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Passenger in the U.S.

Singer/songwriter Passenger (aka Mike Rosenberg from Brighton, UK) is touring North America along with Canadian trio The Once and Stu Larsen in support of his latest release, Whispers. After this leg concludes on September 14 in San Diego, Passenger will head to Europe in October.

Passenger is touring with front-of-house engineer Simon Kemp and monitor engineer Russ Matterson. The monitor control package is provided by Special Event Services in North Carolina, including SES’ custom 12-inch wedges. Kemp says that in the U.S. they are relying on house-provided P.A. systems and that they are carrying a pair of DiGiCo SD9s for monitors and FOH. “We gain share a DiGiCo D-Rack [stage box],” Kemp says. “It works really well. When we play festivals we use two DiGiCo SD11s that we fly with, and our small RF rack.”

“The vocal mic of choice is an AKG D7, which has all the characteristics of a vocal condenser but is actually dynamic,” Kemp continues. “This show is all about vocal power and intelligibility so I need a lot of gain before feedback. Mike is also completely wireless with his guitars and his stompbox. For this we use AKG DMS 700 digital wireless system. This has worked brilliantly, and after lots of time spent comparing it to a wired guitar method it sounds exactly the same. There is no loss or any of the classic RF sounding issues you would normally get.”

Kemp’s mix of Passenger is straightforward, with an interesting twist: “I don’t use plug-ins,” he says. “I’m a great believer in getting it correct at the beginning and keeping it simple. I do a few tricks with his guitar, and use the subs for some real guts. The rest is really just effects and delays. The main weight of the mix comes from his shoe microphone: This is an AKG transducer built into his shoe. The result is a big 808 sounding bass drum.”