Touring nonstop to promote their latest album, Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace, knock-out rock band Foo Fighters are taking the concept of stage setup to new levels: There's an A stage for the main electric show and a smaller B stage (located in the middle of the floor) for the acoustic segment; the latter is hidden above the audience in the center of the venue, and is lowered when required. The trick for audio pros Bryan Worthen (front of house) and Ian Beveridge (monitors) is making sure that the sound from either stage is cutting clearly through the P.A. Mix checked in on the team at Oakland, Calif.'s Oracle Arena show in early February — just days before the group's performance at the Grammy Awards.
Front-of-house engineer Bryan Worthen is manning two DiGiCo D5s: one for the main “A” stage (42 inputs) and one for the “B” stage (30 inputs).
As for rack gear, “I have one rack per stage of six Avalon 737s,” Worthen says. “These are being inserted on Dave [Grohl's] vocals, Dave's spare vocals, Taylor [Hawkins'] vocals and the three acoustic guitar channels. The other rack is just a CD player, CD burner and DAT recorder.”
Front-of-house engineer Bryan Worthen with system tech Mark Brnich, who is holding a Dolby Lake Contour table PC; additional audio crew includes guitar techs Joe Beebe and Sean Cox, bass tech Geoff Templeton and drum tech Chad Ward.
Monitor engineer Ian Beveridge (below, right, with Worthen) is mixing on a mostly maxed-out Yamaha PM1D, using 80 or 90 inputs and close to 48 mixes.
“For monitoring stage A (main stage) and stage B (audience stage), there is a brain and input/output racks at either stage, but only one worksurface at the A-stage position,” Beveridge explains. “This was done to get rid of the 600 feet of copper that B-stage monitor audio would have ended up running in. Also, the band wanted a seamless transition from stage to stage, so ear mixes had to be sent from the one rack, which also lives at the A-stage position.”
The main stage (above) uses four hangs of L-Acoustics V-DOSC and dV-DOSC, and d&b B2 subs on the floor; stage B (right) has two hangs of V-DOSC and dV-DOSC, four hangs of dV-DOSC and three hangs of d&b subs. Six B2 subs are located on the floor around the stage.
Drummer Taylor Hawkins' kit is miked with all Sennheiser: 901s, 908s, 609s, 604s and 614s.
Guitarist Chris Shiflett (below, left) and touring guitarist Pat Smear