Out in support for her second album, Back to Me, Canadian singer/songwriter Kathleen Edwards and longtime front-of-house engineer/tour manager Charlie Ferguson have seen non-stop action in 2005, with appearances at Austin City Limits, Farm Aid, on The Tonight Show and a recent tour with My Morning Jacket. A European leg will begin in mid-November.
Front-of-house engineer/tour manager Charlie Ferguson
A longtime Midas and Klark Teknik devotee, Ferguson prefers to mix Edwards on Midas consoles whenever possible, maintaining that their inimitable warmth adds a sonic finesse that is invaluable when it comes to building a reputation as a live performer. Of course, when on a club tour as the support act, an engineer usually can’t pick and choose a console. Being on the road therefore becomes one long A/B test, a survey of the best and worst boards out there.
“I’ve been mixing for about 20 years now, and have been working with Kathleen for about four years,” Edwards says. “At this level of touring, I spend most of my time trying to make it happen with whatever gear is supplied at the venues. I do travel with my own Klark Teknik FOH processing and mics, supplied by Gabor Szepesi of PA Plus in Toronto, who, like me, swears by the ‘Midas Sound.’ I do a lot of engineering work for PA Plus, and it’s always a pleasure to work on one of their Midas boards. However, I’m not always able to bring one out on the road with me.
“On supporting slot tours like our outing with My Morning Jacket,” he continues, “I always breathe a sigh of relief when I walk in and see a Midas board at FOH. The best-sounding shows we do are when I’m mixing on a Midas—period. On that particular tour, we worked with two Heritage 3000s, a Legend 3000 and a couple more of the smaller consoles, and I can tell you we missed them when they weren’t around.
“I also worked on a lot of digital consoles this summer, mostly at festivals and radio stations. Along the way, everybody I spoke to with any real experience in this business was anxiously awaiting the release of the Midas digital console. Sure, the current digital desks offer convenience, but add analog sound quality and, more importantly, Midas-style preamp responsiveness to digital technology, and you have the best of both worlds. I can’t wait, because as of now, I’d rather use a Heritage than any digital console out there; I’m not willing to sacrifice sound quality for anything, as providing quality sound is my job. And I’ll always stand by Midas analog consoles. Having the digital option with the sound and performance I trust will open up more application possibilities, rather than replace the analog desks. Again, when the tools available to me to do my job change on a daily basis according to the venue’s equipment list, I’m always pleased to see purple when I walk into the room!”
For more information on the Midas board, visit www.midasconsoles.com.