"From Studio To Stage" - TWR catches up with Nick Davis during the Turn It On Again European tour.

TWR: How is life on the road?

ND: Life on the road is a lot of hanging around, too much eating and then a few hours of intense action.

TWR: Do you prefer it to the studio?

ND: It's less boring but the buzz of the actual performance is great.

TWR: What is it that you are doing on the tour?

ND: I have various jobs. Audio consultancy for the front of house sound. I spent a lot of time with Tony Banks in rehearsal getting his internal balances right also teaching Michel (the Front of House engineer) how the songs should sound. Then I have done extra jobs like the Dusseldorf cinema broadcast and I will be producing the DVD which we are recording in Rome.

TWR: What equipment are you using?

ND: Michel is using the Digidesign Venue desk. I used a Raindirk analogue desk for the cinema sound - no automation - very good fun!!

TWR: Are you using anything that isn't being used in the arena?

ND: I use different eq and compressors in the mobile.
Click to enlarge
The main desk, a
Digidesign Venue.
Photo: S Barnes/TWR

TWR: What is the sound system being used on the tour (size, wattage, etc)?

ND: Haven't got a clue! It chages for venue to venue.

TWR: How are you connecting up to the FoH system?

ND: We take a split at the stage so both desks have a complete set of inputs.

TWR: A live 5.1 gig broadcast hasn't been done before.Were you nervous? :-)

ND: I was - very.

TWR: Once you've mixed the show, how does it get to the cinemas in the UK?

ND: It is a live satellite feed and then distributed back down to the cinemas.

TWR: Do you know what sort of time delay this system will introduce between the live event and what cinema go-ers will see?

ND: About 2 seconds.

TWR: Have you had much of a chance to practice mixng the show in 5.1?

Click to enlarge
A look across
into FoH-land...
Photo: S Barnes/TWR

ND: Only the first show in Dusseldorf. I used this as a soundcheck/rehearsal. I had my assistant Tom in the cinema in the West End texting me back telling me what sounded good etc.

TWR: What sort of things can go wrong?

ND: Loss of signal, encoding errors- failure of my brain- so many things really. and then we had storms in the UK which was damaging the signal to the cinemas.

TWR: What happened to the Voyager Mobile?

ND: It burnt down about 50Km outside Madrid. Apparenty a tyre caught fire. Very sad. It was a lovely truck.

TWR: After the Dusseldorf broadcast, are you involved in any of the other gigs on the tour?

ND: Twickenham for (BBC) Radio 2 then Lyon and Rome for DVD.

TWR: Are you going on the US/Canadian leg of the tour in the Autumn?

ND: I don't know yet.

TWR: What would you be doing there?

ND: Checking front of house sound.
Click to enlarge
Hard at work at
the Twickenham gig.
Photo: S Barnes/TWR

TWR: Are there any plans to do a live broadcast such as the one done for Dusseldorf?

ND: No.

TWR: How are the Encore CDs being recorded?

ND: They are recorded onto a little Protools 003 system by Geoff Callingham. He takes the front of house mix and adds in a bit of audience. They sound great.

TWR: Are you involved with these?

ND: Not really -though I checked the first few.

TWR: Has Dusseldorf presented any logistical problems?

ND: I had a very short soundcheck on the first day so I spent the first 5 songs of the show still getting sounds onto my board. I was much stricter on the second day and had a list of stuff I wanted the band to play.

Click to enlarge
Photo: S Barnes/TWR

Many thanks to Nick for taking the time to talk to us.