Currently performing as the opening act for Eric Clapton’s 2004 Summer Tour are Robert Randolph & The Family Band. Randolph and his band, featuring cousins Danyell Morgan and Marcus Randolph on bass and drums, respectively, and keyboardist Jason Crosby, are all using Sennheiser Evolution 935 mics.
It only took Randolph’s FOH engineer Sean Quackenbush one soundcheck to realize that he had found the right vocal microphone in the Evolution 935 dynamic cardioid. “I was immediately blown away,” recalls Quackenbush. “With another leading mic, I could get Robert’s voice sounding okay, but there was never any pizzazz to it. After I put the 935 up there, I said, ‘Wow. This thing sounds great!'”
Quackenbush claims that since he began to use the Evolution 935, this is no longer a problem. “I prefer to mix very full; I’m not into thinning stuff out,” he explains. “I like for things to sound like they actually sound. My biggest complaint is when people make instruments, like drums, really thin just to get an ‘easier’ mix. Drums don’t actually sound like that! Guitars should also be full and so should the bass. In the past, it was hard to get the vocal out front in a full mix. As soon as I started to use the 935, the vocals just shot out in front of the mix. I didn’t have to sacrifice anything else to get necessary fullness from the vocal.”
While on tour with Clapton, Quackenbush is using a DiGiCo D5 Live console for front of house and utilizes the desk’s internal preamps and compression. When Randolph is doing separate club dates, Quackenbush prefers his UREI LA-4 limiter for vocal compression purposes. “I use the LA-4 on all the vocals,” he says. “I get a great sound from the E935/LA-4 combination—it’s very crisp and nice. For Robert’s vocal effects, I use a Lexicon PCM 91 for reverb, the Eventide H3000’s micro pitch-shift for extra fullness and a TC Electronic D2 delay for various effects and choruses, especially on some of the Jimi Hendrix stuff he does. Robert is really open to me trying different effects on him, which is great.”
For more information on the Sennheiser mics, please go to www.sennheiserusa.com. For more touring news, visit mixonline.com/livesound/tours.