KNOWN FOR their multi-layered, “spacey” sound, Hawkwind presented a range of challenges to audio engineer, Rik Elliss, not least the need to accommodate Eric Clapton and Motörhead’s Phil Campbell, who join the band on stage at certain shows.
The front-of-house (FOH) engineer opted for an S5000 dLive surface by Allen & Heath (A&H) to handle 11 channels of keyboards, five of “screaming” guitars, a “distorted” bass, 11 channels of drums and four vocals.
“The vocals had to sit on top of this mid-range, heavy music,” says Elliss. “But the dLive is great at keeping sounds distinct and that separation really adds clarity to the mix, which is something that’s incredibly important, particularly in a venue as iconic as the Royal Albert Hall [cap. 5,300].”
Other venues included Glasgow’s O2 Academy (2,550), G Live (1,700) in Guildford – where Clapton performed, and Manchester’s Albert Hall (2,290).
“I rely heavily on the dLive’s onboard effects,” he says. “When an audience is as engaged as Hawkwind’s and they know the records inside out, it’s important to create a live experience for them, rather than a generic mix. And dLive is the perfect choice for that – it’s a really creative tool.”