New York (October 8, 2010)–Phish house sound engineer Garry Brown has mixed the band since it reformed in 2009 and moved to Midas digital mixing consoles for the first time earlier this year
“I had been using a couple of other digital desks, but was never totally sold on the sound,” says Brown. “I had always loved the Midas analog sound, so I thought I’d give their digital consoles a try.” When Phish announced its summer tour plans, Brown made immediate plans to bring the XL8. “With its physical layout, the XL8 has a more analog operational feel, which is great. The POP Groups are great. They make moving around the console a breeze.”
The band’s freewheeling nature means that Brown has no idea what the group might play next, dictating the need for instant access to multiple input groups without relying on presets or scenes. In terms of signal flow, the Phish stage utilizes 72 channels routed through a DL431 splitter and three DL451 I/O modules. “Learning the signal routing was actually the biggest challenge for me,” Brown notes. “But once you get your head around the patch page, it’s very easy to patch and repatch channels as needed.”
For the summer tour, Brown carried a computer for use with Pro Tools and Waves, he explains: “For effects, I’m using the Lynx AES16e-50 interface, running Waves Multirack software. It runs flawlessly.” Another touch that Brown likes is the XL8’s KVM switch, which allows him to display the Waves software directly on any one of the console’s five hi-contrast video display screens. “The lighting guys actually complained about how bright they are, but then they noticed that during the day, even in direct sunlight, the XL8 screens are still visible, while the lighting console screens are washed out,” notes Brown with a chuckle.
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