Live Sound

Red Hot Chili Peppers "The Getaway Tour"

The Red Hot Chili Peppers—Anthony Kiedis, vocals; Flea, bass; Chad Smith, drums; and Josh Klinghoffer, guitar—brought The Getaway Tour to Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif., in early March. Rat Sound of Camarillo, Calif., provided the complete production package.

“This is my first tour mixing the RHCP,” says veteran FOH engineer Sean “Sully” Sullivan, center, with systems design and engineer Jim Locker, left, and systems engineer and P.A. tech Radek Lesa. “I replaced their longtime FOH engineer Dave Rat, who retired. We have two very different approaches to gear choices, as he was all analog and I am all digital. My point is to always use what you’re comfortable with and what makes you confident to get the job done.

“I’m mixing the tour on the Avid S6L and using AAX DSP onboard plug-ins: Cranesong Phoenix (tape saturation on pretty much everything), McDSP Vintage Comp (parallel comp on drum bus), MCDSP 6050 Ultimate Channel strip (guitar, kick, snares, VX, toms, keys and bass guitar), McDSP ML4000 (Mix Bus), Plugin Alliance SPL Transient Designer (bass guitar, kick and snare), SPL Twin Tube (bass guitar), Maag 4 EQ (lead VX), Sonnox Sony Oxford Reverb (Drum FX, VX FX), Sonnox Supressor (vocals), and SansAmp (hi-hats).

“I used to mix on the Profile, which had eight LED meters built in to the surface that I used for stereo group meters. The S6L has these, but they are tiny and not where I want them, so I had this rack built to house eight Dorrough 280D (inset), which are fed AES outs from a Stage64 at FOH. The source is my eight main groups.”

“Outboard plug-ins are all Waves Soundgrid via Multirack, connected via Avid MADI 192 and Waves MGB using two Extreme servers [one for backup], controlled by an Apple Mac Mini. I’m using onboard channel gates for all drums that are gated, and onboard compressors for vocal comps. Two Dolby Lake Processors for AES and Analog input redundancy drive the P.A.”

“I’m mixing monitors with a DiGiCo SD10, says monitor engineer Mark Vanderwall, left, pictured with monitor tech Carl Popek. “I don’t use plug-ins. I prefer to do everything internal. For outboard gear I have one 8-channel Grace preamp as a line driver for selected inputs.

“We have Shure PSM-1000s for transmitting to the band’s Future Sonic MG-6pro in-ears,” he continues. “Live mixes are sidefills (4x) Arcs, (7) Rat Superwedges, (2) Rat L wedges, Rat Supersub, (2) drum Buttkickers and EAW 12-inch micro wedges all powered by (9) Powersoft X4s.”

Anthony Kiedis sings into an Audix OM7, Flea into an AK OM-7, with an EV-967 for Josh Klinghoffer.

“Rat Sound from Camarillo, Calif., provides the FOH Control and Monitor Package for the whole world tour, and provides the P.A. system for all the U.S. dates. European tour dates were covered by High Lite Touring, Czech Republic,” says systems engineer Jim Lockyer.

“The P.A. system consists of all L-Acoustics products,” he continues. “Main hang is (16) K1 and (4) K2 per side; sub hang is (8) K1SB per side; side hang is (16) K2 per side; 270 hang is (15) Kara a side; Rat Cage is (24) LA-8 amps per side; ground amps are (3) LA-8 a side, (3) LA-12x; ground subs are (18) KS28, a total of 6-blocks-of-3 on end in cardioid. Front fills are (6) Kara; total wedges are Rat Sound SDW-22 4-way Active with 2x 12-inch, 1x 10-inch, 1x 2-inch (mid and high are concentric), powered by Powersoft X-4 amps.”

Guitarist Josh Klinghoffer has a Marshall Major with 1960B, miked with Shure SM57 and Audix OM-7, Fender Tonemaster and Tonemaster 4x12, with an Audix D3. ISO cabinet has a Heil PR-30, and the amp simulator uses two Radial J48 DIs.

Flea uses six Gallien-Krueger 2001RB heads, six cabinets, with Shure SM98 on 10-inch and 2 DIs.

Drummer Chad Smith’s kit has a Shure 91 and Audix D6 on kick; Shure SM57s on snare top and bottom; toms are Audio-Technica AE3000; timpani is AT-4050 (x3); snare, roto toms and Octabons are ShureSM98s; cowbell and wood block are Audix M-44, and overheads are KM-184s. Pictured above right: Drum tech Chris Warren.
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