Robert Frazza is one of those rare engineers who is equally comfortable in the studio or doing live FOH or monitors. We caught up with Frazza as he was getting ready to rehearse the Todd Rundgren/Joe Jackson/Ethel tour, this time mixing monitors with George Cowan doing the house mix.
Are you carrying production?
I'm carrying full monitors, microphones and a DM2000 for front of house, with the venues providing racks and stacks. This tour is mostly acoustic. There's a guitar position for Todd, a piano position for Joe and the Ethel is a string quartet. We've been using the Bose Radiators — those 6-foot-tall, 4-inch-round columns — as sidefills for Todd. They're pretty amazing. This tour, Todd doesn't move around much, but on the last tour, he was all over the stage and the Radiators provided perfectly even fill all around the stage.
Todd and Joe are picky about vocal mics. What are their preferences?
Todd likes using Beyerdynamic stuff. Joe has a Neumann KMS 105.
What are some of your fave past tours?
The last Todd Rundgren tour was great. I also do a lot of work with Tony Levin, which is essentially the early Peter Gabriel Band — great players. Working with them was a treat. I was doing FOH for the Walk Down Abbey Road tour [featuring Rundgren, Christopher Cross, Jack Bruce, Alan Parsons, Denny Laine and Joey Mullands] and sometimes Parsons would come out to FOH while I was mixing the rest of the band. It was fun knowing the dude who mixed [Pink Floyd's] Dark Side of the Moon was checking out my mix!
What do you do when you're off the road?I'm a big fan of the Food Channel and I like to cook. We're nearly getting into barbeque season and I'm looking forward to that.