Live Sound

On the Road: Santana

Santana Carlos Santana is currently finishing up his touring year promoting his new release, All That I Am. Out with Santana are FOH engineer Robert Mailman 9/01/2005 8:00 AM Eastern

photo: Steve Jennings

Carlos Santana is currently finishing up his touring year promoting his new release, All That I Am. Out with Santana are FOH engineer Robert Mailman from Sound Image (Escondido, Calif.), monitor engineer Brian Montgomery, system engineer Satoshi (Son) Nishimura and audio techs Robert McCrillis and Nathan Klaeser. Mix caught up with Mailman between tour dates.

Are you carrying production?
I am carrying a P.A. provided by Sound Image and two Midas XL4 consoles, a Meyer CP10, 52 JBL VerTec 4889 speaker enclosures, 20 JBL VerTec 4880 subs and QSC PL 9.0 and PL 6.0 amps. We're also using eight BSS 366 processors and eight VariCurve EQs to drive the system. Monitors is carrying a Yamaha PM1D, Shure PSM700 and HW600 in-ears, Sound Image 1×12 wedges and 16 Crown IT8000 amps.

photo: Steve Jennings

What are some must-have items?
A good systems engineer that I trust to install and make the proper adjustments to my P.A. system. That person currently is Satoshi (Son) Nishimura. I can't do the show without him. The second is a console that I am really comfortable with.

What's your mixing philosophy?
I try and use the least amount of the best-quality equipment I can. As far as the mix goes, I listen to what the artist has to say and integrate their needs with what I feel I need to do.

What are your favorite venues?
My favorites are usually because they sound good and not necessarily because they are easy to work in. Red Rocks [Colorado] comes to mind. I love the place, but it is a real pain to get in and out of. The Gorge in Washington, Pine Knob in Michigan, Xcel Energy in St. Paul, The Target Center [Minn.], The Greek in L.A., Irvine Meadows [Orange County, Calif.] and Chastain Park in Atlanta are all favorites.