The first live use of the new Yamaha DSP5D expander for the PM5D console is taking place on the Dream Theater tour. Hired by Dream Theater, independent engineer Randy Lane (pictured) is mixing FOH. He selected Clair Bros. to handle production for the tour in both the U.S. and internationally.
Lane says he began mixing on a Yamaha PM5D in late 2004 with the band Alter Bridge at the suggestion of Ralph Mastrangelo from Clair Nashville. “I auditioned a PM5D and felt that finally a digital console sounded as good as an analog console,” Lane says. “The console is much more convenient to use and transport.” The DSP5D was brought to Lane’s attention by Todd Hudson and Greg Hall of Clair Bros. while out on Joe Satriani’s Supercolossal tour. On the Dream Theater tour, he has nearly 70 inputs, not including effects, which necessitated using a second console. There are also two opening acts, which would mean a third console and a huge front-of-house footprint if you include processing in addition to console space.
“Using the PM5D and DSP5D, the footprint is extremely small and amazingly powerful in features and capabilities,” Lane adds.
Self-taught on the PM5D and on the DSP5D by reading the manuals for the two devices, Lane says he felt right at home in a rapid fashion on both products. “From the outset, the PM5D has been a great-sounding console and more reliable than anything that I have used. The compact size and sheer processing power of the packaging of the DSP5D and PM5D gives an amazing amount of power in a very compact system. The Yamaha console and expander is a very transparent and warm system that translates the power and finesse of Dream Theater.”
Lane adds that the system’s toughness was demonstrated to him when a 300-pound motor box rolled from the edge of a stage and fell six feet onto the PM5D console. The entire surface was crushed and all control surface features were sheered from the top. The monitor engineer on the tour used the track pad and display to finish the show with the console’s surface being replaced the next day. “Now that’s rugged,” he adds.
The tour is using 24 Clair Bros. I-3 line array cabinets and 12 Clair Bros. BT-218 subs. In Europe, they will use 32 I-3s and 12 BT 218 subs. Microphones comprise Earthworks Periscope mics on the drum kit, as well as Shure SM57s on guitars, with a Sennheiser 5000/Neumann 105-combination for lead vocals.
Lane says he doesn’t use any outboard processing on the console’s internal effects and gates with Waves Plug-In cards installed in the card slots of the PM5D for various compressors. He’s also using six Yamaha MY16-AT ADAT cards for multitrack recording of every input channel. M-Audio Lightbridge interfaces and Steinberg Nuendo are used as a recording platform on an Alienware laptop to multitrack for every show.