All Access: The FaintThe bandmembers of electro-synth quartet The Faint are doing it on their own. Their latest CD, Fasciinatiion, was recorded in their private studio, Enamel, 7/01/2009 8:00 AM Eastern
The bandmembers of electro-synth quartet The Faint are doing it on their own. Their latest CD, Fasciinatiion, was recorded in their private studio, Enamel, and released on their own label, Blank.Wav. Their current headlining tour finds them entertaining packed mid-sized venues, including The Fillmore in San Francisco, where Mix caught up with the act.
For this run of shows, front-of-house engineer/production manager Dutch Worthington relies on house consoles. At the Fillmore show, Worthington was “happy to be using their Heritage 2000; at many other venues, we were not so fortunate,” he says. “Because I was sharing compressors and I have a lot of inputs that need compression, I kept things simple and compressed eight sub groups. [For this show,] I used six dbx 160s on drums, keys and vocal sub groups; and two BSS 404s on Joel [Peterson's] guitar/bass sub group and Dapose's guitar/bass sub group. I gated the kick, rack and floor with BSS 504s.” Vocal effects take a long hall reverb, slapback, short reverb and tap delay; however, most vocal FX are done onstage with a MIDI-controlled TC Electronic Helicon.
“The Road Kill piece of equipment [inset] is a $30 distortion pedal that I was told you can buy at Walmart. I bought it off of a house guy because I had left my boutique pedal at the previous gig. Surprisingly, I get less noise and tastier distortion to give the vocals a little edge on certain songs.”
The tour is also relying on house-provided P.A.s; Worthington likes to see a well-placed line array hang, such as a Meyer Sound, d&b or L-Acoustic system. For front-fills, he turns wedges to face the audience as there is little vocal or keyboard volume coming off the stage. “For these guys, it just sounds more natural than hearing guitars and drums from the stage, and then keys and vocals from the far corners of the stage or from hung front-fills,” he explains.
Monitor engineer Julian Gibson mixes on a compact Yamaha LS9, running monitors for the three bands on this tour: The Faint (30 inputs, eight outputs), Ladytron (26 inputs, seven outputs) and The Crocodiles (five inputs, two outs). “That is one of the reasons we decided to carry the LS9 with us,” Gibson explains. “A bit of clever repatching and saving scenes, and everyone's happy.
“Todd [Fink, vocals] and Jacob [Thiele, synths] from The Faint, and two members of Ladytron all use Sennhieser ew300 IEM G2 in-ear monitor systems, with both drummers hard-wired from the desk,” Gibson continues. “That made my life much easier, and I wish we were carrying our own monitor wedges.”