in the past."

Having done over 150 shows with The Experience means that Craig knows the quirks of their performance and understands the tools he needs to overcome those areas that might cause concern to deliver the quality show that the audience loves. "Last year, we played a few shows in Australia," he continues. "The local provider couldn't supply an XTA SiDD, so I went without. What a mistake! I'd used SiDD for quite a few tours prior to this to perform a vital piece of vocal processing - which it does so transparently that I'd forgotten that vocal issue even existed.

"After four SiDD-less shows I was forcibly reminded that, yes there is a vocal 'thing' going on, and that SiDD is the right tool for dealing to it. We did a more extensive tour later in the year and I made a point of taking a SiDD with me. I was also using XTA C2 compressors and G2 gates," he adds. "One side of a C2 was hard at work controlling the 'clack' factor of the bass guitar. Bass players who play the snare beat bug the hell out of me, but a C2 will deal with this problem. And the sidechain EQ rocks. Erratic saxophone tones? The C2 can push those offending tones back where they belong. It works for me."A big thing with the Pink Floyd Experience is the epic tom fills, the huge reverbs...you really have to gate those toms. Every accidental gate opening hints at the tom fill reverb to come and spoils the surprise. The G2 sidechain EQ deals to those ride/crash cymbal, snare hit fake reveals. I used them alongside another popular brand, but the G2 key filters are much more effective."

(Sarah Rushton-Read)


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