Singer/songwriter Mitch Rowland trusts Britannia Row Productions for headline solo tour

Harry Styles’ first label signing plays 19 dates across intimate theatres in North America

Mitch Rowland found notoriety as Harry Styles’ guitarist and co-writer, and the pair toured the world together for two years during ‘Love on Tour’, which saw Britannia Row Productions supply audio for all 169 shows. When the time came for Mitch to take the spotlight in his own right, the American multi-instrumentalist turned to Britannia Row for live audio services on a much smaller scale.

Forming a close-knit bond after ‘Love on Tour’, audio engineer Christian Zuniga was welcomed back into the fold as Mitch’s Monitor Mixer and Production Manager. He comments: “Mitch is not an up-and-coming artist, he’s been touring arenas and stadiums for years, so he’s used to high-level touring. However, when he presented this new project, he wanted to play in small theatres instead of opening for a big tour. Every place has been special as each venue carries history. It’s one of the best tours I've been a part of; we got to see a new side of him.” 

As the first artist signed to Harry Styles ’Erskine Records, industry backing doesn’t come much stronger, and the same can be said for Mitch’s audio team who were keen to support the new venture.

Working closely with FOH Engineer Miguel Tapia, Christian continues: “Miguel is one the finest mix engineers out there, and Lez Dwight, Director of Britannia Row and Ops Coordinator Shawn Dier from Clair LA’s office have all been so supportive of us. I thought that smaller tours wouldn’t get the same attention as the big ones, but I was wrong!” 

This team has become part of a touring environment that involves family, with Mitch’s wife, drummer Sara Jones, joining his solo journey after also touring with Harry Styles. “The touring band are the same musicians that collaborated on Mitch’s record, which Rob Schanpf, our guitarist, produced,” explains Christian.

The tour is running a pair of Allen & Heath D Live CTi1500’s at both monitors and FOH with DMO Mix Rack and DX012, fitted with a pair of Gig a ACE cards for gain sharing. Each console has a Waves card for multitrack recording and virtual sound check, with everything running native and no outboard.

“We wanted a small yet powerful footprint that could take us from festival appearances to clubs, as we’ve played some tiny stages such as [legendary honky-tonk]Pappy and Harriet’s in Joshua Tree, California,” he says.

“Miguel introduced me to Allen & Heath on my previous tour with Mexican pop act RBD. Most of those venues were stadiums and Miguel was mixing on a large format D Live. Apart from being impressed by his mixing skills, I was impressed by the native side of the console with no plug-ins. Everything sounded great; pre-amps, compressors, reverbs – it was all very powerful. Once I knew that Allen & Heath make a compact version, mixing on it was a no-brainer!

“There’s very little latency with this console, it has a great layout and fast adaptable workflow. In previous meetings with Mitch and Rob, they wanted to produce a show that sounded like Mitch’s record, ‘Come June’, with analogue tubes etc. An analogue system was out of the question due to venue size, but we were very pleased with how this sounded.”

Christian uses Shure PSM 1000s for Mitch and Sara on JH Audio Roxannes, with the rest of the band, Matt Schuessler (bass), Rob Schanpf (guitars) and Aiden Finn (keys) opting for d&b audiotechnik wedges.

“Mitch and Rob are very particular with their guitar sounds. We travel with two vintage Ampeqs Geminis and a vintage Fender Custom Deluxe for their rigs. We use a mixture of Shure KSM32 and Beyerdynamic M60 mics, with the vocal mic being an SE V7. It gives the clarity needed to push Mitch’s vocals out of the mix,” he adds.

Aside from finding the perfect live tools to present what Rolling Stone magazine called “the album everyone hoped Rowland would make, except even better”, choosing the right audio supplier was critical in its highly anticipated live offering.  

Christian concludes: “Someone once told me that gear makes up 10% of what this industry is about, while the other 90% is the people making it happen. The interaction that you have with people on a day-to-day basis is where I think Clair Global excels. Clair and Brit Row have the best crew out there, from people who build beautiful racks – that attention to detail isn’t something you see everywhere – to the support offered when you leave the shop, there is always someone on the other side of the phone with an answer, anytime, anywhere. Even the Executive Team are there when you need them!”

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