Lititz, PA (October 4, 2017)—The key to any successful tour is preparation, and if the tour’s engineers are using new consoles for the first time, then it’s even more crucial. Such was the case recently when front of house engineer Joe Keiser and monitor man James Bump had to each learn their way around a Yamaha RIVAGE PM10 console for Nickelback’s current Feed The Machine tour.
For the production, Clair Global is providing PM10s at both front of house and monitors; for Bump, that meant traveling to Clair’s HQ in Lititz, PA to get hands on with the desk. “The instructor had a last-minute conflict, so training had to be pushed back to the next day, but the desk was all set up for me to look at,” he recalled. “I grabbed a microphone, my iPhone, JH Audio Roxanne in-ears, sat down at the desk and off I went. Three hours later, I had set up the console for a makeshift show with built-in effects routed and assigned, compressors and gates turned on and adjusted, mixes sent to outboard IEM units, and the SILK feature applied with just the right amount of saturation on the vocal channel.”
Keiser, on the other hand, spent an evening using a demo desk in Nashville, mixing pre-recorded tracks. “The sound is big,” he said. “I had recorded tracks from the previous tour mixed on several different consoles, but the PM10 instantly sounded better.”
Finding the sound Bump wanted was a relatively straightforward experience: “I didn’t have to add plug-ins to make channels sound good and natural. I use SILK on almost every channel, all set around the 6-8 saturation level. I apply the blue SILK on drums, bass, and anything that I want to get a nice, smooth low end out of. I use the red SILK on guitars, vocals and anything I want to get a smooth high end out of.”
Keiser, too, leans on SILK at FOH, as he noted, “Right now, it’s engaged on all but a couple of channels. It’s nice to have all the different options available per channel: aggressive, smooth, vintage and so on. The time-based effects are really good. I’m not carrying any outboard reverbs or delays, and that’s a first for me. Currently I’m using the Rupert Neve 830 and the dbx 276 compressors based off some of the vintage pieces.” Additionally, he’s been using Steinberg Nuendo to record each show.