Photos: Dave Vann
Voodoo Music Festival
Following a succession of successful summer festivals, the Voodoo Music Festival (October 26-28, 2007) celebrated the best of New Orleans' musicians. This year's lineup included such heavy-hitters as Rage Against the Machine, Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals, Smashing Pumpkins and many others. Mix caught up with Wilco's front-of-house engineer, Stan Doty.
How much gear are you carrying for this tour?
Wilco had just ended a three-week tour. For Voodoo, I looked to see if there was enough P.A., a top-quality mixer, comps and effects. Voodoo is a top-notch festival, so I usually use what they are supplying. That being said, Clair Bros. [the production company for Voodoo] are the best and fine-tune the specs to handle all the bands.
Do you have to change your mixing style from a regular tour to a festival situation?
Mixing style, no. A good sound engineer should try to achieve the same representation for the band they are with every night. Now, each festival is different. At Voodoo, I did a tap-through of the 36 channels I use because we had an hour set change. With an hour set change, I have more than enough time to check each line and gain structure, and dialing in the inserts are very important.
Do you have a specific miking technique for Wilco?
I bring my overheads in close. I like to time-align my overheads, my crotales and my audience mics for live recording. It helps the stereo effect as you try to find space in the mix.
Where can we find you when you're not on the road?
I'm currently the owner of a couple of nightclubs (located 80 miles outside of Chicago). So when I'm home, I'm at the clubs, either mixing, managing or fixing something.