Returning to the road after a two-year break, Marilyn Manson and Co. turned in a consistently tight, aggressive and focused performance that would humble even the most jaded critic. The band showcased a wide sampling of material from their current album Holy Wood, in addition to such crowd favorites as “The Dope Show” and “Great Big White World.” The production also spared no expense in the name of onstage theatrics, featuring a mock pulpit and Manson parading about on his signature stilts during the song “Tourniquet.” Mix caught up with the band on the third-to-last night of the American leg of the Guns, God and Government world tour at the Event Center in San Jose, Calif.
Above, FOH engineer Brad Madix says he first got the gig because he was in the right place at the right time. “I was mixing for Rob Halford's band Two, and the guitarist for the band was John5, who is now Manson's guitarist,” recalls Madix. Madix is using a 48-input Midas XL4. “It's a nice-sounding board,” he says. “I like the fact that it's programmable — for a band like this, it's pretty useful in that I can recall a setup really quickly. These guys can be unpredictable; they might skip a song or just go into something different. This show is ‘never a dull moment’ — I don't know what's going to happen next.”
All 48 inputs are in use, with 34 onstage sources, including 18 drum inputs. “Ginger Fish, our drummer, has a very distinctive sound, and he has a lot of effects returns,” Madix explains.
An Eventide H3000 is used for doubling Manson's vocals. “I've made a couple of modifications to the program to loosen it up so it's not so tight on the doubling,” notes Madix. “Then the only other effect of any note is on the guitar. John5 has a really nice, straight-up-the-middle guitar sound, and a lot of the record is spread wide left and right, so I have another H3000 on his guitar and put it way off left and right.”
The tour is using a V-DOSC™ P.A. system provided by Electrotec.
Monitor engineer Maxie Williams has been working with Marilyn Manson for six and a half years, though he was most recently out with Stone Temple Pilots for a year. Williams is using a Midas Heritage 3000, which he finds very user-friendly for combining in-ear and wedge monitor mixes, plus a V-DOSC setup for sidefills. “I have four mixes of in-ear and then conventional wedges all over the stage too, a lot of them with the horns turned off,” he explains. “They like to feel the 15s. Manson likes a big, fat, round mix — he's not big for high end, and I actually take a little bit of top end out of his in-ear mix. He's hearing a complete round mix, everything except overheads.” All of the bandmembers use Ultimate Ears UE Pro 5s.
Monitor engineer Williams' rack includes four wireless receivers for Manson's handheld vocal mics and one “special” — a wireless mic fitted to a bullhorn. The Shure PSM700 system is used for his in-ear monitors. The Summit tube compressors are for Manson's vocal, while Drawmer gates and dbx 900 Series compressors are used on bass guitar and keyboard inputs. Graphic EQs are Klark Teknik DN360s.
Marilyn Manson endorses Shure mics and uses the Beta 58A capsule with the Shure UHF transmitter. “I've got six of those,” says monitor engineer Williams. “I average about one a week, and if he doesn't destroy one in that time on a really good show, it might get tossed into the crowd.” Williams notes that water in the capsules “has never really been a problem. I have backup mics that I can change out the capsules — we have two sets of three. I have them fed into a little splitter box, 1-2-3, with a single output so they stay on the same channel and Brad doesn't have to chase mics all over his console [at FOH].”