Article , Interviews , Press


Posted 25 May, 2023

Rüfüs du Sol Live

One of Australia’s biggest musical exports returned to Australia, selling out arenas. We caught up with the sound crew at the second Melbourne Showgrounds date.

As featured in AudioTechnology  •  February 2023

Performing electronic/dance music live has always been a tough nut to crack. Early attempts were often hilarious. The implicit contract between the stage and the audience was: we’re miming; you know we’re miming; we know you know; but let’s have some fun anyway.

I don’t think anyone does live dance music better than Rüfüs du Sol. The three-piece group supplements playback parts with actual, meaningful live performances. There’s live drumming… and not just triggers, actual acoustic drumming too. And the vocals of Tyrone are compelling. Fragile, reedy… you hang off every word.

“We have a lot of inputs from stage — around 70,” explains Cam Trewin. Cam is more than the Rüfüs du Sol front of house engineer he’s part of the group’s inner audio sanctum and has been for around a decade. Everyone in that inner circle is utterly meticulous about sound. Once a studio track joins the live set list, it’s painstakingly prepared. The band’s studio producer and mixer, Cassian, readies the music and preps them into stems. Cam confers with Cassian on aspects that need massaging for a live context — reining in the 808 kick drum sounds is a good example.

During production rehearsals the band elects to perform certain parts on their synths and SPDs, and it’s determined which drums and percussion parts are retained in the live tracks. That said, a kick sequencer part is always retained. Drummer James Hunt will play the kick during jams but at all other times a kick sequencer leads the timecode driven sections.

“The kick part is a fundamental part of the mix,” explains Cam Trewin. “In fact, I’ll sidechain any other parts that operate in that area of the frequency spectrum. I spend a lot of time fine tuning the attack and release on that sidechaining such that it’s imperceptible in the mix but it does help to maintain low end clarity.”