20/6/2012 [Commercial Audio]
Yamaha Commercial Audio’s James Harvey and Gabriele Nicotra at soundcheck, The Forum, Melbourne.
The Temper Trap, touring the world on the back of their eponymous number 1 album, just became the first band to use one of Yamaha’s new CL Series consoles in Australia. For two sold out shows at The Forum in Melbourne and an unforgettable two nights at The Sydney Opera House as part of VIVID 2012, monitor engineer Gabriele Nicotra put the freshly delivered CL5 through its paces and came out smiling.
Having mixed FOH for Lostprophets, Ed Sheeran and The Feeling, as well as monitors for Glasvegas, Maximo Park, Biffy Clyro, The Specials, TV’s X Factor and many more, Gabriele has extensive experience of a wide range of consoles, both analogue and digital. The fact that he likes the CL5 so much speaks volumes about the new series.
“I didn’t have to learn a whole new desk”, say Gabriele, “You can just walk up to it and feel completely at home; completely comfortable. I was comfortable enough to use it for the very first time in front of a band I’d never met before. Everything’s very quick, very ergonomic – it just makes sense.”
Of course, a console can be great to use, but the most important factor is how it sounds. In this, Gabriele is equally unequivocal in his praise.
“It does feel like an M7CL in terms of usability, but the sound quality is day and night; it’s been improved massively. The preamps sound a lot better, a lot clearer, a lot cleaner. The DSP power is something you don’t have to worry about; you’ve got plenty of power to use as many graphics or effects as you need.”
Gabriele makes extensive use of the new Premium Rack effects processors, which for the first time in a Yamaha console utilise 3rd party DSP, enabling 3rd party companies such as Rupert Neve Designs to create plug-ins for Yamaha desks. Rupert Neve Designs Portico EQ and Compression ships as standard in the CL, along with new VCM plug-ins created by K’s Lab.
“The Premium Rack is one of my favourites” Gabriele continued, “There’s some really good sounding plug-ins in there. I use The Neve compressor on my lead singer’s vocals and it sounds very natural – he hates hearing compression on his voice and he’s never noticed I’m using it.”
All of the Temper Trap are using in-ear systems apart from bassist Jonathon Aherne, who uses a wedge. In total Gabriele is doing mixes for three stereo wireless in-ears, three hard wired sends, one wedge and two sidefills. Gabriele is also utilising the Premium Rack for bus compression:
“I’m using the U76 limiting amplifier over my bus outputs to the in-ears, and it just does the job. I’ve got them working quite high, especially on the lead singers mix, they’re pumping a lot, but you don’t feel it, it’s just very natural.”
He concludes, “I absolutely love the CL5. It sounds great, feels great and, given the choice of any digital console, I wouldn’t hesitate to choose it. I’ve been so impressed with it that I’ve enquired about buying one myself.”