Radiohead begin their European tour in early June, playing mostly 3,000-capacity venues with some open-air dates as the festival season develops. The PA equipment is being provided by Tiger Hire, the Oxford-based rental company that has been working with the band since the early days. Jim Warren, front-of-house engineer, is using a Soundcraft Series FIVE with a Spirit 324 digital console to sub-mix and MIDI control all the FX. Additionally, the tour is carrying one of the first Soundcraft Series TWO consoles, which will be used by support bands Laika and Clinic.
Tree himself has worked with Radiohead for the last four years, since the 'OK Computer' tour of 1996/7. When choosing his desk for this tour, he was particularly keen to specify a console with an output matrix.
"The band are all multi-instrumentalist and all share the same keyboard system. The output matrix on the FIVE Monitor gives me the ability to have each band member's mix with them when they go across to play keys.
"The matrix also allows me to put a mixture of time-delayed feed, say the vocal, and non time-delayed feed, say the acoustic guitar, into the centre wedges, which gets a tight coordinated vocal sound together with a big instrument sound in the centre of the stage."
Radiohead's 44:24 FIVE Monitor has a custom configuration, specified by Tree, which has the stereo sends going to EQ out. Thom Yorke, Radiohead's lead singer, is using in-ear monitoring. "I've got EQ on the stereo send outputs which cuts down on the outboard, and even the stereo sends are going to the matrix so I can have several mixes for Thom."
Tree, who has been using Soundcraft consoles for many years, particularly applauds the layout of the FIVE Monitor. "Board ergonomics are my number one priority, and the FIVE Monitor has been specifically designed as a monitor desk. For instance, Soundcraft has put the cue buttons at the bottom rather than top of the fader so that they're in the most convenient place."
Soundcraft's leading UK dealer Marquee Audio supplied the FIVE Monitor console to Tiger Hire.