Live Sound

All Access: MuteMath

Front-of-house engineer/tour manager Steve Chant is working on a Digidesign Show Profile, which he says is an excellent-sounding board that has a small 12/01/2009 7:00 AM Eastern

MuteMath performing

Front-of-house engineer/tour manager Steve Chant is working on a Digidesign Show Profile, which he says is an “excellent-sounding board that has a small footprint. I had been using a VENUE for the Moody Blues prior to this and was extremely comfortable with it, so I wanted the same for this tour.”

As for onboard effects, Chant relies on Digidesign ReVibe plug-ins for drums and vocal reverbs. “They are easy to use and infinitely configurable for each application,” he says of the ReVibes. “I use the Echo Farm for vocal delays. I have two setups — one in mono for a slap echo and one stereo ping-pong delay for certain songs. I have a very subtle pitch and chorus, which helps lift the vocal in the mix.

FOH engineer Steve Chant

FOH engineer Steve Chant

“With MuteMath, I have discovered that nothing is straightforward when mixing them,” he adds. “Instruments tend to move from one side of the stage to the other. Mics are grabbed at random. I just have to keep my eyes open. All drum mics are very firmly clamped as they tend to get moved not only around the stage, but into the audience at various points of the set. [All mics are Shure models due to an endorsement deal.] Aside from the apparent chaos, I have lots of fun and a great deal of satisfaction mixing their show.”

Monitor engineer/production manager Pete Healey is also on a Digidesign board, a VENUE D-Show, which he started using with another client and really enjoyed it. “It sounds better and is easier to use than most of its competitors,” he says. “The choice on using the Profile surface was strictly made for footprint. I use the Rane Serato plug-in package. They offer a compressor that you can change to be a dynamic that sounds and works really great. The package also contains a gate, PEQ and graphic. I also use the standard Digidesign effects plug-ins: ReVibe, Reverb One and Echo Farm.”

Monitor engineer Pete Healey

Monitor engineer Pete Healey

All bandmembers are wearing Sensaphonics 2 Max in-ears. “I started using Sensaphonics while doing monitors for Kelly Clarkson and really fell in love with them,” Healey continues. “They are the most comfortable and natural-sounding in-ears I have come across.

“Everything onstage is a little different than the average band. There are PinTech triggers on the kick and snare that directly trigger some end-table lamps surrounding our drummer, Darren. We also have the ‘Atari,’ which is basically like a Theremin guitar. It has a sensor strip kind of like what you see on an iPod running down the neck. The body has a photo cell and a few switches and knobs. The sound source is the audio chip out of an old Space Invaders game cartridge. Paul Meany [vocals/keyboards] can manipulate pitch, speed and volume with all of the different controls features.”