The Goo Goo Dolls have been touring the world since it released its 2006 album, Let Love In, and show no signs of packing it in any time soon. At the tour’s audio helm is Paul Hager (pictured), who has worked with Avril Lavigne, Pink and The Donnas, among others, both in and out of the studio. Because of his extensive exposure to Pro Tools in the recording studio, Hager was attracted to the Digidesign VENUE live sound system due to its seamless Pro Tools integration and eventually got the band to switch to VENUE for the tour.
Hager brought in a VENUE D-Show console with two 16-fader D-Show sidecars that give him instant access to the band’s mix across 40 input faders. Hager also makes use of the full processing complement of five DSP Mix Engine cards, which support his extensive use of TDM plug-ins. For monitor mixes, engineer Robert Windel uses a VENUE D-Show Profile.
“The sound of the [D-Show] console is great,” says Hager. “The mic pre’s are very musical-sounding compared to other digital consoles.” Windel agrees: “The sound quality is amazing. This is a very intense gig for sonic expectations in that John [Rzeznik, Goo Goo Dolls frontman] wants an album-quality mix every night. He hadn’t been happy with any digital desks before this. I changed the rig from a Heritage 3000 with tons of outboard gear to the [D-Show] Profile with no outboard gear. One other thing of note: I love how accurate the console is. I make really subtle changes throughout the show; sometimes only 0.4 or 0.5 dB, and yet I can always hear the changes.”
The VENUE system’s Virtual Soundcheck feature, which works with Pro Tools, has been an added bonus for Hager. “I have been using a less-elegant version of Virtual Soundcheck for the last few years with other consoles and my Pro Tools rig,” he explains. “It is nice not to have to have four 192 I/Os! Because I come from about 10 years of Pro Tools experience, it’s just made a lot of what I was already doing a lot easier to do.”