Tour Blogs

Toys for Big Kids

Everyone likes to see what kind of toys people have out on tour with them, so how about some show and tell. Today’s portion will cover the audio aspects of the tour, and next time I’ll get into what our backline is, and how it’s more awesome then the average band.

On this tour, we’re carryings consoles, and a supplemental audio package. We use house systems every day, and I bring in some extra subs/front fills to beef up the house rigs. We are also completely self contained on stage. We carry our own cabling, stands, mics and even stage power. This means everything is super consistent on stage, and nothing ever changes. It makes troubleshooting a piece of cake, and it makes set up/tear down super fast. It also makes the house guys have a super easy day, which makes everyone happy.

For FOH and mons, we’re carrying a pair of Digidesign SC48’s. They were my first pick because they are compact, powerful and sound good. On club tours, you never know how much space you’ll have on deck or at FOH, and being able to fit anywhere is a must. We’ve got these desks maxed out though. 48 inputs on both ends, and 18 outputs on the monitor end. These consoles get quite the workout every day!

[IMG]http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e194/HarfordSound/FOH-3.png[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e194/HarfordSound/mons.png[/IMG]

On the supplemental end of things, we’ve got quite a lot of toys. I’m carrying 6 Clair BT218 subwoofers for FOH, and 4 Clair FF2 front fills. We’ve also got 2 BT218’s on deck for side fill subs, and a pair of Clair I5B’s for drum fill. This is all of course powered with Lab Gruppen PLM20000’s. Quite a lot of power!

[IMG]http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e194/HarfordSound/frontfill.png[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e194/HarfordSound/drums2.png[/IMG]

After a little work with SMAART each day, I am able to get my gear to play nicely with the house gear, and add quite a bit of impact to my show. It’s amazing what a few extra subs can do to your show!

That’s all for now… More soon!

Evan

Evan, Can you tell me more about those little front fills? I assume there's a woofer on either side of a HF driver? Where do you high pass them? Do you EQ them around the mains? Do you delay each one, or the group?

Just interested in how another engineer does it. I like to lay a lot on my front fills so I don't have to compromise the mains to get the first 10-20' covered.
K
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    Evan Kirkendall
  • April 5, 2011
Bennett,
The front fills are a single 8" driver, and a single 1.4" driver. They get high passed at 250hz, and are EQ'd to be clear and cut through the mass of LF that the kids get hit with up front. Delay varies with the types of stages. Flat stages mean every fill is delayed the same amount. If the front of the stage is curved, I'll delay them in pairs, doing the inner pair on one delay time, and the outer pair on another delay time.

I run everything through my front fills, so they do see quite the workout some nights. I have the fills cover as far as they need to. Where ever the house PA drops off, the front fills take care of. Whether it's 5 feet or 20 feet, they get the job done.



Evan
Tell us about some of your favorite plugins you use on the sc48 and how are you using them...
Do you know where the box is tuned, Evan, or is it sealed? A purpose designed front fill must be awesome.
Evan,
I know you're a big fan of the D&B subs. How do the Clair Bow Tie's compare? Have you gotten a chance to fly them in a cardoid arrangement like was discussed recently on this forum?
K
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    Evan Kirkendall
  • April 5, 2011
Daniel,
I'm actually not a big plug-in guy. The on-board comps and gates actually sound very good, and are very usable. I mostly use the on board efx, and de-essers.

Bennett,
It's a ported box. They are quite nice.

Randy,
The BT wins over a B2. It's a little more ballsy, and has some more get up and go. Those Lab Gruppen PLM20k's really bring those subs to life. I have not flown them yet, however I have done end-fire arrays with them on the ground, and it's quite impressive how well you can steer them.


Evan
Is it tuned fairly high, assuming everyone will high pass it?
Hi Evan, Are you are delaying the fills to the backline or the mains? Is it a seperate mix or a high passed FOH mix?
K
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    Evan Kirkendall
  • April 6, 2011
Bennett,
You can't run Clair boxes without Clair presets, and by default, they are high passed at 250hz.

Eric,
The fills are delayed to the mains, and the mains are delayed to the drums. They just get a mono summed FOH mix, which works great for us, since we have no stage volume(except drums).



