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Nickelback Tour Profile

Mix magazine interview with audio engineers and live sound crew on mixing audio for Nickelback 2009 tour. Tips, techniques and equipment applications from Nickelback s front of house (FOH) engineer. Mix magazine May 2009


Monitor engineer Mike Mule (Dashboard Confessional, Rush, Van Halen, Whitesnake) is currently out with Nickelback, spec’ing a DiGiCo SD7 board from Clair Global. “The SD7 is a natural progression for me, having worked on a D5,” he explains.

The engineer is handling more than 50 inputs coming off of the stage, including eight vocal channels, two drum kits, and various electric and acoustic channels. “With eight positions around the stage,” he says, “it was important to grab the main vocal dynamics, EQ and sends, and spread them to the other positions and be able to follow [lead vocalist] Chad Kroeger and [lead guitarist] Ryan Peake with their own distinct settings to any mic they walk up to. Also, allowing me to configure my console when needed is a big help with opening acts and when the ‘oh, by the way’ changes come. A case in point was with opening act Saving Abel, who started on wedges and then brought in an in-ear package. We were able to reconfigure the console and add all the new mixes and arrange them to the engineer’s liking without losing any of his previous settings.

Engineer Mike Mule

“I’m old-school in the fact that we try to get everything to sound good from the source and not have to overcompensate with EQ and dynamics,” he continues. “I use them when needed and try not to load every channel up with unnecessary ‘signal diminishers.’ That makes the amazing dynamics, such as comps and gates on this console, that much more unnoticeable. The EQ section is amazing: There’s no plus-or-minus 18 going on, if you know what I mean.”