Primal Scream’s FOH engineer takes Avid S3L on the road

Avid’s new compact S3L live sound system was chosen by Michael Brennan, Primal Scream’s FOH engineer, for the band’s latest tour.

With space being very limited, Brennan was required to fit his kit into a small trailer that would be towed behind the tour bus. Usually this would have meant going on tour without a console, but Brennan decided to approach Avid about using an alternative solution – specifically the S3L.

“I wanted to use the S3L on this Primal Scream tour for several reasons,” Brennan said. “I knew that its sound quality is second to none and because of the compact size of the board and the stage-boxes, I would be able to fit it into the trailer. Additionally, the show file I had already created on my VENUE was compatible with it, so I was confident the transition would be simple.”

The system also made its Japanese debut on the tour – supplied locally by Clair Global Japan. “It’s perfect for a small club tour and because of the S3L’s modularity and networked Ethernet AVB architecture, the setup time is so quick, plus it’s really easy to scale up if you need to," Brennan explained. “I can set up a 64-channel desk, 48 lines of stage-box and a 128 channel, 75m Cat5e multi in around ten minutes. I’ve had to carry this one in a Transit van, splitter, truck, car and plane, and it’s been really easy to move around.”

Brennan is a long-time Avid user, having utilised a D-Show on a Super Furry Animals tour in 2005. When he first got his hands on an Avid Mix Rack System, it convinced him to buy one of his own, which has accompanied him on every tour since.

“I can bring an extensive system that takes up little room on the truck, where space is at a premium, and on the smaller tours, thanks to the S3L, I’m now able to take my own board and have it in a van," he commented. It’s also reassuring that I can call on Avid’s worldwide support network and spec a board locally, so we can save money on shipping costs, which can really add up over the duration of a tour. I can’t think of a territory where I haven’t been able to source a Mix Rack, Profile, SC48 or S3L and I’m comfortable using any of these systems as my show file is compatible with all of them.”

Because Brennan regularly uses Avid’s Virtual Soundcheck feature, he always dials in the show before going on tour. “When the band comes in for rehearsals, I record the set onto Pro Tools directly from the board, and then I’m able to sit down with the artist at FOH, locate any point in the set and allow the artist to hear my mix. The scene function has been a major breakthrough and is very powerful, as it gives the artist a sense of involvement and confidence as they’re able to really know how they sound.”

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