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Bryan Ferry Tour

Steve Jennings (Photos & Text) • December 2019Showtime • December 14, 2019

Bryan Ferry tour – FOH engineer Davide Lombardi. Photo by Steve Jennings

Sound Co

Clair Global/Britannia Row

Venue

Fox Theater, Oakland, CA

Crew

FOH Engineer: Davide Lombardi

Monitor Engineer: Tom Howat

Production Manager: Adam King

Tour Manager: Cath Roberts

P.A. Tech: Michael Robertson

Gear

FOH Console: DiGiCo SD10

Outboard: Yamaha SPX2000; Bricasti M7; TC Electronic D2; Rupert Neve Portico II Master Buss Processor

Main Speakers: (14) Meyer Sound LEO/side

Subwoofers: (6) Meyer 1100-LFC (ground/side), (3) flown 700HP

Fill Speakers: (3) Meyer M’elodie (fronts), (4) MSL-4 infills

Drive Processing: (3) Meyer Galileo Callisto

Monitor Console: Allen & Heath dLive

IEMs: Sennheiser SR 2000 series

Vocal Mics: Audio-Technica AE-6100

Event Details: The tour used a Clair-provided front-end, with in-house P.A. At the Fox Theater, it was a Meyer LEO system. This is FOH engineer Davide Lombardi’s fourth year working with Ferry. “The complexity and the beauty of Bryan’s music requires high skills on stage and monitor engineer Tom Howat plays a key role,” said Lombardi. “We work together as a team.”

 

FOH Insights by Steve Jennings:

This is FOH engineer Davide Lombardi’s fourth year working with Bryan Ferry. At the time Lombardi was working for Judith Owen who was opening Bryan Ferry’s shows. He was contacted by the musical director and then had an interview with Ferry and his manager. “Only after I acknowledged that they already knew me from my past work with Kate Bush.”

Lombardi has been on a DiGiCo SD10 console since the beginning of Ferry’s tour, apart from a short while where he tried the SSL. At that time he did not find it very stable and preferred moving back to DiGiCo. “I know them enough to appreciate subtile characteristics and I choose the desk depending on the kind of show I am working on. So while I used the SD10 with Bryan I’m back to using the SSL for the current Dido tour I’m on, but I honestly love them both. SSL for the incredible quality of pre amps and sound in general, DiGiCo for its reliability, extremely user friendly and easy to source the console worldwide.

Bryan’s music is complex, very busy. Expectations are always high as most of the audience are fans who know his program inside out. Every time I look at a musician, I need to hear what he/she plays. The use of dynamics is minimal, only when needed. Before making EQ changes I work with musicians trying to solve problems at source. In this way I do not modify the original sounds and I apply EQ only to compensate with different rooms. I use snapshots as a starting point, but then I mix “live” with VCA’s. Bryan is the composer for all his music. He knows each note and is very interested on how his music reaches to the audience. Although he trusts me and the band, he is actively involved in soundchecks and he has been out there at FOH multiple times to listen to the mix, ready to change arrangements or specific sounds (at source again) if it can help to improve the overall sound quality.”

Lombardi does not use any plugins and as far as outboard gear he only uses 1x SPX2000 as an FX when he inserts a phaser over the master mix for a few seconds during the song In Every Dream Home a Heartache. “I use 1x Bricasti M7 which is my favorite reverb and I use it on vocals, saxophones and violins and a D2 delay for saxophones. Both M7 and D2 are controlled via midi. For this particular tour I am trying a Rupert Neve Portico II Master Buss Processor inserted over L-R. The reduction is never more than 1-2db, but I like what it does to the mix and I think I will use it again in the future. The complexity and the beauty of Bryan’s music requires high skills on stage and the monitor engineer Tom Howat plays a key role. We work together as a team, we debrief a lot and together adjust little imperfections. I’d like to thank Clair and Britannia Row for the support we received worldwide.”

 

 

 

 

 

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