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Bruce Johnston

Oasis 2009 World tour update


I finally got the time to update the end of my Oasis days. Yes it all came to a screaming halt at the end of August 2009. The band only had 2 shows to go but they just could not go the distance. I must not grumble as I was with them 10 years and got to mix the biggest shows ever and 4 separate tours through Wembley Stadium over the years was a major highlight. I did say to myself that when I started that if I ever got to Wembley from Australia then I couldn’t ask for more. It took me 18 years of mixing to get there!

In a roundup of the tour I must say that going back to the XL4 console was the best decision I ever made when it comes to live sound. I’ve heard it all and mixed on them all and there simply is no better sound on the planet and I feel there never will be as there seems to be little interest in analogue or just from us older dudes.( old dog and new tricks again)

From the first soundcheck I knew it was right. Huge bottom end and everything sounded like it always has for the last 25 years and with no more than 3db eq on any channel. In fact out of the 36chls 16 of them were flat. You cannot achieve that with a digital board and I challenge anyone to do so ( there I go again!). My line checks lasted 5minutes as its sounded perfect every time we turned it on. Maybe the D&B J had something to do with that but when I was on digital it always took over 40mins to get it close. The bloody drums where never right. Hmm copper and resistance verses light and 1’s & 0’s. am I going too far?..

Anyhow that is my preference re mixing and I have heard plenty of good mixes on digital so I guess it’s just not for me.

Now how about the speaker system you say. The D&B J system was inspirational in its sound. Unbelievable I would say in its clarity. It simply sounded the same every day no matter where. From 5000 – 100,000 people that system was fantastic. The outdoor stadium tours with 100 J boxes 32 B2 subs and 24 J subs proved to be the highlights.
We went from a Vdosc system one festival and back to the J system the next day and we were all amazed at the difference. Sounded like 10 years difference to me! Nothing wrong with the Vdosc and it sounds great but next to each other I don’t see why you would bother with Vdosc. That’s me!

Daniel Lewis from the UK who was my system rigger and Bruce backup engineer for my entire life with Oasis would say the same. We tried all the systems we could over the years I had him rigging every system we could and in the end we both agreed that the J system was the best of the lot.

We tried the B2 sub cardiod array to see what results we got. Firstly we tried it at the Manchester outdoor show to 80,000 punters. We did 10 stacks of 3 B2’s across the front of the stage with the J-subs flown. We did get an even sub across the field as advertised but the sub sound did sound really soggy and not tight at all. In fact all the amps started clipping. After the first show we went back to 4 stacks of 8 B2’s and got the punch back which was the best for Oasis. We did try it in a few smaller venues and got a good even sound but a real 50hz note in the sound. Really if you want to do cardiod you need twice the boxes and power to achieve the punch. That was our take on it.

Oasis played the best they ever did and they sounded like it. After all the line-up changes over the years it finally got there and those songs just sounded great.
The crowds got bigger and we did stadiums all over the world this time. One of the great moments was when we lost power to the FOH drive (UPS died) at Wembley Stadium during Wonder Wall. The crowd just sang the song and I went out front of the tower and looked around and just took it in. 65,000 punters singing the song until the end. Never to be repeated. They are the memories.
It will be missed as I feel that I will not get myself motivated to go through all the work to get back there. Anyhow, enough of that!

I have put up some photos of the last tour from all over the place. Maybe this is it and I’ll live happily ever after running JAS?..Stay tuned and I’ll see how long I can resist the XL4 pull!!

 

 

Oasis 2008 - 2009

Back out with Oasis again for their world 2008 2009 tour.

 

I hope I can go the distance!

After engineering a few recent tours with Silverchair and Wolf Mother I found myself back with the Midas analogue consoles and really liked what I was hearing.

I have to say that being back on the XL4 is to me what sound is all about. I just personally feel that when mixing a rock band it is the way to go. Maybe it's the last 25 years mixing analogue or you can't teach and old dog new tricks but hey I'm having a great time on the XL4.

As you may know by now JAS has just purchased a D&B J line array system and it is also now the system I'm using for Oasis on their current tour. I engineered a few shows for the Killers a few years back and one was with the J system and I had one of my best mixes on it so I felt it would be the way forward for JAS and also the system of choice for Oasis.

This tour started in the US August 2008 and we contacted 8thday sound to supply the system. I had recently been talking with Tom Arko re purchasing the system and getting involved with the J system so 8 th day was our choice.

From the first time we ran the system up we all knew how good it sounded. We ran the system up with the pink noise and the analyser was pretty much flat to 14kYes 14k! I have never seen a system which ran that high and flat straight out of the box.

So far the J system has sounded great and I'm having a great time mixing and everyone from the truck drivers to the cleaners have commented on the sound.

Also 8thdaysound supplied a great system with some great crew. The system presentation was the best I seen so far and I would like to thank Tom Arko and Owen and the rest of their staff for some great service.

Also, after a few discussions with Mike at Britrow and the fact that JAS has recently purchased some Outline Butterfly I decided to give the Butterfly line array system a go for the UK arena tour and I have to say it did sound great. I have mentioned elsewhere in our site that the Outline gear really stands up to whatever we throw at it as this was not different. Britrow supplied a great system and crew as well, and the Outline people were great with their support. A big thanks to Peter Barnard from Outline UK and Giorgio from Outline Italy .

JAS recently bought a Butterfly system for the Forum theatre in Melbourne and we have currently also put one into the Palace theatre as well. Also the Hi Fi bar in Melbourne recently bought a Butterfly system. The system has been giving us great results and a lot of good reports on the sound in these venues.

That's about it for now. Oasis have a large stadium tour mid 09' and we have tons of D&B J system (Supplied by Wigwam) so I'm really looking forward to mixing the stadiums. Oasis sold 500,000 tickets in 2 hours so I feel it's going to be huge. I've put up a diagram of the current stadium system design. We're going to fly a heap of J subs and run 30 B2 subs across the front in Cardioid mode. We look like running multiple towers of Butterfly for the delays.

 

 

Oasis 2005

What I tried to achieve on the stadium leg of the Oasis tour was to get the flown boxes out of the side stage of stage positions that seem to be a standard. The sound has always been compromised by either the stage towers or the video in these situations. SSE came up with this idea to counter lever the system from the front. Our production team (Michael OConnor) and the staging company came to the party. The result was what I believe to some of the best sounding stadium shows around. The sound was simply amazing. We had the FOH mix position at 60m and we achieved level of 103 DB with no noise issues. In fact we had a proposed limit of 95-98db by the noise boys. The amazing thing about the result the Geo T gave us was I was never told to turn down over the 16 shows and for outdoors stadiums that was a great result. In fact each night I was told I could turn it up another 3db.

On this tour Im using the DiGiCo D5 console out front. Being an XL4 man for a long time I thought Id better get with it or get left behind. The console has preformed without an issue (Maybe a few punters beers did cause us a 10second soft-patch) And Ive grown to love it. 95 shows later and Im hooked. It does sound great by the way. All the opening acts used the console and we loaded 3 loads per day and never had a problem.

In saying all that Im back onto analogue for 10 shows and that will get me thinking again.

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