Slayer's Unholy Alliance with d&b
Five bands a night is tough by any measure, make that five bands from the dark side of metal and you can begin to imagine the levels demanded of the system. But that is not the only pressure. "Some days we have to open doors at three in the afternoon," said Tim Quinby, soundman for top of the bill Slayer. "But to tell the truth the system we have is so fast to put up, my guys have it down to twenty minutes a side for a full blown arena rig, that I still get time to make my line check every afternoon. I can honestly say it goes up faster than any PA I've ever seen."
The Unholy Alliance tour has recently shipped into Europe from the US and sound service provider, Eighth Day Sound elected to send the complete touring package over with them. "It came about in a funny way," said Quinby. "When I was originally asked by management to specify this tour I asked for something else. Eighth Day had just purchased a new J-Series system from d&b audiotechnik and they asked me to come down and check it out. They set it up for me, I had to listen for about two minutes before I said, ok take it down and put it in the truck. What struck me immediately were two things; it has wonderful clarity; and horsepower. It has not let me down since. I've got headroom for days."
Quinby admitted that with bands the like of Mastodon, Lamb of God, Thine Eyes Bleed, and Children of Bodom on the bill, this is a show that starts loud and gets louder. "The first band hits the stage at around 103/104 dBA (slow), by the time I get to mix I'm sitting at about 107 dBA with peaks around 110. That is a little louder than I like to work, 105 is good for me, but the thing is nobody sees me having to beat up on the system. Even at that level I still have room, and it doesn't loose any of that clarity I heard back at Eighth Day Sound's shop. There is great punch, not just in the subs, but also in the mid/lows. It is very powerful sounding and for this type of music it works really well."
Quinby went out on a bit of limb to request the system for the European leg, "When we got to Europe Slayer's manager Rick Sales walked in and said, 'Wow, that sounds great. Is that the system we had in the States?' Truth is Eighth Day Sound wanted us to have it for Europe, so they made it work to everyone's satisfaction. From that point of view I just wanted to say a big thanks to Eighth Day. Since we started the tour in the US back in June we just haven't had any problems, no issues with weight and rigging, no mechanical failures. Nothing. What more can I say; I love it, the crew love it, and the bands are unbelievably happy."