John Godenzi, front-of-house engineer for James Taylor.
Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter James Taylor toured six countries using Aviom products. Taylor’s longtime front-of-house engineer, John Godenzi, designed a monitoring system for the band that uses Aviom’s A-Net technology for all onstage monitoring.
Taylor, Jimmy Johnson (bass), Andrea Zonn (violin/vocals) and Harvey Mason (drums) used wireless in-ear systems, while Michael Landau (guitar) and Larry Goldings (keyboards) used wedge speakers. Both the guitar rig and the keyboard rig were set up on separate stereo wedge systems.
“This has turned out to be the perfect device for us,” says Godenzi. “It has reduced the setup time of our personal monitoring system and is an amazing facilitator for the way we work, especially overseas where we are using mostly local equipment. The physical setup of the gear is incredibly straightforward.”
The monitor system’s audio was derived from a Yamaha DM1000 digital console onstage that was fitted with an Aviom AN-16/i Input Module and an Aviom Y1 A-Net output card. This allowed two separate sets of audio content to be delivered to the bandmembers. The outputs of both modules went to A-16R rackmounted personal mixers. Each performer had an A-16CS control surface at their location, which allowed them to control the audio mix in their A-16R remotely.
“The Aviom gear is a well-designed piece of equipment that works flawlessly,” continues Godenzi. “The whole idea from our point of view is that no matter where we are, we can preserve the environment for James and the band. With the use of self-monitoring and in-ear systems, we’re minimizing the disturbances to the musicians.”
Taylor and Zonn each received a monitor mix that was connected via analog cabling from the DM1000 to the AN-16/i input module. Their mixes comprised Taylor’s acoustic guitar and vocals, Zonn’s violin and vocals, an overall stereo/band mix and a stereo reverb return for each singer from the DM1000 internal effects processors. The band had a different set of channels, built from aux sends, direct outputs and bus sends on the Yamaha console. These signals were output via the Aviom Y1 A-net output card, which was plugged into the rear of the DM1000, to an A-16D Pro A-Net distributor and then to the A-16R personal mixers.
“I spent a good deal of time prior to rehearsals figuring out exactly how I was going to configure and program the console and how I was going to program the inputs that were ultimately going to be presented to each musician onstage,” comments Godenzi. “I’m already working on the configuration process for when we expand next year from a six-person band to a 12-person band.”