FixIt: Gaelic Storm FOH Engineer Peter WildermuthWith the unique combination of instruments in this band, the most challenging thing is making the mix sound full, without sounding brittle or harsh. There is an abundance of upper-midrange frequencie 1/01/2011 4:00 AM Eastern
With the unique combination of instruments in this band, the most challenging thing is making the mix sound full, without sounding brittle or harsh. There is an abundance of upper-midrange frequencies, especially in the fiddle and bagpipes, that require careful notch filtering. I find that cutting 4 kHz and 8 kHz on the bagpipes really helps to soften it up. I also find myself boosting a bit of low-mid with the pipes. With no bass guitar in the band, I compensate for that by keeping the bottom end of the guitar as prominent as I can while being careful to cut just a bit of where it can get muddy, usually around 160 cycles. The lack of bass guitar is also made up for by the solid bass drum sound, which originates from a Roland TD-3 sound module. Finally, I place a Sennheiser e604 on the bottom of the Djembe to capture the bass notes that Ryan plays. To keep vocals under control, while also allowing them to cut through the mix, I typically double-bus my vocal channels by assigning them to a pair of subgroups and also directly to the left/right mix. I use a stereo compressor or a pair of compressors inserted on the subgroup, typically with a 3:1 or 4:1 ratio. The compressed signal is blended with the direct, uncompressed signal, which offers so much more control.