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Leonard Cohen Tour Profile

Mix magazine interview with audio engineers and live sound crew on mixing audio for Leonard Cohen 2009 tour. Tips, techniques and equipment applications from Leonard Cohen’s front of house (FOH) and monitor mix engineers. Mix magazine March 2009

Leonard Cohen

After 15 years of not being on the road, singer/songwriter and poet Leonard Cohen (pictured) is hitting the ground running on a world tour. Montreal-based Solotech is providing support, spec’ing a Meyer Sound MILO and MICA line array system. Mix caught up with Cohen’s front-of-house engineer, Mark Vreeken.

How much gear are you carrying?

We have the same consoles, mics and drive along for every show. We’re getting wedges and P.A. from Oceania out of Melbourne and Auckland. We carry a Meyer rig from Solotech in Europe and North America.

What is the most important piece of gear for this tour?

It would have to be his vocal mic. He’s happy with it and it sounds great.

What is your mixing style for Cohen?

Trying to get every word out there with good tone is Number One. The band mix can also be pretty big because the arrangements are so tight. It all revolves around the vocal, but every one of the musicians gets their chance to shine. It’s a fun band to mix.

What has been the most difficult part of this tour from an audio perspective?

The biggest challenge is minimizing the sound of the P.A. at Leonard’s position onstage while still maintaining what we want in the house. We’ve been lucky that most of the venues have been fairly good and the crew is excellent. As far as broken gear, I think everything we use is built to fail at some point, and that keeps us on our toes.

Where can we find you when you’re not on the road?

At home enjoying my family. It’s the best.