Professional Sound - October 2017 - Page 29

tempos change because it’s all tempo-mapped,” Moore explains. For plug-ins, he uses an Eventide Ultra Channel and a Waves Doubler, two AMS RMX16 reverbs from Universal Audio, the Eventide Blackhole reverb, TC Electronic’s M30 reverb, and Waves’ H-Delay analog de- lay, plus a couple of the stock distortions in Ableton. “Per scene, you’ll see when I go to certain songs, certain plug-ins turn on and it’s all MIDI-mapped within Ableton. It’s just coming out of my console via BNC into a MOTU 112D thunderbolt, which has almost no latency – the latency is the bare mini- mum – and I use 16 stereo effects channels.” In concert, Moore is in service to the creations of Drake and the superstar’s longtime producer, Noah “40” Shebib. The distinctive “Drake sound” has become so identifiable that 40 is now one of rap and R&B’s most talked about producers. “For me, if 40 came to a show and I didn’t replicate what he had on the album, I would feel bad because this is what he has created. This is the sound that he has made, so I try to make sure I am replicating the sound that he has made in the studio and just bring it to life live,” says Moore. “I’ll call 40 if I hear some- thing on the record and I’m like, ‘What is this that I need to duplicate?’ I’ll call him and say, ‘Hey, what did you actually do on this?’ He’ll tell me how he did it and I’ll replicate it live, but sometimes the way he does it in the studio, you can’t do live, so you have to fig- ure out another way, but I start with the way he did it in the studio and if I can’t replicate it that way, then I start tweaking it to where it is replicable.” As an example, Moore picks out the vocal sound on the track “Marvin’s Room” from Drake’s 2011 album Take Care. “The vocal on ‘Marvin’s Room’ is really innovative. As he’s singing, there is a reverse vocal going on at the same time. ‘Feel No Ways’ on Views has the same feel. It’s like a reverse delay. So that’s the thing; when I hear it, it has to be done.” When it comes to monitors, much like the FOH mix, Sturge says the aim is to make Drake’s JH Roxanne in-ears sound like the album. “The recording process is one thing, but the live aspect is another. When he’s re- cording, he listens differently than when [he’s performing] because it’s not a finished mix. When he’s doing the show, he wants to listen to the finished mix, so we have 16 tracks stemmed out of Pro Tools and my job is to recreate the mix,” explains Sturge, who pulls double-duty as a n employee of both Eighth Day Sound and Drake. Unlike, say, a rock band in which the players typically like their own voice and instrument at the front of the monitor mix and the rest of the band much quieter, Sturge says a more album-like monitor mix is typical in rap. “I do a lot of effects changes because, as you know, he’s also a very good singer,” he continues. “I have channels of re- verb. I use the onboard reverb, I also use the [Waves] IR-Live, as I have two Waves servers connected to my [Digico] SD5. “I am very impressed with his talent, his skill, his capabilities of being able to remem- ber, I would say, 95 per cent of his songs. In my history of working with several different artists, a lot of times people need tele- prompters for help. Sometimes they need a reference track in their in-ears. Drake, more or less, he just remembers his songs,” chuck- les Sturge. “He works hard to give a good show. He’s very self-conscious about giving the audience what they want and what they’re there for. If it is that album cycle, if it’s the hits, if it’s what’s popular on social media, he’s very aware of what he needs to deliver and how he needs to deliver it.” At the eighth annual OVO Fest, fans certainly got what they were there for and more. What made it even more special for those Torontonians lucky enough to get tickets was that this was clearly a show un- like any other to come through the city. This was a gift to Toronto from one of its own. Someone who, no matter the stratospheric heights his pop stardom reaches, always comes back home to share the spoils. And as Drake and fellow hometown superstar The Weeknd reprised their 2011 collaboration “Crew Love” in the shadow of the CN Tower, it was hard to imagine how the Six God could top himself next year. We’ll just have to wait and see… Michael Raine is the Senior Editor of Professional Sound Demetrius Moore at FOH with his Digico SD7 console OVO Fest stage in daylight with Adamson E-Series & S-Series PA Eighth Day Sound’s Sean Sturge mixing monitors with a Digico SD5 console PROFESSIONAL SOUND • 29