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All Access: OneRepublic

Ryan Tedder

Photo: Steve Jennings

OneRepublic—Ryan Tedder, vocals/guitar/piano (pictured above with a Shure wireless body/Telefunken M80 capsule); Zack Filkins, guitar/backing vocals; Drew Brown, guitar; Brent Kutzle, bass/cello; Eddie Fisher, drums—performed at the Sleep Train Ampitheater in Wheatland, Calif., in late June. Tour support is by VER Tour Sound, with a d&b audiotechnik main P.A. comprising 16 J-Series boxes per side, with six J-Series flown subs; each side has eight J-Series boxes with six Infra subs ground-stacked. Front fills are Meyer MINAs built into custom jump boxes.

“I’m mixing the tour on a DiGiCo SD7,” says FOH engineer/production manager Zito, pictured at left with VER Tour Sound systems engineer Brett Stec. “It sounds great, which is the ultimate determining factor in why I chose it. Plus, it can handle a lot of inputs—we’re over 90—and it’s extremely flexible in its layout. I use quite a bit of Waves processing, especially on drums and effects. Most of my reverbs are the IR Live versions of my favorite hardware units. I use the Lake system for EQ tuning.

FOH engineer/production manager Zito (left) with VER Tour Sound systems engineer Brett Stec.

Photo: Steve Jennings

“As for mixing live, it’s all about the vocal, period,” he continues. “As much as we’d love to think it’s about the snare sound or bass tone, 99-percent of the audience only cares if they can hear and understand the vocal. So I spend the majority of my time making sure that’s right. Once that sits, the rest falls into place. I want a huge, fat mix— vocal out front and intelligent and slamming low end.

“It’s a lot of work, and I couldn’t do it without my systems engineer, Brett Stec. After my wife and P.A., he is the most important person in my life! And a shout out to our monitor tech Frank Peoples and stage tech Trayvon Beales.”

Monitor engineer Matt Manix

Photo: Steve Jennings

“The DiGiCo SD7 is the best-sounding digital console I’ve ever used,” says monitor engineer Matt Manix. “With this band, we need flexibility, and the SD7 has plenty of I/O to handle anything we throw at it. I’m also using a good bit of Waves plug-ins to supplement the built-in effects and dynamics processing.

“All of our wireless is Shure, and everything is networked through Shure’s Wireless Workbench for scanning and monitoring,” Manix continues, with a nod to Jason Glass of Clean Wireless Audio, who helped set up the system, along with monitor tech Frank Peoples, who uses a TTi PSA2702 RF spectrum analyzer as a real-time scanner before and during the show. “We’re using 14 channels of PSM1000 IEM, 10 channels of UHFR for various mics and instruments, four ULXD for some instruments on deck, and an Axient system for Ryan’s vocal. The Axient has been incredible. We’re playing a lot of sketchy RF environments and we’ve never had a dropout since switching to the Axient.” All band members recently switched to Westone ES60 in-ear monitoring.

“For drummer Eddie Fisher, we’re all Shure microphones,” says drum/cello/backline manager Clint Jackson. “We have a 91 and 52 on kick, a 57 and KSM 32 on snare, Beta 56s on toms, 81s for ride and hi-hat, and the underheads are all KSM 137s. We have two additional kits, one for Eddie and one that Zack plays, with Beta 56s on anything wired and Beta 98s on UR4D wireless for the matching snare.”

Guitarist Zack Filkins plays electrics through a Fractal Audio Axe-Fx 2 with a MFC-101 foot controller. Patch changes are also made via MIDI coming from Bert Elliot’s playback rig. “Zack uses a Cordoba Nylon acoustic for the song ‘Counting Stars,’” says guitar/keyboard tech Paul Barber. “In the intro he layers percussion created on the guitar with a Pigtronix SPL Infinity Looper and then plays a flamenco solo he wrote. He also plays Dobro in the acoustic set.”

Brian Carroll, guitar/bass tech

Photo: Steve Jennings

Guitarist Drew Brown uses two Matchless heads, to go with a Clubman and a Phoenix,” says guitar/bass tech Brian Carroll. “The Clubman is a little dirtier sounding—perfect for that little bit of extra gain. The Phoenix is cleaner and also has reverb, run through a Matchless 4×10 cab. There’s also a Fender 65 Super Reverb with four 10-inch speakers. Super-clean and very rounded. We can use all three together or any combination of each. We prefer to use Palmer DIs instead of mics for a more even signal with more control.”

The guitarist’s rack gear mainly comprises analog and digital effect pedals—including Line 6 M13 for modulation effects, and analog JHS and Walrus—controlled via MIDI by the RJM Mastermind GT16.

Bass player Brent Kutzle uses an Aguilar Tone Hammer 500 head through an Aguilar 4×10 cab—the cello is not sent to the cab. Both bass and cello are run from the back of the rig via Radial SGIs down to the pedalboards from the Shure ULX wireless units in the rack. The bass board comprises various gains such as the Aguilar Agro and an OCD Overdrive, along with an Aguilar Octamizer for subs. The cello uses a Barbera Transducer on the pickup, run through a Line 6 M9 for wet signal.