Singer/songwriter Katie Melua is currently out on a summer European festival tour (including a performance at Live Earth in Hamburg) in support of Piece by Piece. Mix spoke with front-of-house engineer Bill Fertig, who recently wrapped up a world tour with Steely Dan.
How much gear is the tour carrying?
I have chosen a Meyer MILO system with M3D cardioid subs, M'elodie side hangs, M1D and UPJ near-fills, and MJF-212 wedges. Meyer speakers are unlike all others and offer the most time-coherent and detailed sound available. Listen and measure for yourself. You can see and hear the proof of this.
What kind of board are you using?
We have a DiGiCo D5 at FOH and D1 for monitors. I have an ADK MADI recorder that runs real-time plug-ins.
What about mics?
Like my sound system choice, I consider my mic selection very carefully. During rehearsals, I will record while the band rehearses and work on mixes and evaluate mic selections in the evening on a pair of Meyer HD-1s.
I choose mics for high detail and use more cardioid condenser mics that have much less proximity effect than the typical default hypercardioid mic choice. The difference is very evident. The vocal mics are Audix VX-10s. I have Royer 121s on guitars, Royer 122s on saxes, Neumann TLM 193s on trumpet and trombone, Shure KMS 44s in omni also on guitars, AKG 414s in figure-8 on cymbals and my favorite mic — an Audix SCX-1H — on hi-hat, ride, snare top and bottom. There are also DPA 4011s and Audix D6s on kick. Dis are Radial, Avalon and Ampeg tube on bass.
Where can we find you when you're not on the road?
I am at home making sure my three children know they have an involved dad.