Rochester, NY. Should have been just another gig but, ’twas not to be.
(Text: Bill Evans / Videos: Bob Lindquist.)
It’s all about the venue. Bob is a Rochester guy so we have the advantage of his “local knowledge” in describing it. It’s a 100-year-old armory that was abandoned and un-used for decades. It was bought from the city for the grand sum of… a grand. And the owner did some basic repairs and set himself up as a concert promoter. They have done some shows but nothing on the scale of the Rob Zombie/Marilyn Manson Twins of Evil tour—A big, bad rock/pop/metal show with a massive PA and big staging and all the things one expects when Mr. Zombie hits the stage.
When Bob arrived around 9AM for load-in, things were already hours behind. The stage was not what the production needed and they actually had to hit the home improvement store next door to buy sheets of plywood to reinforce the stage before anything could be loaded in.
By time came for doors, even after busting hump from the moment the stage was in shape (but still too small), they were just getting ready to line check. Long lines, pissed off crowd and unhappy act ensued. And then to top it all off, the promoter threw the tour under the bus in the local press.
It was—obviously— not a great day to have the press around but house dude Joel Lonky and the rest of the Sound Image crew kept their cool and made the best of a super trying situation. We made it easy and asked the tech questions via email a few days later…
So, the easy stuff… Just a few gear questions to fill in the blanks in what Bob got. BTW, thanks a ton for doing this. I’m sure the last thing you guys needed was a press guy hanging out on a very tough gig day. But he and I are both really grateful for the time you guys took to make this happen…
1) Is this still a Sound Image gig?
Yes still with Sound Image
2) You’ve been out with Adamson for a bit now and have as much experience with the E15 as anyone out there. Thoughts on the rig now that you have been using it for a while? What do you like? What could be better?
I still love the rig, I like the rigging, easy up easy down. The sound is on par or better than any other A+ rig out there K1, D&B etc, I like it better than the K1 for the sheer power and intelligibility of the system, and it doesn’t get blown away in the wind like k1. I like that the kevlar drivers stay clean even up to ungodly db levels like 120+ A-weighted. The box has a couple of little things that need to be tuned out but nothing major—same as every other box. It stays smooth throughout a venue with no real weird spots or hot spots. The E15 has so much power that in some cases the subs get overtaken by the top boxes. That isn’t happening to me now as I have 18 Adamson T21’s in endfire config.
3) We are definitely into the second round of the line-array wars. E15, VerTec2 or VTX or whatever they call it, K1. Any thoughts about where all of this is headed?
Being a market-driven industry, I’m sure these evolutions of PA’s will continue onward and upward.
4) Is there enough market for this many large-format boxes?
Worldwide, maybe. But it will kill itself out eventually, kind of like the airlines. Survival of the best-sounding and—sad to say—maybe the best marketed LOL.
5) I know a lot of people who think the real action is in the smaller boxes on a straight logistics level. But big tours need big boxes. Question is, how many big tours are we gonna see in the next few years. I know, probably too philosophical. but any thoughts would be interesting.
That market segment might be in a stagnant or declining point at this place in history. We are seeing fewer “dynasty bands” and more of an organic-type of touring in small and medium markets. Being that it is harder for a band to reach the level of touring that will require a big box system for its own tour, the future will probably be lending itself to the festival style of tours, Mayhem, Uproar, etc…..for those big box PA’s. Plus people (the general public) don’t care so much about audio quality like we did, say in the 1970’s and 80’s. The MP3 algorithm and the mass use of “earbuds” has gotten to a point were people just don’t care or understand about true audio quality anymore, kind of an “Idiocracy” effect to the consumer masses. Recorded audio listening quality has gone backwards.
6) You’re a Midas guy I do believe? Pro 9 on this tour? Lots of choices out there. Why is Midas your choice?
Yes I am a Midas guy. I am running a Pro9 out here on the Twins of Evil tour. Its simple. The Midas is the best sounding console on the market.
It has the most natural front end I have found on any console. I can saturate the front end and it doesn’t get dirty or have any of the audio penalties associated with a digital front end. It’s a digital XL4 plain and simple.
7) Anything unusual. Mic choices. Challenges of doing Mr. Zombie shows. Any extra issues with having Manson on this run.
Well I am running a Protools HD9 rig on the Midas via a KT9650 network bridge AES50 out of the desk converted to MADI into an AVID Madi I/O. That gives me the power to record 48 tracks and have virtual sound check thru the Midas. The reason its only 48 is that I am also running WAVES native rack as well via another DN9650 into a RME192 card via Thunderbolt to a Mac book pro, so 24 in/outs are dedicated to the WAVES otherwise the ProTools can do 62 tracks.
Manson is self contained in regards to the console as they are using a Digidesign Venue.
Mic choices for Zombie: all the brass on the drums are Neumann KM184s,The kicks are Shure 91 (new style) and a Beyer M88, Snare is a Shure B56 and a Neumann KM184 on the bottom, Toms are AT350 and Senn E406. John 5’s guitar rig is a KSM32 and a Heil PR31-BW mounted in a single speaker ISO box and a Radial JDX, with a Shure SM57 on stage for emergencies only. I try not use any stage mics for the guitars or bass as it so loud up there. We only use live monitors—no IEM’s. As for the bass, the bass pre-line is a Radial Active DI and the post line is a Radial JDX, no bass cabinet mics are used. Vocal mics are for John and Piggy are Shure B58’s and Mr Zombie is on a wireless B58.