Kasabian and Ben Findlay at The Wiltern, Los Angeles
Long time Sound Engineer Ben Findlay is currently handling FOH duties for Kasabian, who are in the middle of a major tour that will see them returning to the UK in November and December 2017 for a series of Arena gigs.
We caught up with him about his recent (and not so recent) experiences on the road on tour with Kasabian at The Wiltern in Los Angeles. He makes use of DPA condenser mics, primarily on the drum kit, the mainstay of the hard-hitting raw sound of the band.
Linearity is important to me, which is one of the reasons why I’m using DPA microphones on drums for this Kasabian tour. I’d like to say that I got the idea in a blinding flash of original inspiration, but in fact it was down to The Who’s engineer Rob Collins who used DPAs to mic up Zac’s drum kit at a recent Royal Albert Hall gig. I was there mixing for Imelda May who was supporting The Who and when I went out front and heard those drums I thought ‘f******g hell, that sounds really good’. Rob was close-mic’ing everything – all the cymbals, for instance, had d:vote™ 4099s on them – so everything around the kit had a lot of definition and punch.
“The day after that gig I started working with Kasabian and although their existing mic arrangement was working well, the guys on stage were struggling with the length of time it took to put the mics on. Switching to DPA not only sounded amazing but also made things much quicker. It now takes no time at all to mic the kit up. We’re using a selection of DPA mics including d:vote 4099s on toms and cymbals, and d:dicate™ 2011C Twin Diaphragm Cardioid mics on snare. We are also using DPA Drum clips because they clamp onto the rim of the instrument. If you put the microphone through at 90° on the gooseneck you can also clamp them onto the stem of the cymbal stand so they sit underneath the cymbal. Originally, we were attaching them using Universal Mounts with Velcro straps, but we discovered that if you open the Drum clip and push it further, it will wrap around the stem of the cymbal hardware. The DPA clips work great and are very quick to attach.”
• Photography ~ Tamarind Free Jones (website)