THE WAR on Drugs, who play London’s The O2 (cap. 21,000) this December, have chosen an L500 Plus mixing desk by Oxford-based manufacturer Solid State Logic to manage the sound.
Monitor engineer Laurence Eaves and front-of-house engineer Bob Strakele need to balance up to 80 inputs, with each band member using up to six types of instrument.
“As soon as we’d messed around with a couple of SSLs, we were never going to look back,” says Eaves. “It has enabled me to craft something that is technically great, sounds amazing, and has lots of energy.”
He creates 12 in-ear mixes for each show, six for the band plus technical mixes. He also has side fills and wedges around the stage. “David Hartley [bass] has a wedge because he wants to feel more connected to his amp,” says Eaves “Robbie Bennett [keyboards] also has a wedge to give him a bit of vibration.”
Eaves uses the SSL console’s Stem groups processing paths to build-up mixes. “For example, for each person I have two drum mixes,” he says. “There’s a completely clean one and a completely ‘smashed’ one. You can then blend those depending on what’s happening on stage. A Stem-based architecture gives me valuable control to help the musicians play along with the room and react more naturally to each other.”