Writing from tour for this one - had a couple great shows at Radio City Music Hall last weekend! Was fun to be in my hometown for a couple nights.
When I was talking with someone at a festival the other day, they asked: "Do you use your own console for that or do you use a festival desk?" And that's something I always used to wonder about the first few times I saw how big festivals operated. So, for this post I want to talk about what audio gear I carry on tour.
Of course, this is different for every band and every festival. It's all about the budget! But with a band that's doing well like Haim is, they have the budget to rent audio gear for the entire tour. This lets us use the exact same mics, stands, cables, consoles, wireless gear, and pretty much everything else. This gives us total consistency from show to show, which is the goal for any professional production.
Really big tours will even carry their own PA systems! But this means more trucks, more load in/out time, and extra audio technicians to manage it. It really makes sense only when you're in the type of venues that don't have pre-installed speaker systems, like arenas.
For this tour, we're doing a lot of venues that have speaker systems already installed. So we carry what is called a "control package". This is all the audio gear EXCEPT for the PA. We power up our gear and set our stage, and I hand drive lines directly to the house audio engineer to feed the speaker system.
For this tour, I'm mixing on an Avid S6L and our monitor engineer Chip Valentino is using a DigiCo SD12. They're both really amazing consoles. And since we carry the exact same consoles and other gear to every show, we know it's going to work night after night. After all, when there's 60,000 people in a festival crowd watching the show, that's very comforting.