The logistics and costs of touring in a pandemic, post-Brexit world are very different to what they were only a couple of years ago. As well as giving him the sonic quality and flexibility he needs, Phil has found that RIVAGE PM5 simplifies the process - and, importantly, lowers the expense - of global tours.
“Due to the huge increase in demand for post-lockdown live music, we have had to put together schedules that we wouldn’t normally undertake,” he says. “With shipping having become so expensive, we are finding it is now cheaper to duplicate certain parts of the production and simply leave them in storage - in the US, for example. Imagine if I still had to tour all that outboard gear? It would cost a fortune. Now we just call up Britannia Row Productions to deliver a RIVAGE PM system and it has everything I need.”
He continues, “We’ve been doing a similar experiments in streamlining Mike’s (Kerr - bass/vocals) amp setup on stage. For this and following tours we will be using either Kemper or Quad Cortex modelling amps. Not only will this make touring so much simpler, but there will be a significant reduction in SPL from the stage, which will allow me a lot more scope to fine tune the sound.”
Regarding the onboard sound shaping features of the RIVAGE PM system, not only was Phil able to replace his beloved hardware Bricasti reverb with the equally high quality modelled version, he has been impressed with the Rupert Neve Designs SILK emulation.
“I’m always a bit suspicious of marketing speak. At first I thought that the RND SILK on the pre-amps was just hype. I was pleasantly surprised that it’s not, I use it on a number of channels,” he says. “I also love the fact that, no matter which size of control surface I use, I can still benefit from the same pre-amps and plug-ins.
“I would like to use a RIVAGE PM3 control surface, because I recently mixed a Royal Blood gig at a small venue and I turned up to find a RIVAGE PM7. The local crew must have thought who does this bloke think he is? A PM3 would have made me look far less egotistical,” he smiles.