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All Access: Hawthorne Heights

Mix magazine interview with audio engineers and live sound crew on mixing audio for Hawthorne Heights 2009 tour. Tips, techniques and equipment applications from Hawthorne Heights' front of house (FOH) and monitor mix engineers. Mix magazine February 2009

Hawthorne Heights was carrying most of their own mics,” Abreu says. “We provided them with SM58s for their vocals and a Shure Beta 52 for their kick mic.”

Photos: Steve Jennings

Despite a few very tough years (including the death of bandmate Casey Calvert and an on-again/off-again relationship with their label, Victory Records), Hawthorne Heights (vocals/guitarist JT Woodruff, drummer Eron Bucciarelli, guitarist Micah Carli and bassist Matt Ridenour) continue to wave the flag for emo-pop. Touring behind their latest release, Fragile Future, the band is playing theaters, relying on in-house engineers and gear. Mix caught up with the four-piece at San Francisco’s Grand Ballroom.

Nick Abreu, full-time engineer at San Francisco Bay Area-based sound company Pro Media|Ultrasound and occasional FOH and monitor engineer/systems tech at the Grand Ballroom, mixed the show on a Yamaha PM5D console. “I like to keep it relatively simple,” he says. “I was mostly using the onboard stock effects on the board: RevX ‘verbs on vocals and guitars, as well as a stereo delay on the backing vocals for some songs. The only outboard processor I used was a channel of the DCL200 that we have at FOH on the lead vocal. Hawthorne’s lead singer has a very dynamic voice, and it was nice to tame it a little bit in such a live room, as well as add a little warmth.”

According to stage manager/drum tech Eric “The Kid” Zintak, drummer Eron Bucciarelli’s kit is miked with mostly Sennheiser models, including e 604s (toms). Snare takes a Shure SM57, while kick has a Shure Beta 91. Overheads are ATPro37s.