Imagine Dragons sound evolves with SSL

An SSL console is being used on Imagine Dragon’s latest world tour in support of their Evolve album.

Tour sound company Sound Image recommended the SSL Live L500 to FOH engineer Scott Eisenberg. “It was great to be able to bring up channels that sounded good right out of the box,” he notes. “We were able to bring everything together really quickly, which is a tribute to both the band and the console.”

The Evolve show features two stages. The main stage is for the primary song list with full line-up, while a ‘B’ stage allows the band to switch to pared-down, unplugged interludes that include viola, cello, acoustic bass, and keyboards.

This was one of the main challenges for Eisenberg – two stages, lots of instruments, and lots of inputs: “It’s about 80 inputs between the two stages,” he says. “Around 50 from the main stage, a dozen from the B Stage, plus talkbacks and so on.” The drum kit is a significant proportion of the main stage count – about 16 inputs – and there are several downstage drums that the other band members play, which account for around seven inputs. “It’s a bit of a handful,” says Eisenberg, “But nice that it’s broken up into two stages.”

In terms of overall sound for the tour, Eisenberg notes that the band tends to sound more ‘rock’ than sometimes comes across on the albums. “The band has given me the liberty to make it sound different to the album, which has been nice. Though of course I do listen to – and take note of the album – there are things that fans who only see the show once will be listening and hoping for.

FX processing for the show is almost entirely taken care of within the console – not just because of the ultra-low latencies and sound quality advantages. “I like having stuff on the console, so it’s right there in front of me,” Eisenberg explains: “Rather than going over to a rack of things or a separate system.”


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