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March 19, 2008
Recording and front-of-house engineer Mark Hawley takes Universal Audio LA-2As on Tori Amos world tour
Caption: Tori Amos engineer Mark Hawley shows off his custom touring rack of Universal Audio LA-2A leveling amplifiers.
London, UK (March 19, 2008) -- Tucked away down a dirt road, a stone's throw from the Atlantic coast of North Cornwall, lies Martian Engineering, a former barn converted into a modern recording complex. The facility is attached to the remote Cornish farmhouse that recording engineer Mark Hawley and his wife of ten years Tori Amos call home. When they're not at their Palm Beach residence or on Tori's latest world tour, that is...
Shortly before starting work on last year's Tori Amos album American Doll Posse, a friend recommended that Mark try out Universal Audio's classic LA-2A compressor on her vocal. "I had been using various 'quality' compressors on Tori's voice over the past 12 years with varying degrees of satisfaction," says Mark. "I got hold of a unit and gave it a try, and immediately liked what it was doing. As a result, I bought one for the studio and used it throughout the recording process where it made a significant contribution to the vocal sound on the record."
Hawley is also Amos' front-of-house engineer when the American singer/songwriter heads out on the road. As the recording of the album neared completion, Mark decided he'd like to add the LA-2A sound to his audio arsenal for the upcoming live shows. "I called up SSE -- our regular sound company -- and asked them to supply a pair of LA-2As for me to use with my front-of-house setup -- one for each of Tori's vocal mics," says Hawley.
"As it happened, band rehearsals started a couple of weeks before we brought in my desk with just the monitor system. And our new monitor engineer Andreas Linde-Buchner tried them out for the monitor sound to help him with re-creating what had been done on the record," explains Mark. "So I had to call up SSE again and ask them to send me more as I no longer had use of mine!"
When specifying touring compressors, a Universal Audio LA-2A may not be the first unit that springs to mind. To ensure they could handle the rigors of international touring, SSE rackmounted the units with custom rear supports in their own custom shock-mounted racks. "Eight months and 150 shows later, the LA-2As have been around the world and back, performing faultlessly without a hitch," says Hawley.
For further information, please contact:
Director of Distributed Brands
Unit 6, Pembroke Buildings
Cumberland House Business Park
London NW10 6RE
Tel: 020 8962 5080
Fax: 020 8968 3218
Links for further information:
t o r i p h o r i a
tori amos digital archive