Big Mick Hughes FOH Audio Engineer Metallica

Big-Mick-Hughes metallica

In this video, Metallica Sound Engineer Big Mick Hughes discusses using the Midas XL8 to create Metallica’s unique sound and stage show.


0:00:04.6 –>
and I don’t really work to the albums particularly it’s not like I’m trying to recreate the album’s and now I recreate Metallica tonight so here we are Hamburg Thomas very nice – don’t know about the building dubious Barclaycard arena I believe okay perhaps the need to spend some money on some acoustic damping they got enough of it yeah here we are in the round again Metallica’s yet another offering of in the round which is all we seem to do now and this time it’s a male leo system huge amount of system hopefully giving us the coverage that we need we did some

0:01:02. –>
slightly different things this time before we would have done really deep hang probably 18 deep in order to be able to bend the system to hit the high seats and the low seats but Bob McCarthy who designed this came up with this plot of using like an upper and lower bowl scenario where we have a system focused predominantly in the lower portion and then we put another system above which we would sort of called delays I guess and they cover the upper level which kind of takes the weight away from the middle because a big problem of this with this system is his weight those things a big square cube things that fly up down amazing four screens in a cube with a moving light underneath and I think each one are there ways about 1200 pounds so and there’s 52 of them so there’s a lot of weight so that unfortunately our TM array had to leave

0:02:02.4 –>
the building because of the just we couldn’t put seven tons in the middle of the drummer so we moved off to the sides with the subs and Bob said let’s do end fire and that’s what we did where we stagger the end fire so it gives us some downforce on just a couple the floor because we have no subs on the ground because the stage is so low we couldn’t really fit any subs effectively around there so that’s my story anyway the reality is James didn’t like his feet vibrating and I had to get rid of 36 11 hundreds but I must admit the stage is like a table tennis table so as you fire up a load of some sudden if it was lifting the decks it was quite impressive actually I went up there and had my feet go numb – and like James Dean he goes I can’t walk around here for two hours every night for years on it because feet go numb and that you

0:03:02.3 –>
could eat it modulated his voice and everything and even though we tried noise cancellation if it you know we cardioid obviously we tried all sorts of weird timing things couldn’t shut him up the second they came on the whole stage started to move so we got rid of them unfortunately so I lost 36 1100 Saturday but we still have 36 in the air which is like with stazon said we stagger them heading fire we’re trying something different in this place if you look up the sides we’ve got some flat walls or subs that’s we’re getting ready for the American tour and of course the floors with the ice hockey dashes and stuff it’s very difficult to fly when you start getting under the seats and stuff so we’ve kind of used this given this ago to see if we can do flat and fly against the dasha so we

0:04:02.9 –>
have to constantly play with it in different venues the weight is the huge thing whether the bring was we had to get out the middle of the building literally we couldn’t hang anything in the center of the room so everything that a radiates out so like I said the TMR I went and we’ve just migrated away from the center but with the show so heavy anyway it made it difficult so yeah design-wise very challenging but bob came through bless him fantastic a mayor of course always given us the support that we need those guys greenie look atthis one second there you go just get just get rid of the dye version it’s probably a megawatts I would think I mean it has to be I mean you know absolutely well I mean I kind of mayor don’t really new

0:05:01.1 –>
any what’s new like you know remain it’s like it’s all balance that it all works very well actually say what wattage is this actual thing if they never really publicize that so but I would say we have to be over a megawatt I think because there’s so much of it you know and then if you add a VLSC switch our super subs which you can see right here and right there they’re not on for the show in for music they’re not for music they’re for our sound effects for explosions and pyro cues that we do for the surround sem one thing that’s like an LFA track if you like and we feed it from a multi-channel Joko machine and one of the tracks is divvied up to be enhanced for the sub package so we just press play in the system fires up in the round and we’re moving around I’m I’m actually mixing I guess pseudo stereo on

0:06:03.4 –>
this it’s not I’m not full pan because you can’t do that because of the fact people are sitting in different parts of the noise field but I am actually working in this video so we do go left right left right if I’m all the way around and so we move it off the center so to speak and it it’s nice in the past with other designs I’ve got mono straight down the middle because people has been so many people could only hear one hang but in this environment it’s people do tend to get a good stereo anything pretty much I would say 80 to 90 percent of the venue I think that’s good it’s always going to be people who are on axis with a hang but you can’t do anything so we are sort of instead it’s all ears there’s wedgies as well there’s a lot of floor wedgie for positions the bodies of guys have to follow up around pretty heavily get out giving it quite more

0:07:01.5 –>
but it’s the ears keep the consistency you know it came about for when the band played sent the Antarctic and because everything had to go ashore on a little zodiac rubber dinghy thing you couldn’t take for be 12 big bad racks and so so the vibe was let’s get the fractal theme and I was a bit auntie when I heard it at first but it hadn’t been modeled at that point I just heard like a stock fractal heavy metal guitar patch and it’s a live just horrible well when we decided to go that way we actually modeled James’s sound into fractal guys came to the studio world with a band and I’ve got to be honest with not look back since without everything’s fractal everything all the clean sayings everything we don’t know JC 120 no nothing it’s all fractal except I think there is a God I forgot what the other one’s called there’s another emulator as

