Four monitor mixes are mixed from FOH with up to six extra zones, three analog external effects units (for a visiting dub band), with eight record output groups, talk-to-stage and shout boxes between me and the stage. I use a 30-channel festival patch that covers a diversity of acts — from singer/songwriters to African drumming bands to 10-piece funk bands. With 32 output buses with parametric and graphic EQ on each one, I have an endless ability to zone different areas, set delay times, assign record groups and monitor sends. The two stages of EQ allow for a much more precise and musical approach to monitor and FOH mix EQ. All processing is available on every channel and bus at all times.
The personnel on the stage are critical. At Strawberry, Tony Williams does a fantastic job organizing and deciding which inputs go where. Especially in band-after-band festivals, you can pre-EQ and we have some general vocal settings that work. On instruments, say, a Martin dreadnaught acoustic, I start with a 200-cycle highpass — where you get all that boom — and then notch it with a narrow Q. Mic selection is also important. For years, I’ve toured with Neumann KM84s, but I’m blown away by Audix SCX-25s, in terms of high output, tight pattern and good sonic quality in one package. On bluegrass-type group vocals, it doesn’t have much proximity effect and is perfect.
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