Good Charlotte’s crew chief and monitor engineer on his role on the tour: “I don’t really think of myself as crew chief on this tour, because everyone is proficient enough to step in anywhere and get the job done. Marty [Tarle] is supposed to be my assistant, but he’s really a good monitor engineer in his own right, plus he flies the P.A., helps wire the stage, mixes opening acts and a host of other things. We all cover each other’s butts all day; no one thinks something is not their job to do. Combine that attitude with the support we get from Eighth Day Sound’s main offices, and everything usually goes about as good as it can go.”
Overall, the band is a savvy lot,” Buller continues. “They are very appreciative of their audience, know what they are doing and are easy to work with. Rare is the occasion when one of them will accidentally get a mic too close to a wedge, and if they do, they always look back at me apologetically like, ‘Sorry mate, my fault.’”
Good Charlotte house engineer Gary Ferenchak on the layout of the control surface: “Everything is on faders, and my input gains are all on separate knobs. That way, if I need to make quick adjustments, I’m not fumbling around on the computer trying to find the right screen and clicking around with a mouse—I have immediate hands-on capabilities.”
Ferenchak’s 24 stage channels are rendered usable in the digital domain via three 96kHz I/O units also from Digidesign. With 16 Focusrite mic preamps onboard, the control surface manages 16 channels of drums, vocals, bass and a pair of audience mics. Configured as pre-fader and pre-insert direct outs from the Midas XL4 console, the remaining eight tracks include hi-hat, overheads, ride cymbals and guitars.
“It may seem like I have two simultaneous gigs mixing, but after a couple of initial days of tweaking, I was pretty much able to press Record and let the Pro Tools section take care of itself,” Ferenchak adds. “Everything comes in dry from the stage; I’m not doing anything to the signals prior to Pro Tools. It’s just raw material that can be dealt with later. I kind of like to have a bit of a battle between the guitars and vocals but still be able to hear both. With this band, there’s more to it than just saying it’s pop punk. There are a lot of raw, meat-and-potatoes, in-your-face details at work in what they do, which has depth. Maybe some don’t care if you can’t hear all the vocals as long as there are screaming guitars, but I do. The crowd deserves to be able to hear the complete picture, too, and that’s what I strive to bring to the mix every night.”