0:08:00.5 –>
well we use but the bottom line of it is you don’t have microphones moving you don’t suffer with humidity in the box is indifferent you don’t have people sitting on the ISO Jamis kicking the feet against the side and you can hear bump bump bump through the PA and you’re like what’s that you go and somebody goes and looks and it’s somebody sitting on the box bagging the feet and it’s like okay because we’ve left them in the trucks in the past and just run cables there to them you know so you got the ISO box with a 4 B 12 all the mics built II just run what one might lay dead don’t even take them off the truck but of course it’s vulnerable then yeah but we basically got rid of heart and probably half a truck full of like a season and brad’s ended and the modeling of the fractals it’s really good I mean I wanted to hate them because I’d works for many many years in getting the the guitar send together with all the different microphones and then all of a sudden it’s going to be abandoned and was suddenly gonna go with

0:09:01.3 –>
this 19-inch rack piece I was quite insulted at first but then when I realized that we weren’t actually gonna lose what we already had we were just gonna remodel it and deliver it in a different way and you’re like wow okay and it was always the same the knobs didn’t get knocked the back line guys they’ll mess with it all the time it’s there it’s always recallable and as we go between different systems we can just blow the patch and we’re back in business so and it’s cut the backlog down to next to nothing so when we have to wear fright it’s financially practical so it worked out to be a great thing and I like the reliability of them you know you push them up everyday and it’s the same thing again we’ve been toying with going a yes from them into you know into an Aes card on the minor system I don’t know if that’s a bridge too far for me I still like to have a mic bring it up buddy I have something to mess with so I don’t know we’ll see where that goes but I am

0:10:00.1 –>
quite impressed even the bass guitars fractal everything no no no no I don’t compress guitars that doesn’t really work really well totally it comes at me pretty much like the ISO chambers used to he I didn’t see much difference once we worked out the gain stage and where that whether the actual level coming off the fractals lost to us same old same old same business and because we did it in the same way out for James as a boogie sound and what’s the other one called Jesus I’ll tell you my memories terrible terrible diesel yeah the diesel he had a better buggy in a diesel so we program the fractals to give us the same thing we have the mess of new gimmicks and we have the diesel mix and then I’ll blend the two together so the fractals did the

0:11:01.1 –>
same as the microphones basically and it works so it’s a bit of a no-brainer really and I don’t treat them anyway it’s like you said yeah do I treat them any differently no you just EQ them the same way as you would the microphones then either they’re a little more stable little less susceptible to environmental changes like microphones you know you get to high humidity places and high temperature gets hot in the ISO box and you get all sorts of things power for the amplifiers sagging because the generators a bit crap yeah lots of things used to affect the Tarpon guitar tone less effective now because of the faculty so I’m pleased with apartment breasts the vocal mics we had a change i mean it was always an audio-technica vocal mics because I just loved are crisp and nice audio-technica microphone sound unfortunately they don’t really look the way that James wanted them to look and I can I get it so we are sure

0:12:00.9 –>
ears 55s and they really are yes fifty-five they’re not like oh it’s an es 55 body with an audio-technica capsule it was at the start because I asked Audio Technica to modify one for me a fair play to them as much as it wasn’t in their interest to make a 55 said really good they did make me one and I tried it and it did work it sounded very good but didn’t quite work the way it should cuz the breathing of the capsule in the body and all that wasn’t quite as organized as audio-technica would for their own range so now we thought we’d go and and in all fairness it’s a good job we did because we have about I think we have a hundred and fifty of those es 55s across various different systems and they break down they get rained on when we’re doing festivals or when we’re doing the outdoor stadium think we do

0:13:00.6 –>
we’ve had them all sitting in the right getting soaking wet and it kills them so we have to get new ones or get them refurbished so we have a pretty big stock of microphones and if that was gonna be all modified microphones it’s a lot of hard work for somebody and I don’t think the condenser capsule would have survived as well as the old dynamic I’m sure it’s a 58 capsule in a square box that’s the reality of it I think so they do take a bit of a beating but eventually they do die we send the high end goes off from over a period of time so when we have IEQ all the vocals as one aid cubes or a subgroup because he’s there’s eight of them around that stage plus about four others we have about twelve vocal mics now I’m not going to go through each one and try to weaken each one to sound the same as the next one I’ll do a global EQ and push them all through that so the problem with that is of course if one of them starts to go a bit dull then it comes up as a big dog she’s not EQ any individually so

