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PreSonus Peppers Maroon 5 Mix

FOH Engineer, Jim Ebdon, reveals vocal chain secrets used on Adam Levine.

Baton Rouge, LA (July 31, 2015)—Having spent years mixing the likes of Aerosmith and Annie Lennox, veteran front-of-house and studio engineer Jim Ebdon (shown at right) knows a bit about working with distinctive vocals. On Maroon 5’s current tour, he’s using the PreSonus ADL 600 two-channel tube preamp and ADL 700 tube channel strip in order to capture Adam Levine’s pipes.

“My friend Andy Meyer suggested I try them out,” Ebdon said. “So I tried the ADL 700 on Adam Levine’s vocals, and it worked very well, bringing his voice out of the digital domain with power and intelligibility. I like the ADL 700’s semi-parametric EQ for taking out a consistent tone inherent in the microphone; I usually don’t touch the EQ after the initial setup of the unit. And the ADL 700’s compressor has that tube tone that is so endearing to live sound. It’s warm, smooth, and fast.”

Ultimately, he moved to the ADL 600 for vocals, but didn’t get rid of the first unit. “I then mixed it up a bit and put the ADL 600 on Adam’s vocal. I reset my original vocal chain and put one side of the ADL 600 on at the end, strapped across the master bus. Again, the vocal popped and became bigger. I tried the main guitar through the ADL 700 with phenomenal results. I got the biggest guitar sound imaginable, and it was warm, smooth, and clear.”

Ebdon was quickly convinced. “The ADLs are extremely versatile, powerful tools, very user-friendly, and they sound great. They’re fantastic outboard gear, definitely ones to have.”