For signer/songwriter Kem’s recent tour, front-of-house engineer Jim Gibbons (who has mixed the artist for the past eight years) is relying on gear from Thunder Audio — “great service and gear,” Gibbons enthuses, mentioning company owner Tony Villarreal, systems tech Chris Moon and monitor tech Bruce Danz. Mix caught up with the crew in late March at Oakland, Calif.’s Paramount Theater.
The tour is carrying 10 Meyer Sound MILOs per side, with 16 hung at 90-degree dispersion and four at 120-degree dispersion, as well as four Nexo subs per side and four Meyer UPI frontfills. “The Meyer MILO speakers were fantastic in the wide array of venues we played,” Gibbons says. “We had daily comments about how good the system sounded. Chris Moon did a great job of aiming and flying the system. The MILO speakers had the clarity, smoothness and punch with the Nexo subs to hear the intricate and dynamic playing of the band.”
Front-of-house engineer Jim Gibbons
Gibbons is manning a Soundcraft Series 5 board, using 48 channels and four stereo channels. “The right mixing board is one that I can most effectively transfer the emotion of Kem’s music to the audience.” As for rack gear, Gibbons carries a Lake Contour, BSS 901 compressor (vocal), Klark-Teknik DN500s, BSS DRP-402s, Drawmer 201s, a dbx 166xl, TC Electronic M500 and Yamaha SPX-2000, among other choice pieces.
“Kem is using a Shure Beta 87C mic on a Shure UHF wireless unit,” Gibbons concludes. “Kem likes this mic because of how it sounds in his Sensaphonic in-ears and the way he can dramatically move and work the mic and still hear himself well. Working with Kem has been a great experience. The band has the chops, and the music is uplifting to make it fun to do day in and day out.”