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All Access: The Fray

It's the story you don't hear that much anymore: Denver-based quartet The Fray started gigging at local venues, garnering a strong fan base and support

It’s the story you don’t hear that much anymore: Denver-based quartet The Fray started gigging at local venues, garnering a strong fan base and support from local radio, which led to a listener-driven campaign to get the band a record contract. The band won “Best New Band“ honors from Denver’s Westword magazine and got substantial airplay on two of Denver’s top rock stations, creating such a spotlight on the burgeoning band that the band signed with Epic Records in 2004, signing on the dotted line onstage at the Fox Theatre in Boulder. Showing their love for the live performance, Fray enthralled crowds with their radio-friendly hits across the U.S.; Mix caught up with the party at the Shoreline Amphitheater (Mountain View, Calif.).

According to front-of-house engineer Mark Maher, he’s manned DiGiCo D5s, and Yamaha PM1Ds and PM5Ds on previous tours, but this is the first time he’s using a Digidesign VENUE. “The learning curve was almost non-existent,” he says. “Having worked in a studio in the past with Pro Tools, I was very familiar with the plug-ins and how to get around the console. I also liked the clarity of the preamps — very transparent. I found the console to have a much smoother sound than the Yamaha digital consoles that I’d used in the past.”

Maher is also using a pair of Avalon 737s, Manley VoxBox, Focusrite Liquid Channel and a pair of TC Electronic DBMAX processors. “This is my first tour with the DBMAX; I will never tour without it again,” he says. “It ‘masters’ your mix. Every song heard on the radio is mastered; why shouldn’t we do the same for live mixing?

“I have an incredible systems engineer from Eighth Day Sound, Michael Mordente. He had tricks up his sleeve to make my mix as consistent as possible in every venue on the tour. This is not an easy job — without a great systems engineer, every day can be a new disaster. Michael is on the top of my list for future tours.”

Crew chief/systems tech Michael Mordente is taking the TC Electronic DBMax to three Dolby Lakes for system processing, along with a SIA Smaart computer and a multitrack Pro Tools record/virtual soundcheck computer. “We are using Eighth Day Sound and are carrying 14 V-DOSC per side with three dV-DOSC downs, six d&b B2 subs and nine dV-DOSCs for side hangs with Q7 front-fills per side,” Mordente says. “We are also using Lab.gruppen amps on them, and d&b D12 amps on the subs and front-fills.”

Stage tech Justin Quade mikes the Glock with an AKG C 414. Guitar mics include Sennheiser e 906s, and Shure SM57 and KSM27.

Guitarist Dave Welsh plays a Gibson SG Jr., Gibson ES 330, Taylor 310, Benedict Groovemaster and a Fender Jazzmaster. According to guitar tech Jonathan “JP” Parker, his amps include an Ampeg Gemini and a MusicMan 1965 210.

According to drum tech Jeff Linsenmaier, Ben Wysocki’s kit is miked with Sennheiser e 602 and Yamaha SubKick (bass), Beyer M201TG (snare top), Sennheiser e 604 (snare bottom), AKG C 430 (hi-hat), Shure SM57 (tambourine), Sennheiser e 604s (rack/floor toms), AKG 460 (ride cymbal) and AKG C 414 B-XL II (underhead stage-right/left).

Monitor engineer Brian Joseph is manning a Yamaha PM1D, recently making the move from a PM5D, using 54 inputs and 24 outputs.

“Four of the five musicians are using in-ear monitors,” Joseph says. “They use a mix of the Westone ES-2 and ES-3, and also the UE 7-Pro. The transmitters and receivers are the Sennheiser EW300 IEM G2s.”

Guitar/vocalist Joe King plays a Gibson Les Paul Gold Top, a Gibson ES-335, J45, L4A and a Fender Stratocaster. According to guitar tech Jonathan “JP” Parker, his amp is a Divided By 13 FTR 37 and Fender Twin Reverb. He sings through a Shure Beta 58.

Behind the Scenes at The Fray 2007 Tour