The Christmas creation of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra is the brainchild of producer/composer/lyricist Paul O’Neill and musical director Al Pitrelli. Mix caught the show in late December at San Jose, Calif.’s HP Pavilion. “It’s a show of brilliant talent and high-level emotion of 22 performers, including a six-piece rock band, an eight-piece string orchestra, eight lead and backup singers and a narrator that all provide a wonderfully creative environment for me to translate,” says front-of-house engineer Billy Crater.
Crater is using a dB/Sound Image — provided X Array system comprising 24 boxes flown per side, 12 subs on the ground and six front-fills across the stage. In addition, an array of eight cabs hung midway are used as a delay stack for rear coverage. The engineer relies on a Midas Heritage 3000 with 48 inputs and a Yamaha 01V for effects and CD return, for a total of 60 inputs. “I use an IBM laptop that uses XTA AudioCore management for crossover settings, zone level control, EQ control and section delay control,” Crater says. “The system also has a wireless pad for remote adjustments. In my rack are a Lexicon PCM70 for drum ‘verb, a Yamaha SPX-990 for delays, a TC Electronic M1 for vocal reverb and a D2 for other delay effects. Also included are 10 dbx 160X compressors for vocals, bass and keyboards.”
front-of-House engineer Billy Crater
Monitor engineer Billy Head provides sound for all amps, drums and keys (there are no stage amps), with eight vocal mics, three drum mics and the string section through a Midas XL250 console into mixes of floor wedges and sidefills.