0:14:01.5 –>
we have to keep them all pristine and keep them all sitting there or working to the optimum you know so it takes a lot of microphones so that’s the 55 s for the vocals the drum kit changed a little bit we when we did the movie the movie people wanted I didn’t particularly agree but they wanted a little bit more crispness in the high end on the old heads and stuff and they so we changed the DPA 409 9s for all the overheads and we use DPA 409 9s for the top Tom’s as well we still use a side fire condenser 80 on the hi-hat and Long’s two on the snare and an 80 dynamic on the snare an old 1823 which they no longer make the but they’re pretty bulletproof so they look pretty beaten but stick marks all

0:15:01.7 –>
over them but they still all work so we have a small shipping order of those a bit and that pretty much covers it really Mike the so fewer microphones name you know it’s because since the fractals it’s like no guitar mics at all no 25 hundreds you know no 40 50 years no nothing just the load of 55 shearers and DPA in few 80s now nothing’s changed it’s still a digital xl4 it’s set up like an Excel for all right it’s the Excel eight just looks just it is it Excel for today sounds fantastic we’ve pretty much used all of it now it’s amazing stuff just keeps coming and we just keep plugging it in and away we go and away we go in the stadium to America we had to drum kits we have a load of percussion type drum things now we have to use so which

0:16:00.2 –>
we’ve pretty much filled every channel at some point you know so now still loving it my approach to the band I don’t think it’s changed I think are I adopt different ways of modeling what I’m trying to achieve only with experience and try and always try new things trying to make it better or always have to keep trying to make it better now I think what you what you confuse it was when I used to get the subs and keys off a kick drum and used the range on the gate to allow a certain amount of stuff to pass all the time to keep the bass guitar full but then when the kick drum hit that it opened the gate on the subs and gave the subs full volume so you got a bigger kick drum and that made the sum package so nice and tight I don’t do any of those sort of things here out sort of that’s that was a different time that was I was going for the I don’t know

0:17:00.7 –>
ultimate him put plot I guess I want eh even put to me absolutely the biggest he could be you know I mean maybe that’s changed a little bit I kind of I think I’m looking more for an overall picture now than maybe than the making each individual thing be what it is I don’t know I don’t I do things when it’s necessary really I mean the kick gate thing it probably would be useful would be useful in this venue I mean I tell her what the reputation is of this venue is Barclaycard hamburger reader I wouldn’t think it’s that good this place just has a bit of a horribleness in the low end well yeah and they want the crowd to draw so they want the noise to be low probably needs a bit of roof treatment in here because all the corrugated tin sheet but something’s I don’t like it I don’t like it at all and I’ve got the noise of police around that’s kind of interesting different I’ve never Adam did do what they’ve done

0:18:01.8 –>
this time the guy’s a microphone hanging in front of the PA within one meter to get him a to get a volume to give him a positive K value apparently and and then he’s been around measuring volumes all over the place and it’s 99 dB I waited of thirty-minute leq at the loudest point but of course I have to know what that relates to me here actually with my fingers on the faders so he’s got a way right now to go to look at his measurement equipment he’s gonna come back and give me a number that I can I have his laptop here that we can do – yeah I don’t know what it’s gonna be let’s wait and see I guess it’s it’s the first time I let him do that I’ll not have that before I mean I’ve had him come and say you know 100 leq 30

0:19:00 –>
front-of-house my the problem I think we running to me some of these things is these people are not used to it in the round show they used to the stage being at one end the guy’s been 2/3 down the hall and that’s it they’re not used to this kind of environment it is completely alien so the Oh quite well where you gonna measure for your lady’s point you’ve got a lot of points so what we’ll say he’s gonna give me all these raw data so I could have a look because I’m intrigued as well you know we’ve got our measurements to try and balance how hard the system drives at the top for the longer distance versus the middle bit shorter and shorter again so we tailor we should you know shape the games to try and give us an even coverage in fact the man has come back do you have a number for us here we go a photo but that’d work now that the writing

0:20:02.6 –>
okay it’s already in there you got to play nice for the noise play nice with the noise please because they’ll get you I actually think that the whole things changing I think that we’re gonna have a lot more of it I think gone are the days where you can just go and randomly crush people however you feel fit because it’s not going to be allowed unless you’re in South America maybe or places off the beaten track that’s the only time you’re gonna be able to put the stick to it any other countries we’re gonna have this 99 DB or hundred DB Switzerland’s been doing it forever and I think everybody’s gonna catch on and I think it’s gonna become the thing we had a thing out with us call mix hallo we’re still playing with it and it’s you put up a Wi-Fi network and you transmit to like it’s they’re not iPhones they’re like an iPod kind of thing and you it’s got a Wi-Fi receiver and you transmit to it and we

