Live Sound

All Access: Soundgarden

In the midst of their ongoing intimate-theater tour supporting their King Animal release, Soundgarden stopped by in early March for two sold-out nights at the Fox Theater in Oakland, Calif. Full moni 4/01/2013 5:00 AM Eastern

From left: Chris Cornell, vocals and guitar; Kim Thayil, guitar; Ben Shepherd, bass; and Matt Cameron, drums

In the midst of their ongoing intimate-theater tour supporting their King Animal release, Soundgarden stopped by in early March for two sold-out nights at the Fox Theater in Oakland, Calif. Full monitor and front-of-house control systems were provided by Rat Sound; local venues supplied the P.A. system.

FOH engineer Ted Keedick, at right, with system tech Jason Brandt at the Avid Venue Profile System. “The footprint is small, navigation is simple and I really like its seamless integration with Waves plug-ins and Pro Tools,” Keedick says. “I use the onboard DigiRack Mod Delay 2 for most of my vocal delays, and ReVibe for drums and some vocal reverbs, if needed. As for Waves, I use the RCompressor, Renaissance Axx and the C4 is great! It can really help shape and control whatever you use it on. The only outboard gear we were carrying was a Dolby Lake Processor for system EQ and alignment. “The two-plus hour set list is different each and every night, and there is a lot of power coming from that stage!” he continues. “I just keep my ears open and my hands on the desk, pay close attention to my cues, and make sure we are hearing everything that’s being played and all that is sung.”

photo of Jason Brandt, Ted Keedick

FOH engineer Ted Keedick, at right, with system tech Jason Brandt

Monitor engineer Martin Strayer, pictured at right with system tech Casey McDaniel of Rat Sound, also mixes on an Avid Profile and says he tries to limit his plug-in use, though he mentions using a Bomb Factory plug-in on Chris Cornell’s vocal as well as a long delay. The band carries the d&B audiotechnik wedges, too.

photo of Casey McDaniel, Martin Strayer

Monitor engineer Martin Strayer pictured at right with system tech Casey McDaniel

“We’re using a Telefunken M80 for Chris’ vocal mic,” Strayer says. “It’s got the best rejection and sounds great! I have been doing this a long time, and I can truly say this is the best bunch of guys I’ve ever worked with. Tapping out Chris’ long vocal delays, and blending them in his ears… super fun. I’ve never enjoyed mixing so much.”

photo of Kim Thayil's guitar amps

Kim Thayil's guitar amps

Kim Thayil’s guitar tech is Soundgarden’s Equipment Manager, Josh Evans (not pictured). Thayil’s Mesa Tremoverb combo and 90-watt Mesa Electradyne 4x12 cabinet setup are miked with Shure SM 57s. His footpedal gear includes T-Rex Tap Tone delay, Ibanez chorus, Electro-Harmonix Micro Pog, Hughes & Kettner Rotosphere, Dunlop/CAE wah, boost and distortion, and a Providence Pec-2 routing system.

photo of Chris Cornell's guitar amps

Chris Cornell's guitar amps

Chris Cornell guitar tech Stephen Ferrera-Grand says, “Chris Cornell’s backline has been going through some changes. At the Fox, his backline was two Savage Rohr 15 2x10-inch combo amps and one Divided By 13 FTR 37 head and 2x12 cabinet. Fred Taccone is the amp designer, builder and owner of Divided By 13, and we really appreciate his products and support. We have his amps miked with standard Shure SM 57s.

Drum tech Neil Hondt says that Matt Cameron’s kit mics comprise AKG 414s for overheads, Shure SM81 on ride, the new clip-on Shure 98s on toms, Shure SM57 on snare, the blend of Shure 52 and 91 on the kick drum, and an AKG 451 on hi-hat.

photo of Ben Shepherd's bass rig

Ben Shepherd's bass rig rackmount gear

“Ben’s rig consists of two amps, a Mesa M6 Carbine and an Ampeg SVT-VR,” says bass tech Nathan Yaccino. “The Mesa has a clean, unaffected signal, while the Ampeg is a dirtier, more saturated sound with all his pedals running through it. We have been using a Shure Beta 98 on the Ampeg 8x10 cab. People ask about it all the time because typically they are used on drums. Dave Rat, Soundgarden’s previous FOH engineer, has been using those for bass miking for a while. Although Dave isn’t running FOH for them anymore, we’ve kept that mic. It sounds good!

“Half of Ben’s pedals live on his pedalboard and the other half live on a tray in a rack behind his amps,” he continues. “The centerpiece of Ben’s whole rig is a Radial JX44 AirControl. Everything in his whole rig is routing either to or from it.”