FOH engineer Bark Koren
UK - As 90s reunions go, there’s few as pronounced as Pulp’s reimagined take on their classic, coming of age anthems. Yorkshire-twanged frontman, Jarvis Cocker, and fellow indie stars - keyboardist Candida Doyle, drummer Nick Banks and guitarist Mark Webber - are leading audiences on an engaging and cleverly arranged orchestral audio journey set to a backdrop of cinematic-esque visuals.
For their summer reunion shows across the UK and Ireland, Pulp took a Skan-supplied control package for performances at Latitude Festival, London’s Finsbury Park, Isle of Wight Festival, Dublin’s St Anne's Park plus many more, while Sheffield’s Utilita Arena hosted the band for two nights with a Skan d&b PA rig in tow.
“I quickly recognised the need for attention to detail, quality equipment and a great crew, so Skan were my first and only choice for this tour,” production manager, Joel Stanley begins.
“After my initial calls with Barak Koren, our FOH engineer, I knew that audio would be the only department that wasn’t going out to tender. Our monitor engineer, Ilias Andrianatos, had worked with Skan before, and so we have a happy camp all round.”
Injecting a new, live dimension into Pulp’s back catalogue, FOH mixer, Barak Koren is charged with delivering Pulp’s era-defining hits - such as Common People and Do you Remember the First Time to a whole new fanbase. An engineer in demand, he was hand-picked by the band’s management after they heard him mixing Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.
Koren comments: “My Nick Cave gig was supported by Eighth Day Sound, another Clair Global brand, but I’d never worked with Skan before. The globalisation aspect of a company can be very handy, because I know that everything is available to me everywhere I go, even if I have no previous experience with them.
“When I ask for the tools, my creativity is then open, and I can go in any direction I want. The way I truly start my process is to have listening sessions - even before conversations with the artist.
“During rehearsals, I work with the band on the music content and in the evenings, when the band have gone, I’ll run ProTools and add my colours to the mix canvas,” he says.
Barak’s own artistry is backed by an Avid Venue S6L 32D control surface, and he employs Avid ProTools, Waves Plug-ins and Smaart acoustic measurement software.
He continues: “My Avid Venue S6L is always integrated with Waves. I'm a big fan of Waves’ sound and products, and I have some additional hardware choices such as distressors and reverbs.
These include two Waves Server Extreme C’s, Waves plug-ins, an APi 2500 Compressor, two Empirical Labs Distressors, a Lake LM 44, Lexicon 480L Reverb, Eventide H3000, and a Yamaha SPX 2000 Multi Effect Processor. Jarvis uses the Audix OM5 microphone.
Koren’s PA of choice has always been d&b audiotechnik. “I've been working with d&b systems for many years, since the J Series days, and I’ve always found d&b to be a very straightforward, great sounding system, from design to execution. Now that the SL-Series is here, it’s a real game changer.”
For the Sheffield shows, the PA was designed by Finlay Watt, Joachim Dewulf and Koren. It has main and side-hangs of KSL with flown J Subs and SL Subs in the pit. For front-fills it’s Y10P cabinets, and for delays, more KSL loudspeakers, all powered by d&b’s D80 amplifiers.
Monitor Engineer Ilias Andrianatos has toured with Skan on various projects since 2005, explaining that Skan’s abilities as a company are impressive. “I trust their technicians and their gear is always immaculate, which is important to me. I've been working with Jarvis since 2017, on his side project, JARV IS, so there is a lot of trust between us now, and I’m very honoured that he asked for me on this special tour.
“Due to my high channel count and the number of mixes I’m dealing with, I need a desk that can handle it all. I’ve chosen the DiGiCo Quantum 5 and I try to keep things as simple as possible. I don't use any of the toys that are available; for me, it’s just what is absolutely necessary. I go with what the desk offers, and I’m very content with that.”
Andrianatos works his Quantum 5 with two SD Rack 32Bits, Reaper Record on M1Pro MacBook Pro and a DiGiGrid MGB. For stage fills, its L-Acoustics Arcs (wide and focus) on LA12-x, and d&b M4 wedges on d40 comms. The band uses in-ears, preferring Shure PSM 1000s.
He continues: “This is a challenging gig because when you have strings involved, most tours would have a second engineer who is there to look after the string players, but I decided to take up the challenge and mix everyone's monitors. Everybody seems very happy, which is good, because I'm only happy only when they're happy!”
RF engineering is accounted for by crew chief & RF tech Emma-Jane Lee, who comments on the tight team behind Pulp’s audio department: “I've got a lot to focus on RF wise, especially with the bigger shows, but I’ve also been learning how to balance being a crew chief. We’ve got such a great crew here; I’ve loved seeing our new stage tech, Elliott Heal, develop. He’s new to being on the road, after finishing his apprenticeship, so it's been great to see him learning more and more, especially on a gig like this, where everyone is so interested in hearing it.”
The Skan team is completed by FOH minder, Jan Pickup, monitor minder, Alfie Wilcox, PA system engineer, Finlay Watt and PA technicians, Tim Miller and Trystan Forbes.
In closing, Stanley confirms his vendor choice was the right one: “I’ve personally forged a strong relationship with Skan’s Chris Fitch and his team, and I have a lot of time and respect for him and the company he’s built. As expected, Skan’s service has been second to none.”

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