The Front of House Engineer currently working on Lorde's Melodrama tour is using Waves plugins to "try different things sonically".
Philip J Harvey has been touring with Lorde since her rise to stardom as a teenager with the dream-pop-driven sound of debut album Pure Heroine.
The arena set up includes an SSL L500 Plus console at front of house and a L-Acoustics’ L-ISA system, which maps to a multi-line array setup consisting of three 16-K2 plus two 21-KARA loudspeakers with four 16-KARA as extension hangs and two 8 K1 SB centre-hung subwoofers.
Harvey explained: "This set-up allows me to separate and localise my sound sources wherever I want in the house, creating a clear and totally immersive landscape for every single person in the audience. Before I even got in front of the L-ISA system, I used the Waves Nx Virtual Mix Room [a virtual monitoring plugin that delivers, on headphones, the same three-dimensional depth and panoramic stereo image you would be hearing from speakers in an acoustically treated room] to experiment and develop a sketch of the mix in a 5.1 setup, which was totally helpful to try out new ideas in creating a landscape for the venues in my headphones way before even seeing the system for the first time.”
Harvey said using Waves plugins add a "new dimension" to the live sound, commenting: “There is a song called ‘Ribs’ that contains a side-chained stereo pad track. The Brauer Motion plugin inserted on this channel gives it an amazing rotational feel, which really adds a new dimension to the song live. Using it with the L-ISA system made the pads sound like they were rotating all across the arena, which was such a cool sensation.”
On creating the layered, widening vocal effects and textures heard on some of Lorde’s biggest songs, Harvey commented: “In my vocal effects chain, I like to use two different reverbs throughout the set via MultiRack: the Waves Abbey Road Reverb Plates for a short reverb to reinforce the tonality of her voice and give it some extra character, and the IR-Live Convolution Reverb with a longer reverb setting using the Sydney Opera House impulse response to give her voice even more depth and expansion.
"As a live mixing engineer, it’s a real bonus to be working with someone who really stands out with her natural talent.”