Scott Steiner, currently handling FOH duties for Sonia Dada, recently completed mixing the band's Test Pattern 5.1 CD/DVD release, which was finished at The Plant (Sausalito, Calif.).
How much gear are you carrying?
We carry the entire stage setup (two full guitar setups, a bass rig, two drum kits, a percussion outfit, a large keyboard rig nicknamed “starship enterprise” played by “Hambone”) and a full monitor rig. The three singers and percussionist use in-ears while four instrumentalists each have separate mixes with wedges. The drummer has a wedge mix with an extra mix for a “thumper” drum throne. We also have a Pro Tools|HD rig to record every show to FireWire hard drives. I recently used a Yamaha PM5D at the Fillmore (San Francisco) thanks to a random run-in with Ralph Tolson and Louis Adamo of Hi-Tech Audio and Joseph Lopez, Yamaha's application specialist. They loaned me a PM5D and came out to soundcheck to get me up and running. I am looking forward to getting more shows under my belt with it.
What is the most challenging element in working with a large ensemble?
Getting the important moments of each song out front while maintaining a musical balance, which means having my fingers on faders the entire show.
What is your “must have” piece of gear?
My old dbx 160s are a big part of controlling the show, but my mountain bike single-handedly keeps me healthy on the road.
What do you do when you're not on tour?
I try to spend as much time as I can in the studio. I also mix FOH for actor Gary Sinise's Lt. Dan Band. When I do take time off, I like to travel. Besides visits to the family cabin in the north woods of Wisconsin, I like to travel to Peru, Kenya, Mexico and the Czech Republic. I also try to play in a soccer league, though it has been a couple of years — go figure.