0:21:02.6 –>
were sending it the board mix with ambience that we have we also sent it all the in-ear mixes so people got the app for the ear plugs plug in they could go through the different mixes and listen to what James is listening to what Lars is listening to this is a company called mix hallo and we were doing quite a lot of messing with this thing where you know ambience more ambience less ambience I mean II you know said you dip the left and right that would normally go to megawatt appeai to some earbuds we have to do but a Taylor or the 80 I mean there’s not as much a low-end in the left and right signals you would think because the system is selective down there so you know you it’s calling you it’s a balancing act so of course but then when you break out of that and all of a sudden you sending it to in earbuds this is a different thing no so we had to tailor some things and do some different bits and pieces

0:22:02.5 –>
very interesting I listen to it I wasn’t convinced particularly I didn’t think it was bad but I do wonder whether it’s the sign of the times that the will be no speaker system eventually and everybody will just literally have in earbuds and it’ll just be transmitted and maybe you’ll have a few subs to give it some feel some concussion but so far as having complete arrays I don’t think it’ll happen I think they’ll be gone speakers and then of course when you do festivals you it’s just a chaos 80,000 people okay you need 80,000 of them setups you know it’s you just keep adding be above it and I think you’ll have big companies like Sony and all the other manufacturers will do the concert series earbuds you know maybe skull crusher all do you know the ear can be possible do nor they did headphones with thumpers in so you can maybe it’ll be

0:23:02.1 –>
that kind of thing I think it I don’t like the idea of it particularly I like a speaker you know but I think when the noise police really come on top you’re gonna have to hand the volume control to the individual person in the audience and go have it as loud as you want it to be is your volume is your thing pick the volume and I think we might go there I don’t think in my lifetime I think I’ll be well retired by the time that starts but I consider future movement I really can I really like hard work I think there’s some fantastic songs and riffs I think the riffs are just massive James has really pulled the one out of the bag but I also like Death Magnetic I thought that on a real angle kind of warned us about it that I each one of their albums they reinvent ourselves RIA I guess that’s why they had the longevity you know you’re

0:24:00.5 –>
talking of so many years now there’s a lot of bands being huge bands and they’ve gone by now you know they’ve come in done the thing been successful and then you know you never hear them again metallic has just gone on and on and on all the way through it’s pretty unbelievable really but I think it’s because they they’re willing to take chances musically and I think they’ll do whatever they feel and this hardwired one I think it’s a fantastic songs good songs it’s really fun to engineer the new songs it really is I guess they’re a little more mature the songs are a little more matured you know there’s a different vibe about and they execute them differently came to learn the craft well yeah you know and it’s accumulation of 36 years for those guys you know it’s what 34 for me I guess but because we’ve evolved together I

0:25:00.3 –>
think they never really surprised me I always sort of know and I’m never doubtful as to which way to go with it or eight to mix it I never have a like Oh what would you end do I do that you know I mean and I don’t really work to the albums particularly it’s not like I’m trying to recreate the album said now I recreate Metallica and that’s my impression of Metallica derived from pretty much when they started just like all the fans are I’m a fan of the band like your sort of thing I guess from that angle you know I’ve learned that appreciated them for all the years the way I mix them now is the way I feel now about the songs it’s like I get a little bit like the way they would feel I guess they’ve mature and so of are you know

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0:00:01.4 –>
it’s what it’s all about I’ve lived for those parts and but you’ve got to learn where those parts are you’ve got to work about where they can happen and then you’ve got to manipulate the inputs accordingly to be able to do it and his point was going for a big floor top if the floor Tonga’s but could have been very different I might have turned another way I could actually single it down to one point in my life where I made a turn that May decided my career for the rest of my life really and that was mixing a band called the Armory Show in 1981 and I freelanced for

0:01:08.4 –>
a company called tech serve which was owned by a guy called Bob Doyle and Bob Dole’s started digital and Bob’s been a lifelong friend of mine but I was a free lunch sound engineer working for East complete tech surf was the name of the company in Birmingham and he said to me look I’ve got this job for you at Birmingham University it’s a it’s a one-off just go there there’s a band coming they need an engineer the managers called the last if we could provide an engineer and the managers a very serious guy to guy called Peter Mensch and Peter Mensch manages Def Leppard and his company is called Q prime and I’m like yeah okay whatever I was on my motorbike went to the gig did the show pa went off about two or three times during the shows that the students Julie

0:02:00.2 –>
Peter Mensch was there he came up to me thought it was good saying thank you very much blah and I’m like okay fine and I’m standing there waiting to get paid because it was cash in hand and he goes are you ready and I’m like ready for what because well you’re on tour now I don’t know hang on a minute hang on a minute Bob told me this was one show they see that this is all like 11:30 12:00 o’clock at night this conversations going on the gigs happened you know and I said I’ve got my motorbike outside I’m about to go home I’m just here waiting to get paid and he goes well glass goes tomorrow and I’m like well I have no clothes and I have a motorbike and he said well you better go and take your motorbike home and get some clothes and that right there was that was the decision time because I could have very easily gone now now now

