Photo: Cambria Harkey
Dwight Yoakam and band—guitarist Eugene Edwards, bassist J.J. Clark, drummer Mitch Marine and multi-instrumentalist Brian Whelan—have been hitting the road hard since he released 3 Pears in September 2012. The shows are musically and sonically powerful, as Yoakam continues to cook up his awesome combination of country, rockabilly and rock ’n’ roll.
Scotty Schenk mixes monitors, and Jordan Zur—who worked dozens of tours during 15 years with Eighth Day Sound before joining Yoakam’s crew full time in March 2013—handles the house sound.
The tour carries a full package of mics and backline, as well as Schenk’s Avid SC48 monitor desk and Yoakam and Whelan’s wedges. The rest of the equipment needs—FOH console, P.A., etc.—are rented locally. Zur specs an Avid Profile in every town, and gives a list of preferred loudspeaker models, which gives him consistency night-to-night and allows him to concentrate on his priorities: the overall band sound, and above it all, Yoakam’s vocal.
Yoakam sings into a Beyerdynamic M88, “and then a Mercury M72s Mk. I mic pre,” Zur says. “Dwight owns four of those. It’s a tube pre—just a dial on it, some pad switches, it just sounds amazing. It gives me that warm, full sound on his voice so I’ve got something to work with, with all the other stuff coming into his mic. Then I bring it into the Avid desk, and I use an SSL EQ, which is part of the Waves package; from there I use the CLA-76 [compressor/limiter plug-in], which is based off the 1176 that Chris Lord-Alge uses. Chris mixed most of the songs on 3 Pears, and Dwight wants me to emulate that vocal sound. The reverb is a Waves reverb plate, usually no more than 1.6 milliseconds—a real basic plate with a little high end rolled off so it’s real natural. I use a slap delay, the Waves H, which is a nice analog sound. And then I use the Kramer tape delay, because especially on the new album there’s a lot of tape slap.”