Nearly 600 drummers got their chance to be in the global spotlight earlier this month, as they raised funds for a leading UK multiple sclerosis charity, setting a new world record into the bargain. And helping to keep them all in time was a Yamaha M7CL console.
Part of the National Rock and Pop festival, which also incorporated the Guitarfest and Drumfest trade shows, the “Stick It To MS” world record attempt was hosted by comedian and actor John ‘Jazz Club’ Thomson - himself a drummer - and saw a total of 582 drummers in Birmingham’s National Indoor Arena to achieve a new world record of tub-thumpers playing in the same place at the same time.
The record required that all the drummers played together for at least five minutes, producing an average sound level of 105 dB, peaking at 130 dB.
“It was quite an experience,” says front of house engineer Chris Starklam, who manned a Yamaha M7CL-48, together with monitor engineer Rupert Jones.
“We had eight drummers onstage - including Jason Bittner from Shadow’s Fall, Slade’s Don Powell, Karl Brazil of Feeder / Luke Doucet / Ben’s Brother Jojo Mayer and John Thomson - four of whose kits were miked up. They set the rhythm and were joined in groups by the rest who were located on the arena floor.”
Click here to check out video footage of the event, which raised over £34,500 for the Multiple Sclerosis Society.
“I did approach it with a certain amount of trepidation,” Starklam admits. “We had to communicate by sign language, because that amount of sound bouncing around in an arena made even communication by shouting impossible!. But it was a really good event to be a part of and we’re really glad that so much money was raised.”
Guitarfest and Drumfest both saw live performances by a number of leading artists, including Simon Phillips, Glenn Hughes, Jennifer Batten, Stone Gods, Doug Wimbish and Yngwie Malmsteen.
For these, Starklam and Jones each manned an M7CL-48, soundchecking the acts from 7 am - 11 am and then mixing the performances between 12 pm and 6 pm.
“Due to the number of channels each artist was using - drummer Simon Phillips using 24 alone - every soundcheck setup was saved as a show file, which allowed us to immediately re-load the respective file when it came to their performance,” Starklam explained. “Despite the pressure it all went really well, but we couldn’t have done it without the M7CL consoles. Their inherent speed of use, onboard effects and ability to save show files were critical to the success of the whole event.”