Live Sound

FixIt: James McCullagh, Lucinda Williams' FOH Engineer

Read front of house engineer James McCullagh Tip on Signal Chain for Lucinda Williams tours 2/01/2009 7:00 AM Eastern

Coming offstage there's 32 inputs, but then we've got audience and record mics; I also double up a bunch of drum channels and route them through some processing and then back into the board on separate faders for a different sound. All in all, we've racked up quite a lot of inputs. I also run a mic line — which is copper wire, not a digital line — as we only have a digital snake (MADI lines) running between DiGiCo D1 consoles from stage into an Avalon 737 mic pre and then into the console on a line-in for Lucinda's vocals. Before it hits the stage rack, it gets split with a Radial ISO splitter to the DiGiCo stage box and then to the mic line, which runs down to me. I've actually got two vocal channels: the MADI one and the mic line. The reason for all this is that if I had to insert the 737 over her vocal channel, I would not be using the mic pre of the Avalon, only the EQ and compression. What I want is the Avalon to be the front-end of Lucinda's vocal sound. That said, we are using the DiGiCo D-TuBe pre's in the stage rack on our vocals and acoustic guitars, and they sound really great.