Photo: Anders Bergstedt
Following the success of their Number 23 album Lights Out, Swedish metal band Graveyard is bringing its act to the U.S., playing clubs across the country with their front-of-house mixer of two-plus years, John Rönnekle.
Rönnekle took time out from their European dates (19 shows in six countries to close out 2012) to talk about the U.S. plans: “Right now I’m traveling with only mics and a delay effect,” he says “On drums we have mounted a Shure Beta 52 on a Kelly Shu mount [bass drum microphone shock-mount], and one Beta 91 in foam inside the bass drum. For snare, a SM57 on top and a SM81 for snare bottom; the SM81 tolerates a high sound level without distorting and doesn’t sound so ‘new’ and crispy in the higher frequencies. I keep the snare bottom mic loud in the mix to amplify small drum rolls and ghost strokes. The rest of the drums are basic: Sennheiser e604s for toms and SM81s for overheads and hi-hat.”
Vocals are captured through a Beta 58. On guitars, Rönnekle has a Sennheiser MD421 but he’s considering adding another mic with a different character that he can blend in. “For bass I use a Radial DI box and an ADK A51 on the cabinet. In the mix I use the low end from the DI signal and the high end from the mic,” he says.
Rönnekle says his main focus is to keep the mix clean and simple: “Guitar solos and vocals tend to be louder in the live mix then on record. Especially in the States, people are really fond of solos of all kinds! On ballads I try to make things a little more ambient than the rest of the songs: more effects on the vocals and some extra reverb on some guitar parts. The band are really dynamic, and my job is mainly to make everything sound natural.”