Derek Toews, Skillet
Photo: Josh Oliver
Hard-rockers Skillet (singer/bassist John Cooper, keyboardist/vocalist Korey Cooper, guitarist Ben Kasica and drummer/vocalist Jen Ledger) are on tour supporting their latest release, Awake. Mix caught up with the Awake and Alive tour and chatted with front-of-house engineer Derek Toews.
How much gear are you carrying?
Knowing that Skillet’s music is like big arena rock, we took out a Meyer P.A. system. We are flying a pair of MILO line arrays with nine elements a side, along with six M’elodie elements a side as side hangs. On the ground, we have 12 700HP subs and two UPA front-fills. For monitors, we’re using a Yamaha M7 with Sennheiser G3 transmitters. At FOH, I’m mixing on a Yamaha PM5D with a Big Ben word clock.
What is your mixing style for this band?
FOH engineer Derek Toews
I do my best to create energy. Guitars are the main part of the mix and spatial separation is my primary focus when trying to layer the guitars with John Cooper’s vocals. I try to reduce the presence of the guitars in the upper-mids to create space for the vocals to sit on top.
Where can we find you when you’re not on the road?
In Nashville on a dirt bike track or having a good time with my friends