Natalie Imbruglia – back on the road (photo: Shoot the Noise)
UK - This Autumn, Natalie Imbruglia embarked on a celebratory tour de force of her 1997 debut album Left of the Middle, the album that made her an indie-pop star.
After a 12-year hiatus from recording music and with a brand-new album in tow, fans were both expectant and suitably excited for her highly anticipated comeback tour.
With a music career spanning a quarter of a century, it would be easy to rely on past hits to carry the show's opener. Instead, fans were treated to a triumphant return with What it Feels Like, a track from Imbruglia’s latest, album, Firebird.
“Natalie gave me my first touring job back in 2015,” notes production manager Rob Jones. “Today, we have a small but exceptionally talented crew who work incredibly hard.”
Although Jones had never worked with Brit Row before, they came highly recommended from his audio team. “It was clear from our conversations just how accommodating and supportive Brit Row are,” he adds.
”It’s true - we could be in the middle of nowhere, and they’d still find a way to get the gear we need.”
With Brit Row’s services firmly in place and with a variation of genres to contend with in order to bring the live sound to life, there was only one console that fit the bill for FOH Engineer Stefano Serpagli: a DiGiCo SD12.
“The FOH mix is very dynamic, as we do get the full spectrum of her work,” he explains. “There are acoustic sections, and a few older tracks. It’s certainly fun to mix. The combination of DiGiCo’s onboard multi bands and dynamic EQs make the desk for me. You can do so much on a DiGiCo without having to use a shed load of plug-ins.
“We record live shows, which is easy if you have Waves with DMI, and the SD12s have DMI ports built in. I’m also using a DiGiGrid MGB interface, so I can use MADI boards out of that. The flexibility of DiGiCo products, to be able to record the virtual soundchecks with such a tiny footprint, is just great.”
Monitor engineer James Neale, who was passed the baton on this tour, is also utilising a DiGiCo SD12, as inherited from the previous mix engineer.
“All of the band choose to use in-ears, and are on the Sennheiser 2050s, while we have a Shure Axient Digital handled system for Natalie,” he furthers. “Her mix is actually quite full on, unlike how a lot of pop singers choose to have it.
“We put five different mics in a shootout and asked her to pick a number. She chose the new Shure KSM11 cardioid condenser microphone and she sounds great with it. Tom Brown, our Brit Row account manager, put a couple aside for me, and considering they’re like gold dust, I feel very privileged to have them.”

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