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Dope Lemon

Dope Lemon 6

Dope Lemon returned to the stage for their first headline tour in three years and audiences were invited to step into the real world of Angus Stone – a dream zone layered with melty moments, mischief and romance.

At FOH, behind an Avid S6L console, was Adam Rhodes who has worked with Angus for the past 11 years. He describes mixing for Dope Lemon as quite a challenge with all of the vocals going through a TC Helicon Voice live distorted compression effect with slap delay at all times.

It makes the gain before feedback issue much harder than usual,” added Adam. “It’s a balancing act between keeping the energy level of the band up whilst trying to ensure the vocals are intelligible and on top of the mix – particularly when it’s a distorted vocal and both Angus and Louis are playing distorted guitars, Brad has his big muff pedal on the bass and its one big wall of distortion. The traditional sound guy in me struggles with that!

Adam doesn’t use any Waves with the Avid S6L preferring to use solely what comes in the console package. He uses the Bomb Factory 1176, Classic Bundle and Digirack compressors and the standard Revibe and Reverb One reverbs that come with the console.

I’m enjoying the Pro Multiband compressor too,” he added. “The main reason I don’t use anything external or use any third party products is that when you’re touring around, there’s very little support for it. If I’m going into a festival situation and they don’t have that equipment, I don’t want to be having to load and install things to make my show work in the 20 minutes I have to get everything running.

When it comes to reverbs, delays and effects, Adam says that he has always sculpted and created his own sounds rather than use presets from the pull-down lists.

I’ll always create my own patches and all this is easily done on the consoles proprietary system,” he said. “I don’t use any feedback on the plugins, I do it all on the console. I do it old school where I feed the delay back on itself and if I want it to be a little crunchy, I’ll put a Sansamp in front of it or whatever I need to do to make the sounds I want to create.

Adam admits he sees other engineers use plugins and achieve the same results but he suspects a lot of people just flick through presets until they find one they like. Adam will have a sound in mind and then work out how to make it.

I’m never really happy with presets anyway so if I’m going to change them, I might as well do it from scratch,” he continued. “Plus Angus is quite particular about those sounds.


JPJ Audio supplied the touring control package and inhouse PA systems were utilized with Adam commenting that he loves the Nexo Alpha at The Tivoli as well as the d&b J Series at The Palais.

The Nexo GEO-D at The Enmore is a challenge to deal with particularly with my gain issues,” Adam elaborated. “It was one of the early attempts at cardioid PAs and without a proscenium arch I get a lot of mid-range honk out of the side of the boxes, heading straight towards Angus’ microphone and I struggle to get Angus’ vocals up against that.

Everyone was on Shure PSM1000 IEMs and there were wedges on the back of the keyboard riser to provide stage vibe for Angus who doesn’t like the fact that the keyboards are DI’ed and there’s no sound coming out of them on stage. When he pulls an IEM out, he wants to be able to hear it acoustically on stage and whilst all the guitars and bass have output through their amplifiers, the keyboard is silent which leaves Angus feeling disconnected. The drummer doesn’t use a drum sub so Angus has a d&b V Sub right behind him as he likes that drum sub feel onstage.

Most microphones are fairly standard Shure models; 57s on guitar amps and snares, Beta 98s on toms and congas, KSM32s as overheads, however it’s the KSM8 that excites Adam. All vocals use a KMS8 microphone with Angus recently acquiring two new nickel versions for this tour. Adam says that the KSM8 has changed his life with both Angus as a solo artist and Angus & Julia Stone.

I could wax lyrical about that microphone for hours if you want!” he laughed. “The amount of gain before feedback I can get out of it is incredible plus the lack of proximately effect is fabulous. It’s the microphone I’ve always wanted.

Eric Coelho mixed monitors on an Avid Profile monitor console.

This article first appeared in the print edition of CX Magazine September 2019. CX Magazine is Australia and New Zealand’s only publication dedicated to entertainment technology news and issues. Read all editions for free or search their archive


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