Montreal-based The Stars (Torquil Campbell, trumpet/keys/vocals; Amy Millan, guitar/vocals; Evan Cranley, bass/guitar; and Chris Seligman, keyboards) are currently touring smaller clubs to support their latest effort, Set Yourself on Fire. Out with the band is FOH engineer Roberto Arquilla, who's relying mostly on club-owned systems, carrying little more than his unique sense of humor. Mix caught up with Arquilla in early February at San Francisco's The Fillmore.
How much gear are you carrying for this tour?
I brought a preamp (Vintech 473) for vocals and bass DI, a quad comp, some drum and vocal mics and an in-ear monitor for Torq. This was all rented from the ever-accommodating Studio Economik in Montreal. My friend/sound sensei lets me take his Yamaha 01V (for submixing drums and effects) and a PreSonus preamp that I use for violin. Thanks, Renaud [Lussier of The Dears].
What are you using mic-wise?
For drums, I'm using the Audix mic kit, which I really like. Audix D2s are also nice on guitar. Torq uses a [Shure] Beta 58A and Amy a Beta 57A. The rest is as per the venue.
What is your favorite venue in which to work?
I like any venue with a good crew, but Calgary's MacEwan Hall is a great place for sound. Built like an airplane hangar, I thought that it was going to sound like a tin can, but it sounded really good. I also had a good feeling about The Fillmore in San Francisco as soon as we walked in — and it turned out to be a great-sounding show.
When you're not on the road, where can we find you?
I sometimes mix bands at the Main Hall in Montreal. I also spend a lot of time at my second home: Murray, Natalia & Neptune's [The Dears].