Professional Sound - April 2018 - Page 32

“[WORKING WITH OUR LADY PEACE] DEFINITELY FEELS LIKE A COLLABORATION, AND I LOVE THAT. CREATING WITH THESE FELLAS IS A REAL GAS. THE BAND’S SOUND – ESPECIALLY THE NEW RECORD – VARIES FROM HEAVY, STRAIGHT-UP ROCK TO BIG, SPACEY BALLADS, SO HAVING A BALANCE IS KEY.” -OUR LADY PEACE FOH ENGINEER SEAN PALMER unit pretty hard and blending to taste. It really lets you ramp up the heaviness of the mix for some of the big rock tunes.” He’s also got an Empirical Labs Arouser plug-in – a digital clone of the EL8 – with some features he’s enjoying. “I will say, it’s hard to hear the difference between the plug-in and physical unit,” he says, “and the biggest plus to the plug- in is it loads in stereo.” This is Brody’s second run with Mat- thew Good and the band, and he says his mix for this tour is relatively straight- forward. “I like the mix to be dynamic and big, not just loud and abrasive,” he offers. Brody credits the artists he’s mixing for making his job a lot easier. “I’m really lucky because my sources are all amaz- ing,” he says. “The band is fantastic. They all spend time honing their sounds, and they’re all open to change. Maybe a gui- tar just isn’t working out front, or we want to try a different drum skin, amps on stage, off stage, backstage… You name it, they’re pretty much open to letting me try it if the end goal is a better-sounding show.” The most unique challenge he faces when mixing Matt Good is, well, Matt Good. “His voice is big, loud, and amazing, but he can produce so much in the low mid-range that some shows, I find myself working on it almost song-to-song, if not verse-to-chorus,” he says. Sometimes, that means really leaning into the multi-band compression, and sometimes it means having to insert a heavy high-pass filter to get it sounding natural and cleanly atop the mix. “It’s always rocking,” he says, “but sometimes it takes some creative massaging.” The man mixing the other instantly recognizable vocalist on the tour opted for the SD12 as it’s quickly becoming his favourite console. “The lads in Chessing- ton [U.K.] have taken the best aspects of the earlier S and SD Series consoles and have really made an amazing tool,” he says about the team at Digico HQ. “Cou- pled with an SD-Rack at 96 kHz over Op- tocore [fibre] and Waves integration, I’m 32 PROFESSIONAL SOUND able to support what the band’s doing on stage and give the fans a great show.” Regarding the Waves integration, Palmer says he never travels without the Waves MaxxBCL hardware dynamics pro- cessor. “It’s a really straightforward piece – a very nice comp and limiter live across my master bus.” He can also employ the RBass element to inject some life into an older PA if need be, though that’s not necessary with the Meyer system. Like Brody, he’s also using the Neve 5045 based on the recommendation of his friend and fellow engineer, Chris Ka- plinski. “Raine likes to come out into the crowd sometimes, and the 5045 keeps his Sennheiser 5200 series handheld and DPA d:facto capsule under complete control,” Palmer shares. “Coupled with a C6 [multiband compressor plug-in] from Waves and I’m a happy member of camp front-of-house.” Being that there wasn’t much time to rehearse ahead of the tour, Palmer says he and Maida will discuss the mix during sound check from day-to-day. “It defi- nitely feels like a collaboration, and I love that,” he says. “Creating with these fellas is a real gas. The band’s sound – especially the new record – varies from heavy, straight-up rock to big, spacey ballads, so having a balance is key. I can vary the reverbs to take up space, or bump up some parallel compression to get some separation and punch.” Our Lady Peace’s typical set for the tour includes an acoustic break, with Maida, bassist Duncan Coutts, and gui- tarist Steve Mazur on acoustic guitars and drummer Jason Pierce on cajon to perform stripped-down takes on the hits “In Repair” and “Somewhere Out There.” Palmer enjoys that segment as it offers a lot of space in the mix to deliver a big sound without high volume – “finesse, as they say,” he chuckles. SEAN PALMER ON A DIGICO SD12 (L-R) AARON BRODY, VER’S BEN MALONE & SEAN PALMER AARON BRODY WITH AN AVID S6L SIDE STAGE At the monitor station, Matt “Sully” Sullivan (Matthew Good) and Tod Cutler (Our Lady Peace) are sharing an Avid SC48 console. MATT “SULLY” SULLIVAN AT AN AVID SC48 MONITOR CONSOLE