0:03:00.5 –>
mate you know I live a glad I’m not going on to her I’m gonna pay me I’ll get on my motorbike and go home you guys can carry on get somebody else to do Glasgow or I had the choice to go yes okay I know it’s midnight but I’ll rush home I’ll pack I’ll get the ride back into town to meet the band to travel to Glasgow and that’s what I did I made the call and went why not I was 22 23 I wasn’t resolved like 57 I own over 50 18 work so I made the call and I went yeah okay let’s do it went home got me bag got me lost me modes and white phone one of my friends said can you take me back into Birmingham sobbing I was about 12 miles away was look I was up the road I’d actually travel and I went back to Birmingham and off the glass going and I work for the Armory Show for 18 months I guess off and on

0:04:05. –>
doing various gigs and whatever they did an album released on EMI everything was okay the only problem is they didn’t sell very many so it kind of Q prime is a business there are a management company I mean now they manage Muse buddy they’re a huge management company so they said we can’t continue to work with the arm ratio because it’s kind of pointless we’ve given you everything we’ve got and it’s not stuck so it’s obviously not as popular as you would hope and they said but we saw about you would you like to come and work for one of our other bands and I’m like okay they said we’ve just signed this new band called Metallica and I’m like Metallica when what’s it what’s that what sort of music said they go to heavy

0:05:00.4 –>
Mel I’m not what’s heavy metal I mean they took you to bed 1984 now and heavy metal was off but it was like this new wave of British heavy metal awesome that I don’t know I used to do bands like kajagoogoo haircut 100 musical youth and I did all the punk bands GBH exploited in the 80s early 80s 81 I did GBA G’s first tour of America and that was you know it was a lot of fun working for the punk bands but heavy metal I’m on and I said so what’s he like they go well if you do it you’ll find out and I’m like guess I’ll find out then and they’re like right you started November going around Europe and that’s where it kicked off we started ride the lightning to it I think it was November the 7th I get a vibe for 6th

0:06:00.9 –>
maybe and then of course we did all that and got to the end of the European two of the band said we like we like working with you it’s great you know would you like to become an engineer because I’ve only ever really been a company engineer in those days only a few bands turned up with their own engineer I used to be the provided engineer by the service company like I would turn up wire up the PA stack it wire it would make it work and then engineer it take it down put it back in the truck and take it away I was part of the provided service and men you know certain bands started to have their own engineer they wanted to get some consistency going with the audio so it made sense to sort of employ somebody that had your interest at heart and knew the songs I mean I used to mix abandoned living the song before you know and quite a few bigger acts you know your haircut one hundreds in year Aztec cameras and all them sort of bands I mean I’ve done them as a one-off so I

0:07:04.3 –>
said yeah okay what does it involve being your engineer then and they’re like wait means you come and just make them like I just make sure you guys know PA know nothing no I thought mean this sounds like a good deal to me just walking it a mix in the band the most favorite bit I enjoyed all the other up to that point was our soul you didn’t want to stack PA didn’t wanna load trucks you didn’t want to be working till 4:00 in the morning to get it out there you did all of that so as you could do that that’s what it was it’s my bulb I’m gonna play with it so when I was when it was put to me that that’s all I had to do I’m like oh sign me up I’ll tell you why they’re not they are probably a little more challenging because we know more about it now in the 90s

0:08:00.2 –>
I mean you just put the boxes when we have the mt4 in the round and we put the boxes in you know it’s good there’s no way could we have been covering the whole room there’s just no way I mean I look at it now go wow that must have just been so many seats that just was like wow you know the high oh I mean because now even going 15 deep on a line array with fives or so between the boxes to make it split because the audience is so close you’ve really got to point the break the boxes up and point them to get the coverage the vertical coverage obviously when people are further back the balk patterns opened up further so you’re okay you’ve got the cut you you wouldn’t have you could block a few together to cover the distance and cover a bigger area but when the seats are so close it’s hard to a rate so you

0:09:00.7 –>
suddenly realize that you need a minimum of 15 boxes you can’t go how well everybody’s really close let only use ten really need ten I mean the accountants are going you only need eight they’re closer me you don’t need to be that late yeah but they can’t heal it because we can’t point it at all the seats so we realize it you actually need an ungodly amount of pa4 in the road and it’s not anything to do with volume it’s to do with coverage it’s not even anything to do with throw because the longest throw the distance you’re covering isn’t that far it’s just the fact everything so close the boxes are so defined that you have to point them where they need to go so you need a lot of them so yeah it’s more it’s more with less oblivious I think I think in the 90s we were oblivious to what was going on with the world only us doing in the round I seem

0:10:00.5 –>
to remember simply read did it a few other people that it and I think we’ll sort of did it and just went I hope everybody’s okay you know you didn’t know we couldn’t tell couldn’t map a venue you couldn’t see where what was we were all you know we had big lobster subs in different places we’re supposed to be just God hideous in various places where there was so out of phase with each other it would have been I’m sure he probably flip around 360 places it must have been just like ah God I mean when I think back to those days it was really hard but we were – we didn’t have a solution really it was a bit of a newer plot we you know hanging the weight in a weird place in the ville in the building freaked out a lot of buildings engineering the roof weights you go to Canada the snow on the roof you

