Saxon tour with Allen & Heath

Sound engineer Ben Hammond is on tour with iconic English heavy metal band Saxon, travelling with Allen & Heath GLD and iLive digital systems to manage FOH and monitors.

The rock legends are currently on a month-long tour of the US and Canada, supported by American rock band Fozzy.

A GLD-80 mixer is at FOH, accompanied by an AR2412 rack to manage I/O, such as L+R, sub, and fills. The mixer takes inputs via Dante from the iLive monitor system, comprising an iLive-T112 surface and iDR-48 MixRack.

“I’m currently running a 39 input festival patch type channel list to fit both Saxon and Fozzy, and GLD has coped fantastically,” explained Hammond. “I’m using all eight on board FX engines, which sound stunning – the EMT250 and ADT presets are personal favourites of mine. As well as the FX, so many great iLive features have been included in GLD, one of which that I find incredibly useful is the filter on the compressor section; I’m using it for Saxon’s frontman, Biff Byford, to hit his vocal pretty hard from 800hz-4khz, which keeps his voice sounding thick and full right into the higher registers. I’m putting the vocals into a subgroup where I apply full band compression with the Manual Peak setting.”

Hammond is using the Dante controller software to route the direct outs from the iDR-48 into the GLD channel inputs. He is then sending talkback, and a split of the iPod channels for the intro, back down Dante to the iLive surface, which gets piped into the bands IEMs. The Dante controller software is also routing the audio into Reaper for multitrack recording via the Dante virtual sound card.

“The GLD Editor has been great on this tour especially for programming shows for the various press and TV appearances where we have taken the GLD, and run a much more cut down channel list, with me doing the IEMs also, and mixing L+R for the TV feed,” explained Hammond.