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Chemical Brothers hit the road with MOTU gear

Following the release of their eighth studio album Born in the Echoes earlier this year, the Chemical Brothers Live tour has been churning through daily music festival appearances and stadium dates promoting the seminal duo's "bold reinvention" of an evolving sound that spans a 20-year career full of multiple Grammy Awards, Top Ten singles and #1 albums. True to their technological heritage, the tour employs cutting-edge technology on stage to produce one of the most intense and elaborate live experiences ever devised. The tour's Matt Cox details how MOTU audio interfaces, with their advanced audio networking, factor heavily into the systems that drive the show.


Playback and stage mixing

"We are doing several things at the moment with various MOTU interfaces. Our primary playback system uses 16A's to provide audio inputs to our stage mixing console. We needed sixteen outputs from an interface and the spec of the unit suited us well. So far, performance has been solid and reliable and we are very happy with the results. We also have a sync'd laptop which acts as a loops/drum machine device. This, too, has a 16A interface attached for multi-channel output to the stage.

"My previous experiences using MOTU kit in our stage systems for Snow Patrol and Sub Focus were very positive, so it was easy to choose MOTU's latest new technology for the Chemical Brothers Live tour. This new MOTU kit allowed us to deploy a more flexible, integrated system that is quick to set up."
— Matt Cox, Chemical Brothers Tour Tech



Live show recording

"We also had a requirement to record shows during the tour, so we decided to use the 24Ai, as its small size fit nicely within our playback racks. Being an AVB device, it allowed us to network to the playback channels on the 16A's, which are included in our live tracking. Recording has been solid so far, with absolutely no issues.


Crowd noise, headphone monitoring and rockin' beats

"We have ambient mics on stage and at FOH to capture crowd noise. These signals required pre-amps. For that reason, we added a 1248 so that we could record the mics using the 1248 pre-amps and also set up headphone monitoring of all of the other AVB streams, using MOTU's browser-based web app. Again, this has worked really well.

Fast setup and recall

"Because the whole system can be saved as a preset for immediate recall, we have achieved extremely fast setup times on a daily basis at festivals. This is essential when there are short setup times between bands.


MOTU MIDI interfaces

"We also have a number of MOTU MIDI interfaces in the system, which are used to send MIDI note data and MIDI clock data around the stage. They also read SMPTE time code sent from our main computer. Time code is absolutely essential in this show, which is heavily driven by video content."