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Yamaha LS9 Heralds a New Golden Age for the Zombies


It’s often said that if you can remember the Sixties, you weren’t there. One band that both can and were is The Zombies, currently celebrating its 50th anniversary. With a critically-acclaimed new album helping to usher in a new generation of fans, the band continues to tour - with a Yamaha LS9 ensuring that the sound is anything but zombie-like.

The past half century hasn’t always been an easy time for The Zombies, but the famously wistful vocals of Colin Blunstone and keyboard / songwriting wizardry of Rod Argent have been a constant in the music industry, whether within the band context or on solo projects. For the past decade Blunstone and Argent have again been working under the Zombies banner, the line-up completed by guitarist Tom Toomey and father-and-son rhythm section, Jim and Steve Rodford.

While hits like She’s Not There, Time Of The Season and Tell Her No form the cornerstones of the band’s repertoire, their 2011 album Breathe In, Breathe Out (only their sixth) has given the band a new lease of life and so interest in the 50th anniversary is naturally high.

With a world tour in the offing, the band’s front of house engineer Dale Hanson has settled on the Yamaha LS9-32 as his console of choice, thanks to its compact size but comprehensive facilities.

“I got to know the LS9-32 by seeing it in venues and most PA companies also tend to have them in their inventory,” says Dale. “The more I used it, the more I was impressed with its versatility. It’s size was perfect for the tours I was about to do and its capabilities are incredible. It does everything I need, so I feel confident walking into any venue. And I can take it pretty much anywhere with me.”

Used for both front of house and in-ear monitor mixes (sometimes wedges as well), the LS9’s flexibility is being utilised to its fullest, including WiFi control.

“I have about 19 inputs, which are mostly mics, plus three DIs,” Dale continues. “I always control the two sets of in-ears, even if I’m not mixing the wedges. When I do full monitors there are five mixes, plus the two in-ears. I split the monitor and FOH channels, i.e. 1-32 for FOH and 33-64 on the next layer for monitors and use my laptop to control the monitor mixes via Studio Manager and WiFi. This allows me to talk to the band and hear what they are listening to.

“Studio Manager is also great for setting up the system. I use it all the time at soundcheck, to go up on stage and to all parts of the room to check the sound. It’s fantastic.”

In addition, Dale is recording the shows, via a Dante-MY16-AUD interface direct to a Macbook Pro, for possible future release as a live album.

“The sound of the recording is amazing,” he says. “I use the playback from the previous night for soundcheck at each new venue. The quality is so good that the band have walked in and thought I was playing the album.”

He continues, “Overall, the LS9 competes with consoles that are five times the price. I will be taking mine throughout Europe and it is on my technical rider for the USA and Japan. Yamaha’s technical backup is also excellent - before I purchased the LS9, many other engineers said to me how good their support is.”


Products LS9-32 , DANTE-MY16-AUD

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