Rock ’n’ Roll in a Nutshell

By in Live Sound, Music Creation

On tour with Die Toten Hosen and S3L-X

“Die Toten Hosen” are one of the few German (even more importantly, German-speaking) bands that have a solid fan base abroad, especially in South America where they have been touring for more than 20 years. This year the band headed to Argentina again for some intimate shows in five clubs across Buenos Aires. When you play in a club that holds 500 to 2,500 people, there is typically little space for bringing in your own equipment, so it’s important that the mixing console not only delivers the goods sonically, but also does it as compactly and flexibly as possible. Having used Avid’s VENUE | S3L-X on earlier occasions with positive results, I decided to rent a system locally. Well, to be more precise: I rented two, for FOH and monitors. Even Horst Hartmann, our monitor engineer, had to admit—after initial reservations—that the S3L-X is the optimum choice for this kind of tour given its size and technical capabilities. Given our experiences, I would say that we’ll do it exactly the same way next time around.”

In small clubs space is always an issue – monitor engineer Horst Hartmann at work

“S3L-X is not a workbench, but a Swiss army knife—in fact one that can do anything you need for a ten day survival trip, or a festival for that matter.”

—Stefan Holtz, FOH Engineer  “Die Toten Hosen”

Is it growing still?

“After the Argentina gigs, I just took the S3L-X to some festivals here in Germany—specifically two big festivals: “Rock am Ring” and “Rock am Park”. The other festival sound engineers smirked quite a bit when they saw it, with comments ranging from “Is it still growing still?” to “better not cover it up with rain protection, it needs to be watered”. But if we, as the headlining band, can rock the festival with great sound using the smallest console, it really provoked people to ask themselves if size really does matter. After seeing me with the S3L-X at Rock am Ring, it sounds like Ron from Bad Religion most probably will buy one too.”

Nothing but VENUE consoles (S3L-X for the main act first row on the right).

“For him, being able to take it on a plane is the most important selling argument, but so far, he hasn’t used it for festivals. I have to admit that it might take some getting used to the console and its operating system, and there are gigs where I would choose a different console—there is limit to how many plug-ins you can run. But honestly, you might have a different problem if 40 plug-ins are not enough to mix five people on the stage, so I’m totally fine with it.

At the end of the day, S3L-X is not a workbench, but a Swiss army knife—in fact one that can do anything you need for a ten day survival trip, or a festival for that matter. It will definitely remain my go-to console for the upcoming Toten Hosen shows in August. And as soon as the new S6L ships, then we’ll see…”

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I'm working as FOH engineer since many years and am responsible for the live sound of German top acts Die Toten Hosen and Marius Müller-Westernhagen.