Photo: Jonathan Pines
Metal legend Black Sabbath has been on the road since April, playing arenas and amphitheaters. Veteran engineer Greg Price (pictured) and monitor engineer Myles Hale both use Avid VENUE D-Show and Profile consoles, with P.A. and monitors provided by Clair Global. Local sound companies augment the touring gear and staffing in every town. At press time, for example, the band was in Brazil, where Gabisom provided support.
Price says certain pieces of gear play an essential role in managing Black Sabbath’s massive, anthemic rock sound. “[Until this tour], we used the same vocal wedges for Ozzy [Osbourne] for many years. One of the focus points for Ozzy and his wedges is raw gain before feedback,” he says. “Anyone that has been on one of the 16 Ozzfests with me knows the sheer sound pressure level from Ozzy’s vocal wedges is remarkable. We changed his ‘ring of death’ vocal wedges, after years of success, to Clair Global’s CM22s. From the first day of rehearsals, Ozzy asked Myles to turn the wedges down. We have had zero feedback, which has been very important for recording shows for the upcoming Live Black Sabbath DVD.”
Osbourne sings into a Shure wireless 58A microphone; the mic package on this tour also includes models from Sennheiser, Audio-Technica and sE Electronics. “The sE T2 (pictured above) and VooDoo VR1 are game-changers for my mix,” Price says. “The T2 on Tony Iommi’s guitar brings his onstage sound to me at FOH; I want that really punchy midrange for guitar. The VooDoo is the bomb on bass guitar cabinets.
“My crew members, Clair Global, and the people in the engineering community help me achieve my goals every show day,” Price adds. “And Black Sabbath makes it very easy to have a ton of fun.”