Photos: Dave Vann
Currently out promoting their new album, Icky Thump, brother/sister musical team Meg and Jack White are playing to sold-out theaters and making stops at this year’s largest festivals, including Bonnaroo, where Mix caught up with front-of-house engineer Philip Harvey.
How much gear is the tour carrying?
We are carrying a Nexo GEO T line array with Camco amps, a Midas H3000 with Lake control, effects, inserts and a Metric Halo 2882+ DSP multitrack recording rig.
Any piece of gear you can’t live without?
Not particularly, but it would be either the EL8 Distressors on the vocal channels or a dbx 120 subharmonic synth for subtle low-end emphasis.
What is your mixing style for this tour? Does this change when you’re in a festival situation with quick changeovers?
We’ve brought in our own consoles for front of house and monitors to the festivals this year. The White Stripes have held headline slots consistently, which allows for this luxury. So even with quick changeovers, the audio control is preset.
What about your mixing philosophy in terms of Jack and Meg? Vocals and guitar/drums sitting in the mix…
The biggest challenge in mixing the White Sripes is the fact that Jack’s guitar volume onstage usually hovers around 120 dB, so vocals and drums are competing with guitar even before bringing them into the FOH sound system. Since there are only two people performing, the instruments must sound large to fill out the mix. The White Stripes’ musical style is very “in your face,” so I take that approach, making sure nothing is too heavily compressed so that all of instruments have room to breathe with dynamics and then keep the vocals on top crowning the mix.
Where can we find you when you’re not on the road?
I reside in New York City’s East Village.