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Heart And Soul On Tour: Mixing It Up With Rod Stewart & Stevie Nicks

Inside the live sound and system for two legendary artists

By Greg DeTogne May 12, 2011

Lars Brogaard at the DiGiCo SD7 he’s been using with Rod Stewart since 2008. Photo by Steve Jennings.

On the surface, this spring’s Heart and Soul tour may have seemed an unlikely pairing in its attempt to combine the growling rasp and peacock strut of Rod Stewart with the smoky, stirring lyricism of Stevie Nicks, but in truth the juxtaposition was far from uneven.

Playing hit-after-hit in North American venues ranging from Madison Square Garden to the Hollywood Bowl, Stewart proved that his amped-up rock star antics can indeed serve as the perfect foil for Nicks, who did her own share of hard rocking too, fueled by a six-piece band featuring longtime guitarist Waddy Wachtel.

Sound for the stage legends came to courtesy of Major Tom Ltd., a U.K.-based concern owned by Lars Brogaard, who also manned the helm at front-of-house for Stewart from behind a DiGiCo SD7 digital console.

In addition, Brogaard handled even broader tasks as production manager, plucking a Meyer Sound-based MILO line array rig from the Major Tom inventory to meet the tour’s sound reinforcement needs.

In addition to the prominent role he plays at Major Tom, Brogaard is a permanent fixture within the Stewart camp, having spun his own odometer in a seemingly endless stream of miles with “The Rodfather” since 1985.

The main system in full, headed by Meyer Sound MILO line arrays. Photo by Steve Jennings.

Known for his sparing use of outboard gear on past tours – going little if anything beyond a Smart C2 compressor on Stewart’s vocals and a T.C. Electronic System 6000 for vocal reverb that he says he has had “forever” – Brogaard maintained the same Spartan approach this time out, opting for the most part to keep everything comfortably cozy in the console.

All The Luck
A committed, unabashed “Meyer guy” by his own admission, Brogaard also helped DiGiCo develop the first D5, and took possession of the first SD7 on Stewart’s Greatest Hits 2008 tour.

Running the new desk in parallel with a D5 while programming was underway, after a few shows back in ’08 he swapped over to the SD7 and never looked back.

For Heart and Soul, the mix formula remained the same, as did Stewart’s reliance on in-ear monitors, a practice that extended to all corners of the stage.

Some guys have all the luck, and to this end Brogaard has indeed led a charmed life.

Having combined his considerable skills with the best talent of all stripes at every turn throughout much of his career, he has worked with a number of renowned engineers while touring with Stewart, David Bryson being one.

Together some 20 years, the two weaned the gravel-voiced singer away from his towering monitor system to in-ears.

Today, following in Bryson’s footsteps, Sven Jorgensen created the stage mixes for Stewart and his band with the help of a DiGiCo D5. With IEM still the order of the day, Jorgensen and Brogaard topped their input list with a wireless vocal microphone system from AKG, Stewart’s regular brand-of-choice.

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About Greg

Greg DeTogne
Greg DeTogne

Gregory is a writer and editor who has served the pro audio industry for the past 32 years.


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