Apr 01, 2000

Touring & Corporate

Rick Wakeman: Yes to Spirit

--A Spirit Digital 328 with two mic/line interface boxes has accompanied Rick Wakeman on his 50 date solo tour around the UK. Owned and operated by Sound Engineer Ian Barfoot, both front of house sound and on-stage monitoring is controlled from the Spirit console.

Ian explains why he chose the Digital 328 for the tour,

“The evening is like the TV show “An Audience With...” but without questions from the audience, so there's a combination of talking and music. We have eleven stereo sources from the keyboards plus the one vocal mic for Rick's chat. I have to provide the front of house mix and the monitor mix from the one console, so the fact that the Digital 328 is so small is excellent. It allows me to release additional seats back to the house. I’ve had it for about eighteen months now and can just put it in my car when I need to do a job".

“I’ve used some of the best mic's in the world with this desk and it sounds great. I can AES it straight into a decent DAT machine and its fine. With a show this size it’s quality not quantity that’s important. I always try to use the equipment I like! I need a good reverb, a good programmable delay, good quality mic amps: the 328 has it all. I know its a studio desk but since I have owned it I've had no problems with it even when I've taken it on the road".

“The 328 is really, really convenient for me. The show is basically the same every night, with very minor changes, and it gives me a lot of consistency. I’ve got seventeen songs stored in the console and we play thirteen or fourteen of them each night".

“Effect-wise there are a few things I will do on Rick’s keyboards which I replicate with the Lexcicons. For example, when we’re playing in a hall that’s very dry, I stick a nice, roomy reverb in, especially on the piano. During the show all I mainly do is push the recall button. We did about three days of pre-production and the mix has stayed relatively stable throughout the tour. Things change every night but 90% of the time I'm just recalling the pre-sets".

“The E-Strip's absolutely excellent. I cannot get my head round a lot of digital consoles but with this I didn’t have the manual for the first four months I owned it. It’s ever so easy to use. I can’t fault this desk, especially at the price.

“I have two mic/line boxes which I use for more inputs. They’re really excellent”.

Spirit Digital 328 is used by a huge range of artists including Asian Dub Foundation, Sasha, the Lightening Seeds and the Manic Street Preachers.

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