Archive | July, 2014

Not the size [of your console], but how you use it.

31 Jul

Who says you can’t get great sound from a minimal setup? It’s all about the right tool for the job.

At the start of the summer, I had the pleasure of providing production for DEEZOfest in Harrison, Arkansas for the fourth year in a row. It’s a small festival at a pretty little park on the river featuring a plethora of talent local to the Ozarks. One of my personal highlights from the event was the late afternoon set from Slapdash Science. The four piece, instrumental rock group has played the festival for several years now and always brings a riff-powered Millennium Falcon for attendees to board on a 45 minute journey through an asteroid field of only the hardest rocks.

Following is the board mix of the final song of their set:

What you’re hearing was recorded straight from the console’s tape output into a Tascam DR-40 solid state recorder. Post processing was minimal, in Logic I placed a slight 50Hz bump in the EQ to compensate for what was lacking from the kick and bass guitar in the main mix due to the subs on aux setup at the show and dropped the SSL master bus comp plug-in on the main output with minimal compression to smooth things out for general playback before bouncing to MP3.

The point is, the set kicked ass and sounded great, even with a fairly small system. The PA featured some powered D.A.S. mains, Mackie SRM450s for wedges and a Mackie Onyx 1640 at FOH with limited outboard gear (one dbx 166XL dual channel gate/comp and a Lexicon MX400 dual engine FX unit). Mic package consisted of the usual live show offenders: Shure SM58, SM57, Audix i5, D4, D6, ADX51, Sennheiser e604, e835. Here’s a picture of the stage, not from the Slapdash set, but from earlier in the day:

A shot from one of the early sets at DEEZOfest 6.

A shot from one of the early sets at DEEZOfest 6.

Don’t get caught too up in the “must have” gear. Get caught up in music and knowing how to use the tools at hand. You’ll have a good time.