Touring in support of his latest release, The Great Divide, Willie Nelson played four sold-out nights at San Francisco's famed Fillmore Auditorium this past February.
“Willie's vocal mic is an Audix OM5,” says FOH engineer Bobby Lemons (below). “We started using them about four years ago, and they work really well for him. The proximity effect is not pronounced, so he can back out of the mic and you don't lose all the low end. And they stay pretty constant, which is really good for this show — we play both indoors and out.”
The production is carrying 16 Showco Prism® “Blue” cabinets and four subwoofers. Thanks to the merging of Showco and Clair Bros., Lemons has been using some of Clair's new 96kHz/24-bit digital crossovers. “I can do 5,000-seaters outdoors and any theater there is with this system,” he notes.
At FOH, Lemons is using a Harrison HM5 board. “We don't have a full drum kit anymore,” he says. “We also got rid of the B3 and the double amps, so I've only got 18 inputs; it makes it much easier on this end, and the low onstage volume helps make it all work.” For processing Nelson's voice, Lemons is using a Summit TLA-100 compressor coupled to a BSS DPR-901. “That smoothes out his voice really well without killing the sound,” explains Lemons. “You want it to sound like him, but you also want to smooth it out.”