The 2011 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, also known as Jazzfest, recently wrapped up another successful run with 12 stages cranking out music for an estimated 400,000 fans. One of the most popular stages, the Fais Do Do, featured mostly traditional Zydeco and Cajun acts, although this year several indie acts such as the Decemberists were added just to keep things even more interesting. Chris Brown, whose company, New Orleans based SOUNd CHeK, handled sound for the stage. Two APB-DynaSonics Spectra Ti consoles, one for FOH and one for monitors were brought into service. Mike Montero manned the FOH board and Brown oversaw monitors.
The Spectra-Ti is APB’s high-end analog console with VCA control on inputs and outputs, mono/stereo/3-speaker LCR monitoring, 10 aux sends, and versatile output and matrixing capabilities. Each of the four bands on the EQ section is sweepable.
In addition to setting up, tearing down, and often mixing six bands per day, the crew of HBO’s hit show, “Treme”, was at the stage with four cameras shooting footage for future episodes. A submixed 2-track feed was provided by Soundchek via the APB console at FOH.
This was analog console mixing at its fullest-no flash drives here. Being able to look at faders and knobs in real time was an advantage. Brown, who has a 32-year history at Jazzfest stated, “This stage is not that big and many of the acts have lots of players, instrumentation and gear. Getting the previous band off the stage quickly is the challenge. There is no sound check and the person mixing has half a song to get it right. In these conditions with this variety of acts, digital consoles can actually slow things down. Also, the dynamics run from quiet acoustic performances to full-on Zydeco, which can be deafening at times. Visiting sound mixers appreciated being able to quickly and easily see what was going on with faders and knobs.” Montero, once he caught his breath, says, “It was nothing but happy people!”