Marilyn Manson Tour Relies on Waves L2 Ultramaximizer

Nov 4, 2003 12:00 PM, Editors


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It was first in the studio where Marilyn Manson’s FOH engineer Tom Abraham used Waves’ L2 as a plug-in for Digidesign Pro Tools. Abraham was able to shape and compress the signal without detracting from the sound that he specified the L2 for Manson’s in-ear monitoring system on his current tour. In addition, Abraham reported that he is integrating the L2 into the monitoring and FOH systems for Garbage, for whom he also mixes FOH, when they embark on their tour in January.

“The L2 makes a world of difference,” said Abraham. “The current state of in-ear monitoring is that they don’t handle ‘peaky’ program material very well, and ‘peaky’ is what rock is all about. Normally, you have to set the input of the monitors low in order to create headroom to handle those peaks without distorting. Once I discovered the Waves L2, I found a way to tame those peaks seamlessly. It prevents the input to the transmitter from clipping, so you can maintain all of the dynamics of a performance—the peaks, if you will—but lose the extraneous peaks that aren’t musical. The performance in the in-ear monitor is very consistent, which makes it much more comfortable for the performers onstage; they’re not constantly trying to adjust the monitor sound.”

Abraham has also applied the L2’s processing power to the main P.A. system, using the L2’s compression to limit the transient peaks with a “brickwall” of pump. “The L2 gets rid of the peaks and that lets the system cruise without affecting the tone of the mix,” he explained. “The difference between using conventional compression and the L2 is that regular compression applied across the bandwidth can make the mix sound small. The L2 lets you keep all of the bandwidth and generate a lot more headroom on the system. That translates into a big sound, but without the rough edges that clipping causes.”

In addition, Abraham noted that the L2’s digital operation makes for an easy and reliable interface with the DiGiCo digital console used on the road. “The L2 has AES I/O, so it converses with the console directly without having to do any extraneous conversions,” he said. “The sound stays digital until the output of the transmitters. That’s why the L2 is part of the band’s sound now, and part of every live sound system I’ll be working with from now on.”

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