There was an unnecessarily complex sinfonia feed from Ableton Live. If you don’t know what that means, its the studio tracks feed in group stems to the front of house. Think of it as a mix minus, but instead of vocals minus, its a vocal + drum + bass + guitar + keyboard minus. The TPM (technical production manager) probably should have summed the stems into people’s aviom feeds (those are monitor playback units where each musician can control their own monitor mix independently). There was also some synchronization problems in the lighting rig. This group attempted to send DMX cues to the lighting mixer from the Ableton rig, and it didn’t really work. Also, the Aviom monitors feed from an audio-over-cat5 router. Good monitoring systems like the Furman and Allen Heath branded systems can handle this. These guys were trying to pull it off with a Behringer P16 in-ear rig. It was just a mess. When I go out on pro tours like this, a TPM can easily spend a week organizing, building templates, labeling patch terminals, and color coding drop boxes during the rehearsals leading up to the tour, and inventorying the gear. This guy was one of the most ridiculously credentialed production managers I’ve ever worked with, but he didn’t even see the board until the day of the first show, and he only had one other guy on his team, which means there was some pretty weak planning from the company producing the tour. But this guy has one of the most amazing ears for live sound I’ve ever worked with. I’m really blown away by how amazing this band sounds in the house, and he’s pulled it off using a behringer X32.
The drummer really has his shit together. This guy is solid. I didn’t get the sinfonia and the scores until the day before we launched, and I’m leaning really heavily on my sight-reading for this one. I had almost no time to prep my MainStage rig, which is why I opted for the single Native Instruments S88 on the backline. I’m still tweaking and modifying my patches in Omnisphere, Arturia, and Addictive Keys. I have a Nord Stage 3 backstage incase my computer goes haywire, but I don’t think we’d all agree this tour should have at least attempted to rehearse before it went on the road. I met most of the others in the band for the first time before they gig yesterday. I did manage to get a hold of the keyboard patches from the guy who played on the studio recordings. The rest of the tracks I played on, so I knew exactly what was happening in the recordings because I mixed half of the record.
That’s actually not my keyboard. Mine never left the studio, but I was able to get one brought out from the backline company. I am really really liking this thing though!! I wish they wouldn’t have come out with the new mk2 version as quickly as they did though. The new ones have two color LCD screens like the Maschine Studios.
We played a different show tonight…this one went a lot better. The second stage (tonight) wasn’t much different, but we were sound checked and running in 45 min. The tech guys were up past midnight labeling and patching as they were striking the stage yesterday, so I’m pretty sure they worked out a ton of kinks in the workflow.