Bebel Gilberto sings through a Neumann KM105.
Bebel Gilberto’s current jaunt is all about “less is more,” as the tour is carrying very little production, relying on local P.A.s and tweaking via SpectraFoo. But front-of-house engineer Nathan Harlow travels with a few pieces of outboard: BSS Audio 404 comp, ATI Pro 6 mic pre and a Metric Halo computer interface. Harlow began working with Gilberto in 2001, first mixing monitors and later filling the FOH spot two years ago. Mix caught up with the tour in San Francisco.
Nathan Harlow (top) and Dean Norman
“We have 24 channels off the stage,” Harlow says. “In addition to comp’ing some of the usual suspects, I put light subgroup compression on percussion and keys. If I can get two reverbs and a delay, I am all right. I prefer a full-range P.A. in stereo. Extra subs off an aux and frontfill can be really helpful.”
Monitor engineer Dean Norman (who previously did FOH for Emmylou Harris and joined this tour three months ago, and who mixes on a recently purchased Yamaha LS9-16) says Gilberto “has an intimate knowledge of Brazilian music and how it should sound, so we’ve developed some fairly elaborate hand signals so she can make adjustments during the show.” Gilberto and percussionist Mauro Refosco use Sennheiser EW300 G2 wireless units, while guitarist Masa Shimitsu, keyboardist Federico Pena and sax/flutist Jorge Contientino have Shure hardwired packs. Gilberto has custom molds from Future Sonics and the rest of the band uses Westone UM2s. Norman monitors with Ultimate Ears Super.fi 5 Pros.