All Access: Christina PerriHead or Heart 2014 Tour 7/01/2014 5:00 AM Eastern
Christina Perri, on the road in support of her second studio album, Head or Heart, stopped by the famed Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco in early June. The big show is carrying relatively light production, with FOH and monitor consoles, along with snake and mics.
“For this tour I am mixing on an Avid SC48,” says production manager/FOH engineer Adam Jackson, who has been with Perri since her 2011 debut. “It is small and versatile and I really like taking advantage of snapshots; it helps keep your mix neat and tidy for each song. For plug-ins I use the Waves CLA- 2A compressor on all four of my vocals. I use the Crane Song Phoenix plug-in on Christina’s vocal, drums and my master output to give the mix some real life. I also use Waves RVerb, H-Delay and the SSL Compressor on various other instruments.
“I use an Apogee Big Ben Master Clock to keep my console running stable and try my best to achieve the best depth and clarity I can,” he continues. “I also use a Boss RE-20 Space Echo pedal that sits on my console and is used for all long vocal delays. I love this pedal and it’s pretty darn close to the real thing without the maintenance. Plus, I can tap tempo! On a side note, I would like to personally thank Shure Inc. for all of their love.” Perri is endorsed by Shure for mics and wireless and JH-Audio for in-ears.
“I live by one guideline: Gain Structure,” Jackson says. “I start by EQ’ing the P.A. so it reacts the way I need it to, and then I shoot for clarity, not volume.
"We're using all in-house racks and stacks on this tour," Jackson notes. "For audio, we travel with consoles at both ends and a snake, plus all stage patching and microphones. I have no problem mixing on different rigs. I feel like it gives me a new goal to achieve. Some systems are obviously going to be better than others but you have to make the best of what you get every day. It's what keeps us on our toes!
"Regarding P.A. systems, my preference would be L-Acoustics V-DOSC. Clair i3 and i5 rigs with the dual 18-inch subwoofers are also a favorite. I’ve also gotten some really great mixes out of the JBL VerTec systems, which are popular these days.
"I have been with Christina since her very first tour in 2011 and it has been amazing to see her grow as an artist," Jackson concludes. "She and I have a tight relationship that allows us to work closely together to make sure our show is always sounding the best it can. Her ability to work on things like microphone technique over the years has really helped us craft this epic vocal sound we have come to know and love. On a side note, I would like to personally thank Shure Inc. for all of their love. They have been a huge supporter and a big reason we have been able to grow our sound and move our show in the right direction."
“I’m using the new Midas Pro1 console with a DL251 I/O unit,” says monitor engineer Andy Frost. “I’m really impressed with the sound of this console. I’m using all internal effects. I have a plate for the drums, a hall for various things like acoustic guitars, a plate for background vocals and a plate for Christina’s vocal. She loves a ‘FOH mix,’ so I have her cued up 90-percent of the time, mixing very similarly as if I would be for FOH.
“We had three 4U racks custom built to house all of our IEM, wireless mic and tracks gear,” he continues. “The top has all the tracks gear—Furman, Radial ProD8 DI and M-Audio ProFire 610 interface. We have a MacBook Pro that sits of top of that running Ableton Live. The bottom two racks split all the wireless gear. For IEMs we have (three) dual PSM1000 units to cover the five band members and myself and (two) PSM900 units for our tech and a guest mix. These all tie into an active Shure antenna combiner with a Shure helical antenna. We also have a Shure UR4D wireless receiver for both Christina and [guitarist] Johnny [Hanson]’s UR2/KSM9 wireless handhelds. We have a Shure helical and directional antenna to cover those.
"Christina and the band are all on in-ears," Frost continues, "no wedges once I joined the team.I worked to build a solid mix for her so she only had to reply on the in-ears. The band and I are on JH Audio JH-11 in-ears. The dual low end drivers are great to be able to push extra low end since we don’t have any wedges or subs onstage. The bassist, Wayne [Miller], has the JH-13 in-ears.
"I enjoy mixing monitors for Christina the most of any artist I’ve worked for," Frost concludes. "She and the band all have great ears, which keeps me on my toes, but I love working to get them the best sounding mix they can get. Everyone’s mixes are automated for certain songs, which helps me to focus on Christina’s mix the most during the show. She loves a 'FOH mix' so I have her cued up 90-percent of the time mixing very similarly as if I would be for FOH."