Evan
That would explain how an 8" driver can get it done, and in such a small box. Those things must tear!
Evan, is there no stage volume because all the instruments are running through processors and then the PA? Some of ATL live videos I was just watching seemed to have amps on stage.
That's enough drum fill to send the drummer up in smoke just like those poor Spinal Tap lads..... I'm guessing there's no headroom issues there.
Daniel Ellis;bt42 said
Tell us about some of your favorite plugins you use on the sc48 and how are you using them...
I'm obviously not Evan, but my fav on vocals (and a few other things) is Smack. I'd usually slap EQIII 5 band parametric on outputs and Reel Tape Saturation (applied very gently) across the main mix bus as a poor man's alternative to Phoenix. I also like the Massey TD5 Tape Delay which is cheap and much better than the included delays. I use a foot switch and assign that to trigger tap tempo, it's an easy way to control delay plugins. I also like TL Aggro on bass guitar. Evan is right, the onboard gates and comps are very good though. The included verb doesn't blow me away but is quite reasonable, you'll find a few you like if you spend some time with them. I'll usually run a couple instances of D-Verb and a couple of Reverb One and that covers most situations.
I'm obviously not Evan, but my fav on vocals (and a few other things) is Smack. I'd usually slap EQIII 5 band parametric on outputs and Reel Tape Saturation (applied very gently) across the main mix bus as a poor man's alternative to Phoenix. I also like the Massey TD5 Tape Delay which is cheap and much better than the included delays. I use a foot switch and assign that to trigger tap tempo, it's an easy way to control delay plugins. I also like TL Aggro on bass guitar. Evan is right, the onboard gates and comps are very good though. The included verb doesn't blow me away but is quite reasonable, you'll find a few you like if you spend some time with them. I'll usually run a couple instances of D-Verb and a couple of Reverb One and that covers most situations.
Speaking of Massey.. If you want a cheap, good D-esser try the Massey one.. It's amazing. And the demo is free and never expires (you just can't save your settings).

For reverb I like TL Space ALOT!! It's kind of expensive but I've seen it on EBAY every now and then for cheaper. I got mine for $75 on ebay.
Awesome post, and nice pics!
J
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    Ryan Lantzy
  • April 8, 2011
Evan,

How do you deal with the subs in the house system while using BT218s? Turn them off? Cross them over in non-overlapping regions?
K
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    Evan Kirkendall
  • April 8, 2011
Ryan,
It's actually really simple to get the house subs to play nicely with the BT218's. Using SMAART, I am able to phase align my subs with their subs. A little delay and things normally line up very nicely. Most nights, they play well throughout their bandpass, but sometimes I do have to hi-pass the house subs around 50hz or so and just let the BT's do the rest.



Evan



Evan
Ok I'll bite, why the big drumfill and the side fills if everyone is on iem and ther's no backline? Backup or what else if the drum fill is just for feel why not a throne or floor shaker? G
K
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    Evan Kirkendall
  • April 10, 2011
Gordon,
All of the subs are purely for feel. We had a butt kicker for about a year, but our drummer blew a few of them up and couldn't get what he wanted out of it. He's much happier with subs.

The sidefill subs help everyone get that "live feel" back on stage. Our bassist and lead singer love them.



Evan
I thought that was why you did it, I know of a church here who have a pretty exuberant band that are silent on stage as they use electronic drums as well and they have problems with the lack of low end in their monitors I think they've gone on to using a small self powered sub beside the kit and knowing the bass player he'll have some sort of low end speaker as well probably the bottom part of his old bass rig. Still think that 2 large line array modules is a bit overkill but if you've got it flaunt it :)) G
Evan Kirkendall;bt41 said
Bennett,
The front fills are a single 8" driver, and a single 1.4" driver. They get high passed at 250hz, and are EQ'd to be clear and cut through the mass of LF that the kids get hit with up front. Delay varies with the types of stages. Flat stages mean every fill is delayed the same amount. If the front of the stage is curved, I'll delay them in pairs, doing the inner pair on one delay time, and the outer pair on another delay time.

I run everything through my front fills, so they do see quite the workout some nights. I have the fills cover as far as they need to. Where ever the house PA drops off, the front fills take care of. Whether it's 5 feet or 20 feet, they get the job done.

Evan
For those interested, here's Clair's spec sheet for the FF2 front fill.
www.clairsystems.com/products/FF2-H.pdf

There is a passive option, and also a Ribbon HF option as well.
J