While not playing with their original lineup—vocalist Phil Labonte of All That Remains has been filling in for Howard Jones, who had to leave the tour to attend to personal matters—rockers Killswitch Engage still brought the house down, blasting out tunes from their latest self-titled offering. Mix caught up with the band and crew at San Francisco’s Warfield Theatre.
On this tour, the opening acts and Killswitch Engage are all mixed on the same board, so front-of-house engineer Jordan Coopersmith opted for a Digidesign D-Show. “I like the larger worksurface, but the trade-off is a footprint as large as an analog console,” he says. “We run two splits—one Killswitch Engage and one support—so everyone gets the inputs they need. The console is quite user-friendly and the processing versatility is unmatched.”
Front-of-house engineer Jordan Coopersmith
Coopersmith uses the stock Fairchild and Bomb Factory plug-ins, and not much else because “I don’t want to request a bunch of high-end stuff for my touring console and go to a fly date or festival and find that I have a totally unsupported column of plug-ins. I prefer to have the consistency and a lot of the stock gear function well. For outboard gear, I run my matrix L/R to a Lake Contour system. Other than that, I use two TC [Electronic] 2290 delay units.”
While the tour is not carrying racks and stacks (a Meyer Sound MILO system is installed at the Warfield, while Scorpio Sound provided the rest of the gear), Coopersmith is hauling along six d&b B2 subs. “In the Warfield we had to stack them angled outside the house subs,” Coopersmith explains. “We were concerned we would have cancellation issues, but we got them timed right and it worked quite well.”
Fill-in vocalist Phil LaBonte sings through an Audio-Technica AEW T5400 wireless handheld with a condenser capsule.
Guitarist Joel Stroetzeluses a Splawn Nitro 100-watt head with KT-88 tubes for his main tone, and a Fuchs Clean Machine 1x12 combo for his clean tone. “We are using an Audio-Technica AE 2500 dual-element mic for the dirty tone and an Audio-Technica 4040 for the clean tone,” says guitar/bass tech Josh Mihlek (stage-right). “Joel uses a Maxon OD808 overdrive pedal and a Boss NS-2 Noise Suppressor on his Splawn, and Maxon AD-9 analog delay pedal and compressor/limiter pedal on his Fuchs.” Stroetzel sings through a hard-wired Audio-Technica AE6100.
Bassist Mike D’Antonio uses an Ampeg SVT-VR bass head. “We don’t mike his cab anymore; we’re currently using three DIs: an Avalon, a rackmount SansAmp and the DI on the bass head,” says guitar/bass tech Josh Mihlek.
Guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz plays through a Fender Twin combo amp primarily for clean tone parts only. Guitar tech Tom Cavanaugh mikes it with an Audio-Technica 4040. The main amp (dirty tone) is a Splawn Nitro that is powered with KT88 tubes. “Also in our rack is a Fender EVH III amp strictly for a backup, then a Straight Mesa Boogie Recto 4x12 guitar cabinet [top] loaded with Celestion Vintage 30 speakers,” Cavanaugh says. The Mesa Boogie is found understage, miked with a Shure SM7 and a Heil PR 40.
“We use an Audio-Technica 5000 Series wireless system, a Korg DTR-2000 rackmount tuner, a Furman PL-Plus C power conditioner and a rackmount Whirlwind multi-selector. The pedals are a ISP Decimator noise-reduction unit in the effects loop; then in-line, we use a Boss NS-2 noise suppressor pedal, a Maxon OD808 overdrive pedal and an AD-9 analog delay pro pedal, a Whirlwind A/B selector pedal and a Boss TU-2 chromatic tuner in which we run in the front for tuning if the rack is set offstage.”
Monitor engineer Nate Moore
A Maxon AD-9 and CP-9 pro compressor pedal are used for effects with the clean tone when using the Fender Twin combo amp.
Dutkiewicz sings through a hardwired Audio-Technica AE6100.
According to drum tech Sean McCall, Justin Foley’s kit is miked with Sennheiser 901 and Heil PR40 (kick), Audio-Technica AE3000 (snare top/bottom, rack tom), AT4021 (hi-hat, ride), AT4040 (floor toms), 4050 (overheads) and Shure Beta 98s (cowbell, crash, china).
Monitor engineer Nate Moore mixes on a Digidesign Profile loaded with the standard VENUE Pack Pro plug-ins, including Smack! on vocal channels, BF76 on bass and Fairchild 660 on snare. “All the IEM outputs have the Digidesign EQ 3 for small tweaks and the impact to keep things under control,” Moore adds.
The band uses Sennheiser EW G2 300 IEM units with Sensaphonics 2MAX molds. All wireless mics and instrument wireless are the Audio-Technica 5000 Series.