Live Sound

Umphrey’s McGee Shares Mix With Fans

Six-piece progressive/improvisational rock band Umphrey’s McGee is in the middle of a nationwide tour supported by ECTO Productions of Elmhurst, Ill. Mix caught up with front-of-house mixer Chris M 5/01/2013 5:00 AM Eastern

Umphrey's McGee at the Fox Theater in Oakland, Calif.

Six-piece progressive/improvisational rock band Umphrey’s McGee is in the middle of a nationwide tour supported by ECTO Productions of Elmhurst, Ill. Mix caught up with front-of-house mixer Chris Mitchell and Kevin Browning, who is in charge of the band’s Creative & Business Development, at the Fox Theater in Oakland, Calif., where Umphrey’s played to a packed house on March 16.

At FOH, Mitchell mixes on a Midas PRO9 digital console, while monitor engineer Bob Ston works with an Avid Venue Profile. “I mix on the PRO9 as if it’s an analog console,” Mitchell notes. “With a 400-song catalog and improv every night, scenes just aren’t possible. I use the PRO9’s internal effects rack for a pair of ’verbs, a pair of multiband compressors and the dynamic EQ, which acts as a de-esser. My outboard rack includes a vintage Lexicon 480L, and a TC Electronic D2 and Fireworx for effects. I try to create a mix that allows the P.A. to disappear. Perfectly tuned drums and great-sounding guitar and keyboard rigs require only accurate translation, not tonal repair.”

At selected venues, the band introduced “Headphones & Snowcones,” coordinated by Browning and Micah Gordon, whereby—for a fee of $40 plus a deposit—16 to 18 fans could listen to Mitchell’s FOH mix in an area near the console, as well as receive a download of the performance in MP3 or FLAC format. Browning explains: “Essentially we’re providing an in-ear monitor mix for fans wearing Audio-Technica AT-50 headphones instead of custom molds, broadcasting the live 2-track recording via a Sennheiser 2000 Series transmitter and beltpacks. We are looking to make this a regular feature at all UM shows and spread it to venues and artists around the globe.”

April

2015 NAB Show

Las Vegas Convention Center, 3150 Paradise Road, Las Vegas, NV, U.S.

Musikmesse 2015

Frankfurt am Main, Frankfurt, Germany

June