On the first leg of what promises to be a long tour, Bay Area rockers AFI made a splash with two sold-out nights at San Francisco's re-opened Avalon Ballroom. The band, consisting of vocalist Davey Havok, guitarist Jade Puget, bassist Hunter and drummer Adam Carson, are touring in support of Sing the Sorrow, which was co-produced by Butch Vig (Garbage, Smashing Pumpkins) and Jerry Finn (Rancid, Green Day).
FOH engineer Mikey “Rhino” Bakowski has been a fixture in the AFI camp for the past five years. “Because this is the beginning of the tour, I'm not carrying an FOH console or P.A.,” he explains. “What I carry in my rack is basically for Davey's vocal [which is miked with a Shure Beta 58]. My old faithfuls are two [Yamaha] SPX90s. I use the [Empirical Labs] Distressor on Davey's voice and then I compress the subgroups. I also use BSS gates and Opal Series compressors for the top snare and kick drum mics.”
Bakowski is also carrying drum mics, including a Shure SM91 and a Sennheiser 602 on kick, Beta 57 on snare top, Beta 98 on snare bottom, SM98s on toms and SM81 overheads. Guitar mics are Shure KSM32 and SM57. “I use Radial DIs for the samplers, bass and direct guitar,” adds Bakowski. “The Radial's passive DIs bring out so much more than an active DI.”