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Zeppelin Used Metallica's Sound Engineer For Reunion Concert
Big Mick Hughes with Midas XL8

At front of house for Led Zeppelin's recent 02 Arena concert was a Midas XL8 Live Performance System provided by Britannia Row, with two engineers at the controls. Big Mick Hughes mixed the band - Jimmy Page on guitar, John Paul Jones on bass and drummer Jason Bonham - while Robert Plant's front of house engineer Roy Williams handled the singer's soaring vocal range.

The decision to use the XL8 came after Page heard it at Metallica's Wembley gig this summer. Plant subsequently visited the Midas factory to see and hear the XL8, which guaranteed the XL8's place on the rider.

Williams has worked as front of house engineer for Robert Plant for almost a decade.

"I'll always have a preference for Midas, and the transition from analogue wasn't as hard as I had expected; I found the XL8 user-friendly, especially when obtaining any EQ that I might be looking for," he said.

"I had known from before the start of rehearsals that two engineers would be doing the show, one to look after the band and one to concentrate on Robert's vocals and effects. Not the easiest thing to do: two engineers, two pairs of ears and two egos! Mick and I have known one another for over 30 years and are both from the Black Country so that helped a lot.

"The XL8 let me have my own world to work in with just the vocal mic and eight effects - leaving Mick to create his world without either of us getting in one another's way. No blood was drawn, we had a blast and more importantly are still friends."


Big Mick, who put the XL8 through its paces on Metallica's European tour earlier this summer, was mixing the band. "We felt that using the XL8 gave us an unlimited amount of options," he said. "It was a good job we did as the input list grew to over 70 channels, and if we'd gone analogue we would have been into two desks.

"The operation of the console made it really easy for Roy and myself to divide the work surface. Being able to set the last bay of the console to the B zone and then recall a POP (population) group containing Robert's vocal and effects into the B zone meant that Roy had his own section. This in turn allowed me the remaining two bays and the VCA (Variable Control Association) section to mix the band. The 'a/b' headphone solo busses were invaluable as I could be using one while Roy used the other. And as before, when I first used the XL8 for Metallica, the pure sound and stereo image quality is undeniable." [more]

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This Month in
Led Zeppelin History

November 21, 1968 - Robert becomes a father to a baby girl named Carmen Jane.
November 09, 1968 - Robert marries Maureen in London. Their reception is a performance at the Roundhouse in London
November xx, 1969 - Tempers flare over Atlantic in the UK wanting to release singles
November xx, 1969 - Recording for Led Zeppelin III begins at Olympic Studios in London
November xx, 1970 - Plans are in motion for a Yardbirds reunion
November 08, 1971 - Finally after much anticipation, Untitled is released
November xx, 1972 - Houses Of The Holy is mixed and completed
November 10, 1972 - Led Zeppelin sell out 120,000 tickets in one day
November xx, 1973 - Initial recordings for Physical Graffiti commences at Headley Grange
November 04, 1973 - Led Zeppelin finalize the purchase of Headley Grange to be their new corporate headquarters
November xx, 1974 - The band makes plans and rehearses for the tenth North American tour
November xx, 1975 - Led Zeppelin records Presence in a mere 18 days
November xx, 1976 - Led Zeppelin book into Ezyhire Studios to rehearse new material for an upcoming tour
November 04, 1976 - The Song Remains The Same movie premieres in Europe
November xx, 1977 - Jimmy dispells rumors of Led Zeppelin’s break up
November 06, 1978 - Led Zeppelin purchase and ship new gear to Polar Studios to begin work on a new album
November 10, 1979 - Led Zeppelin and their entire entourage attend an ABBA concert
November 07, 1980 - The band meets with Peter Grant to announce the retirement of Led Zeppelin
November 29, 1999 - The RIAA announced that Led Zeppelin were only the third act in music history to achieve four or more Diamond albums, a Diamond album being awarded for accredited sales of more than 10 million units in the US.
November 01, 2007 - An announcement was made that Jimmy Page had fractured his finger on his left hand after a fall in his garden and the reunion show would be postponed to December 10, 2007.
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