Jason Raboin just wrapped up a tour with Joan Baez and is now out with Modest Mouse. With only one day off between two distinctly different tours, Raboin gave Mix the low-down on the Baez tour, which he'll pick up again in March.
How much gear are you carrying on this tour?
We are carrying mics, stands, cables, a console and processing. We have a mic package comprising mostly Heil mics. I'm using a prototype vocal mic that has the PR30 diaphragm in a handheld housing that the company is calling the PR35. Other mics include PR40 on kick; overheads are Beyer M160 ribbons into A-Designs' Pacifica pre's; bass is an A-Designs REDDI into a dbx 162SL; and electric guitar is PR30 into a Pacifica into a Distressor. Joan's acoustic is an Avalon U5 into a dbx 162SL, and her vocal is a PR35 into a Pacifica into a Speck ASC-T EQ; backing vocals are also PR35s.
Photo: Dana Tynan ©2003
What's your mixing style for Baez?
The mix runs through a Drawmer 1968 ME [Mercenary Edition] compressor. I'm using a Yamaha DM1000 console and run monitors from front of house. Joan is on in-ears and the rest of the band is on a wedge each. Joan's mix has her voice and guitar pre-fader, while the rest of the band is sent post-fader to her ears. This way, as I adjust for solos and dynamics, she gets the same changes. I try to keep the mix as simple as possible. I use little or no effects, depending on the hall. It's a quiet show, and it's all about Joan's voice; everyone else's job is to support that.
What's the one piece of gear for this tour that you can't live without?
Nothing — Joan would still be Joan no matter what we had her singing through. That said, I have become quite fond of the Heil mics and A-Designs' Pacifica mic pre's.
Where can we find you when you're not on the road?
Working on the house and advancing the next tour.