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Golden anniversary – legendary Dutch rockers celebrate with Yamaha


2011 sees Dutch rockers Golden Earring celebrating a remarkable 50 years in showbusiness. Accompanying the band on all their live shows is a Yamaha M7CL mixing console, which helps to give their old songs a thoroughly modern sound.

Famed for ‘biker anthem’ Radar Love, Golden Earring are celebrated as one of Holland’s most enduring rock acts. Although these days the touring schedule is a less hectic than in the past, the band is committed to delivering the very best live productions.

Front of house engineer Arjan van Egmond has worked with the band for 23 years, using the M7CL since it was introduced. Together with The Hague-based rental company Bourgonje Sound & Lighting which (backline apart) supplies all of Golden Earring’s production equipment, it’s a winning combination.

“The M7CL is easy and simple to operate, its layout is clear and logical and, most importantly, it always works,” says Arjan. “I have tried all the other brands of digital console and came across bugs in all of them - except Yamaha.”

The band plays a wide range of venues and is a regular on the festival circuit, so the M7CL’s small footprint and light weight are further bonuses.

“The small footprint is very important in theatres and also means I can use my console of choice at festivals. The weight also makes it easy to move with just two people,” he adds.

Arjan uses the M7CL’s onboard processing, his only concession to outboard being a Crane Song HEDD on the console’s outputs - a 1u unit engineered to be musically transparent while providing analogue sounds in the digital domain.

“The analogue sound of the HEDD is very important for my overall mix,” he adds. “In combination with the M7CL, I get the best of both worlds. The sound quality of the console is exceptional, especially when you consider its price.”

Another interesting and unusual part of Golden Earring’s rig is the two Yamaha DMP11 mixers used in the backline rig. With Yamaha also celebrating a major anniversary in 2011 - the silver jubilee of the DMP7, which was the first digital mixer - it’s a timely illustration of the ultra long-term reliability and quality of Yamaha equipment.

Fully programmed to mix a range of sounds via complex circuits of effects units for guitarist George Kooymans and bassist Rinus Gerritsen, the 23 year old DMP11s allow any to be recalled at the touch of a footswitch.

Despite being about to celebrate their 50th year, the success of Golden Earring doesn’t appear to be diminishing. A headline set at the second Bavaria Open Air festival in Lieshout was rapturously received by a 21,500-strong audience, with Arjan’s M7CL playing a starring role.

Although there were much larger consoles being used by other acts in the front of house tent, there was widespread opinion that Golden Earring’s sound was ‘exceptional’ - Arjan’s unusual use of a volume pedal, which he uses in combination with delays on the M7CL, providing an array of extraordinary sound effects.

“You can see how much fun the band have while performing. This inspires the crew to always give 100% commitment,” he says.


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