0:11:01.7 –>
can’t anger as much PA those really heavy oh okay that’s a new thing I got to learn that one but I do it do a plot everybody’s okay with the wait in the roof it snows and then you can’t do what you were going to do completely out of your control you know so now II it was only easier in those days because we were oblivious now we understand a lot more there are some very smart people a bit we’ve just done two in Quebec we closed the old arena in Quebec and we hope a day later we open the brand-new one and the first one was done in a 180 format but it ended up selling so much it become damn one in but in the round and then the next one was a proper in the round we’re right in the middle of the video and it started off the first one the old venue is gonna be like we’ll do it old school because it’s the old venue they’re going to tear it down with the last band to play there we’ll do 180 and I’m like oh just a left

0:12:00.5 –>
and right PA some sidings and all that yes subs on the floor normal arena gig great let’s do that ah it’s selling really well we’ve now sold 270 degrees so you got to put some more boxes around the back oh it’s done 300 now it’s done 320 oh it’s done 316 let’s go in the round again but the stages of one end and predominantly the subs are all pointing to where I thought the people were going to be so I was using a company called solar tech which are a fantastic company I’m so enamored with that company and frankly digiday the engineer the system designer is a fantastically clever smart guy who does soak the saala and all these other very intelligent designs because I’ll put the design together stunning absolutely stunning but he went with the TM array at one end and we’d never done that we’d only ever

0:13:00.7 –>
done the TM array in the middle he wanted it he felt we should have changed he’s a little bit because he did put the TM array quite close to people at one end so as I was mixing in the far field earlier on draw there’s people a lot closer to it them so it was quite hefty apparently Ren and of course you can’t control the zones with the TM array it’s like put in an aerial and it just radiates out from a point source that was the design thomas mundo who came up with it was like you know you put it in the middle and it just goes like dropping a stone in a pool just radiated the problem is is when the pool moves this way and the ripples start there that they’re quite powerful around the back of there in the length of the room they get a bit weaker so I’m going to drive them to make them powerful enough and the bit round there isn’t going to be a little bit little much maybe it wasn’t ungodly don’t get me wrong so I would never do that I would have rather sacrificed a little

0:14:01.9 –>
bit of low end in the room up there if it was going to be on but it was quite full sounding let’s put it like that round the back but then of course we did that fantastic we went into the new I think it’s called the Videodrome or something I look at the new place and we went full in the middle 180 and it’s our e360 but the new thing about it was we’ve never done the TM array with the eleven hundred subs we’d only ever done it with seven hundred fantastic loved it loved it and you know when I’m assuming as we tend to do now that when we go out again with Metallica that that will be in the round again and I’m gonna be going at the 1100 T ever right again because he was great it was great it was the best low-end I think we’d ever had in the round and he was so even and everywhere I mean you couldn’t go anywhere it was the same so that was the desired effect

0:15:01.5 –>
for the TMR I you know was to get the overall coverage you know it worked really well it was kind of surprising that the high shelf on the desks at that point which probably was about 8 to 10 K I would think thinking back to it now was about right and because the horns at that point yeah oh god I can’t even remember the numbers but they were probably quite stressed but there wasn’t an awful lot of mid metering about to say Oh God you beat in the corns there’s nothing going red because there was no real red lights abate so I probably was punishing a lot of PAS had never even knew that it was that nobody ever came to me and said oh you blew all me horns you know it never happened oh maybe somebody will pop up now and say yeah

0:16:01.7 –>
you did so now they did it and he did it with aggression the older PA systems definitely leaned towards Metallica’s tone I think you know when I think of the EVM t4 boxes I mean that that was not a high five PA by any stretch of the imagination but at the point where Metallica was at that time and we were using it it had the sufficient nastiness in the high mids to suit the songs that 3 K 3 1 3.1 K on an mp4 system was just like oh my god take your breath away some days you’d be like oh no and it wasn’t it was a throat distortion it wasn’t dad’s weak you you couldn’t lose it times it’s like you could have add the file I tried a bit the slots longer on the graphics to try and get rid of more of that but it weren’t get a rapid you know it was there

0:17:01.1 –>
if you just dropped into the wrong volume for that system it would it wouldn’t work for you but it wouldn’t you found the sweet spot at all Sora oh just sat there and it was definitely Metallica it’s different now now I have more of a blank canvas with the newer systems you know the leo system for instance I mean you have this ungodly pair in the low end with the 11-hundred then you have a great transition from the hot the horn driver if you can call it that it starts at 400 Hertz can you go that’s a horn driver and it goes all the way through no crossover point the OP the difference is now I have the option to add the aggression it’s I’m not always battling to take it away I have a choice now I can go I want that guitar to be a little bit more aggressive and I can do that before it was a question of how do I stop that guitar being so aggressive because it’s just killing me I need to

