Nineteen years after their last appearance, the three surviving members of Led Zeppelin, together with John Bonham's son Jason, took to the stage at the 02 Arena to perform a tribute concert for their late record label boss Ahmet Ertegun, who signed them to Atlantic Records in 1968.
At front of house was a Midas XL8 Live Performance System provided by Britannia Row, with two engineers at the controls. Big Mick Hughes mixed the band, Jimmy Page on guitar, John Paul Jones on bass, and drummer Jason Bonham, while Robert Plant's front of house engineer Roy Williams handled the singer's soaring vocal range.
The decision to use the XL8 came after Page heard it at Metallica's Wembley gig this summer. Plant subsequently visited the Midas factory to see and hear the XL8, which guaranteed the XL8's place on the rider.
Williams has worked as front of house engineer for Robert Plant for almost a decade. "I'll always have a preference for Midas, and the transition from analogue wasn't as hard as I had expected; I found the XL8 user-friendly, especially when obtaining any EQ that I might be looking for. The XL8 let me have my own world to work in with just the vocal mic and eight effects, leaving Mick to create his world without either of us getting in one another's way. No blood was drawn, we had a blast and more importantly are still friends."
Big Mick, who put the XL8 through its paces on Metallica's European tour earlier this summer, was mixing the band. "We felt that using the XL8 gave us an unlimited amount of options," he says. "It was a good job we did as the input list grew to over 70 channels, and if we'd gone analogue we would have been into two desks.
A preproduction Klark Teknik DN9696 high resolution live hard disk recorder was on hand during rehearsals, allowing the engineers to 'virtual soundcheck', working on the sound and effects from the live recordings and using the settings to create automation scenes for each song.
Onstage, a Midas Heritage 3000 handled the band's monitor duties under sound engineer Dee Miller.