The dates, at the Glasgow SECC, Manchester MEN Arena, Birmingham NIA and London’s Wembley Arena, gave the band a chance to blow away the cobwebs, while giving their considerable UK fan base a preview of one or two new songs.
Supplied by UK rental company SSE Audio, the audio system comprised the latest generation Nexo Geo_T NXStream line array, mixed on a Midas H3000 console. But absolutely vital to Doof’s sonic arsenal were six XTA C2 compressors and four G2 noise gates, processors which he freely admits he wouldn’t be without.
The G2s were used across the drums, while the C2s were used on the bass guitar (which was both mic’d and DI’d), clean guitar channels and keyboards.
“I’ve worked on a lot of things for SSE but I came across XTA’s units by chance, working on something completely unrelated,” says Doof. “And to be honest they were the best I’d ever used.
“Sonically they’re completely transparent and I love the fact that I can do a lot of the EQing on them. The way the filters are set up means I can do all the basic EQ settings on the XTAs, which allows me to be a lot more creative with the EQ on the desk.”
Of the four dates on the tour, Wembley was the most challenging. But here the XTA units meant that the venue’s acoustics didn’t cause any problems.
“Wembley’s always a challenge, the low end seems to go out into the loading area, roll around out there and then come back and bite you on the arse,” laughs Doof. “The XTAs got rid of all the nastiness I didn’t want. Wembley needs that extra bit of control, which the C2s and G2s provide. And I can filter on the G2s without any compromise.”
He continues: “The less I have to think about the racks, the happier I am. Once they’re set up, the sound is so transparent that I don’t even know they’re there. They let me just concentrate on what the band is doing and I can totally rely on them.
“They are absolutely perfect, I would never use anything else. Plus they look great too!”