0:18:02.3 –>
make it softer it was all about that now it’s about how much air much aggression do I want which is really nice position to be in to have all these toys that you can just go wow I think I’ll just make a little bit more aggressive you know instead of sitting there going everything I ever did was out of necessity the top end in the kick drum the attack was because when predominantly when drummers go into double kick drum and it’s very especially fast double kick drum not like you know slow sort of double kick pattern I’m all about really fast they don’t have time to put any real weight behind each hit so that means when the beta strikes the head it goes it’s a bit

0:19:01.4 –>
duller than when you stand in on it you know you and yet when you hit it it’s got a lot when it it lost a lot of the clarity so what started to happen was Lars would go into the double kick drum pad and you just go you’d have this ball ball but up until that point when he’s just playing its doof down normal but it wasn’t more with rumbling it sounded like feedback on my looks that you know what we’re gonna do so I thought about it in years and years and years prior to that and I’m talking about when I was 17 a friend of mine called Bruno stipend Hill who was the one of the first members of Judas Priest who was a relative of mine I used to hang out with him which is well I sort of got me start in the music industry I was in the studio with him working on a song for their band and we were talking about

0:20:00.4 –>
bass drum and he said cuz up until this point it had never occurred to a bass drum his bass isn’t it it’s not treble space so why would you have treble involved with a bass drum that was the school of thought of that point you know and then he actually said the one day we were mixing it and he went all it’d be nice if that added a little bit more attack that kick drum why don’t you try the the treble knob I mean there weren’t knowing any numbers involved at that point desks just was bass middle and treble he looks like you didn’t even know what frequency was he just seemed to make it sound that way and this one maybe turn that way okay when we can work with her and we tried it and it did add something well that must have loved with me and years later when I suddenly started falling into this problem I’m like oh hang on a minute if I make these things sound a little bit more pointed a bit more lick lick lick lick lick lick lick then you’re going to be able to at least hear kick lick lick lick lick lick

0:21:01. –>
lick lick with some more and I thought well that’s going to help and that’s basically where it came from it was all a case of necessity the the adding top end to kick drums and of course it went from there and everybody sort of took it on board and it became a bit of an established thing did I originate it not really I mean can you originate a sound I suppose you can I kind of think musicians originate sounds not the same ninjin ears we embellish what a musician does you know for guitarists comes up with a spectacular tone of guitar it wasn’t the same din Janu was the guitarist it wasn’t the engineer that captured it in the studio even know the guitarist started this you know so can the engineer go well I added that little bit of whatever to and I made it so

0:22:01.1 –>
spectacular I can’t see the fact I’m people I know attribute the the attack on kick drums to me I don’t know whether I can really fully take that you know most of these new sound systems are all very good they really are okay they all have their own little nuances that you know but once you know what those nuances are when you go into using them you know what to expect now of course when when you hire as much PA system as I have to in very different places in the world I could not say oh it’s exclusively mayor because when we’re in Kuala Lumpur I’m not shipping PA there we’ve got control and monitors of course but you’re not we’re doing stadiums so I can’t take a big enough amount of system

0:23:02.3 –>
and move it quick enough to cover all the shows so we rent locally i spec the system and it’s provided by who’s about now that means you have to go who’s got the most of what you know in your in columbia bogota who’s got the biggest PA system in colombia well I was fortunate there because it’s actually Leo so that was a good one and Mayor support me of course they do they’re fantastic and they the bogit are people didn’t have enough subs so mayor sent me another 2011 hundreds to supplement the twenty they and I think it was so you know I that worked out fantastic Kuala Lumpur in fact that was Leo as well there was something in Argentina I believe I think that was a JBL VT

0:24:02. –>
system which I’ve also used I had to use VTX in the round because the weight of the box is so light you know when you hang it 150 boxes from the roof in the center of the room all the way round the in the round stage you know it was 10 hangs a 15 deep it’s a hundred and 50 boxes now Mayer products are never that light unfortunately because the amplifiers in the boxes but it does keep the ground incredibly clean when you use a powered box in the round when we use like with the VTX we had to have amplifier world I add a hundred and ninety-six amp channels of on the the crammed V rack system and so where to position these in different points in their in the arena you know so you have the section off there is the amplifier

0:25:00.4 –>
world then you’ve got all this swage of cable coming down now you don’t want massively long speaker leads because you starting to screw with the impedance of the box and that can filter the response you have to be very careful what you’re doing you know or is that section a little quieter addiction because the impedance of the cable you know you have to make sure you use an oxygen free cable you have to make sure everything is just so everything’s got to work the best you can so we we opted to put all the uh tracks with for amplifier stations at four corners of the arena fenced off security the whole thing to protect the amp racks that’s such a pain in the ass that is it’s so much nicer when they’re all in the air and you just have a signal lead going up there you go you end up with the dragged down leads to the floor a tiny you’ve got you might have one little mult like that that runs a massive system and a power cable a big

