Widespread Panic's tour is carrying a complete rig provided by Eighth Day Sound. Mix caught up with FOH engineer Chris Rabold about the tour and recording the shows for download (within 48 hours post-show) off the band's site, www.livewidespreadpanic.com.
You've changed from using a Midas board to a DiGiCo D5 Live. Has there been any difference?
The most noticeable difference is the added sense of depth. There are 60-something inputs coming from the stage, plus six lines of shell-mounted triggers to open the gates on Todd Nance's kit. Throw in effects and we're up around 80. Separation is of utmost importance. The D5 really allows you to place sounds within the mix.
What kind of P.A. are you using?
We are carrying 24 V-DOSC, six dV-DOSC, six Q7s for frontfill, 12 Q1s for side coverage and 12 B2s. Power is via Lab Gruppen. The system is set up and maintained by systems engineer CW Alkire with John “The Technikan” Switzer and Pat Lavalle flying the P.A. Having the sub lows running in unison with the rest of the array is a make-or-break aspect of a show.
How are you recording each show?
We run Peak on my Mac G4 Powerbook fed from a MOTU HD96; the Peak files are stored on a Glyph FireWire drive. We take a 48k/24-bit AES feed from the desk and run it into an Apogee Big Ben. This takes care of the format conversion and re-clocks everything to its internal word clock. The CD burners and DAT recorder take S/PDIF feeds, while the Masterlink and MOTU HD96 input via AES. When the show is over, I burn a DVD-R of the two show files from Peak. These files are .AIFF files — data only. I send the DVD overnight to the company that manages the site. They convert the show to MP3 and flac formats.