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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

February 07, 1962 - Deborah Bonham, sister to John, was born in Redditch, Worcestershire, England
February 23, 1966 - Warren Grant, son of Peter, was born.
February xx, 1969 - Led Zeppelin enters the Billboard Top 40
February 16, 1969 - Led Zeppelin wrap up their first American tour in Baltimore, MD.
February 07, 1970 - Edinburgh gig cancelled after Plant receives facial injuries in a car accident
February 28, 1970 - The band performs as "The Nobs" in Copenhagen after threat of legal action from Countess Von Zeppelin
February xx, 1971 - John Paul Jones involved in legal issues regarding a musician who shares the same name
February xx, 1971 - Overdubs for the fourth album are recorded at Island Studios
February 14, 1972 - The band is refused admission into Singapore due to their long hair
February 16, 1972 - The Australian tour begins in Perth
February 21, 1972 - Led Zeppelin: Rock and Roll b/w Four Sticks (Atlantic 45-2865) 45 single is released in the US.
February xx, 1973 - The band makes final preparations for the European tour
February 16, 1973 - The release date for Houses Of The Holy is pushed back due to some sleeve problems
February xx, 1974 - Sessions for Physical Graffiti continue
February 14, 1974 - Page, Plant and Bonham attend a Roy Harper concert
February 04, 1975 - Zeppelin perform a last minute show at Nassau Coliseum to accomodate fans after being banned in Boston
February 24, 1975 - Physical Graffiti finally issued worldwide to phenomenal sales
February xx, 1976 - Media reports that Zeppelin are due to release an album entitled Obelisk
February xx, 1977 - Robert contracts a bout of tonsillitis postponing the American tour
February xx, 1978 - Robert Plant helps produce a record for punk band Dansette Damage
February 16, 1978 - The cases against Bonham, Cole & Grant stemming from the Oakland incident are heard and all receive suspended prison sentences and fines
February xx, 1979 - Although absent from the US stage or market, Led Zeppelin rank best in many music magazine categories
February xx, 1979 - Mixing sessions for In Through The Out Door take place at Polar Studios. Rumors fly of a European tour
February 03, 1980 - Robert joins Dave Edmund’s Rockpile at the Birmingham Top Rank
February 13, 2005 - Led Zeppelin receives a Grammy for Lifetime Achievment.
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