0:26:00. –>
power cable but that’s just tiny compared to swage ease of speaker lead so you know when it whenever I cannot the the powered box thing and to be honest with the powered box thing works fantastic in a lot of situations because you don’t have to lose the amplifiers anywhere all right you have a mains distro that’s about it but not as big as a load of a breaks so it makes perfect sense so when you’re saying about using different systems oh absolutely all the time and I still continue to use different systems I like the K one system I think that’s a great sounding rock and roll PA it’s not as high fire as a leo system you’re not going to get the same cymbal sound on a k1 that you’re gonna get on a Balio system but in retro respect for that you’re not going to get the same bass guitar sound particularly that you would get on a k1 on a leo system so there’s

0:27:01.2 –>
trade-offs they both do what they have to do there’s just a different amount of nuances between them there’s just a little different thing if I could take the bass guitar from the k1 system imported into the leo system that I would love to be able to do that but I’d also like to be able to take the overheads from the leo system bring it into the game on so it’s Adam splitting hairs here um this is I guarantee you that if you said to everybody in the audience well didn’t you think that the bass guitar was so much better tonight on this k1 the Millea they’d be like wow he played high early it was fine he’s down to our own little nuances you know this is this is us listening to it and going yeah I prefer that that’s all it is really I hate soundcheck with the band because

0:28:01.9 –>
it’s pointless absolutely pointless because to start off with the environment empty there is nothing happening in the room it’s puppet it’s just clattering around there’s no ambient noise around you other than the reflections and it is it has so little bearing on what’s going to be happening later on at that point the band normally are playing up at that point because they don’t want to do same check either so they’ll probably play other people’s songs not only will they play other people’s songs they won’t play with the same amount of drive that they’ll be playing later on there’s a little game that I play with Lars the drummer he predominantly plays a lighter in same chicks because he thinks I’ll turn the

0:29:00.9 –>
drums up and then when he comes out later he beats the out of him because he wants to have the ladies drum sound in the world but he I learned that one probably 15 years ago 20 years ago I knew what the game was so I don’t move it it’s eat I learned not to mess because obviously I’ve had my own console for many years so I walk into any gig with the last show still on the console even when it was the analog domain I had my own console and the knobs were all in that position I mean now it’s even with the xl8 it’s like recall which showed you once I’ve got a ball can I remain it’s like the hardest thing about doing that is remembering what’s changed since that show that I ever quite worked out the digital filing yet it doesn’t work for me to be obviously I can’t work out what to do and I talk to all my mates about what what do you did you keep your shows

0:30:00.9 –>
you throw them away or what do you do and they’re like well we sort of keep them and I’m like well I can’t go back too far because I constantly evolve the mix it’s constantly changing you know I might change the way I plug something in am i changing the I might change your microphone I might I’m not I don’t just go oh that’s it no no no I’m always tossing people are always coming to me cable you try this what do you think of this so then you have to go I never made a note on the show file saying this has the new di for the base or this is when did I change that is this song with the old set into us so you’re like oh so I always start where the last show finished so I’m walking in with a show on there already you know so there’s a consistency there I don’t use any able well so don’t use any a bull

0:31:01.7 –>
gear I have a delay a D – because I like the D – it’s not written and when – first came out the delay that was in the console sounded like for some reason so when I using that so LD – I have an old Korg DRV 3000 which does the master master effects can’t seem to find anything else to do that this thing I buy them on ebay now for like a hundred dollars it’s like I have probably I have a selection of chords the various states of disassembly because the batteries go flat in the RAB and all these bollocks it’s like because there’s so old now but I have one of them and I have a few backups and they always work and they do that master effect and a few other bits and pieces I don’t like having too much a broad analog gear I do actually think that you have another piece I have a BBA Sonic Maximizer which is strapped across the tom-toms which I use as a like it’s

0:32:02.1 –>
got bass and treble knob on it basically and that it can mean I can affect a global EQ change on the toms oh I don’t really need it you know that the consoles well capable of doing all that but I don’t know it’s a throwback to me analog bitten that’s always been there and so that can stay I like to be able to if I go to use yet another excel eight anywhere else in the world that we don’t own which is not really happen to be honest with you our I don’t think we because we have two of them so we ship them leapfrog so the one of our systems always turns up I wanted to be able to just go show file recall there you go I didn’t want to have to go well let’s just set up the game for the lexicon 960

0:33:01.6 –>
and all the the you know the TCM 6000 all up the converters bucking drive into our voice out so much hotter than it was on my own or and then I didn’t want to go through setting up all this I wanted to go there’s Metallica there’s the the sound of the band already stored and recalled you know so now I don’t use many a big board pieces

Sound Engineer Jokes, Puns and Memes

Adam Boole, FOH Engineer for Bullet For My Valentine