All Access: Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival

Sep 1, 2009 12:00 PM, By Steve Jennings


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Marilyn Manson

Marilyn Manson

The Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival is an all-metal gathering where performances, dB levels and hardcore fans fully live up to the name of the event. When “Mayhem” touched down in the San Francisco Bay Area's Shoreline Amphitheater in July, Mix caught up with headliners Marilyn Manson and Slayer's audio team, as well as Jagermeister Mobile Stage front-of-house engineer/production/road manager Dave Summers.

Marilyn Manson's front-of-house engineer, George Chapman III, mixes on a Digidesign VENUE with a sidecar, using such onboard plug-ins as the Eventide Anthology package, AmpFarm amp simulation, Smack! and Focusrite comps, and EQ3 7-band parametric EQ. “I find that using the third-party plug-ins really gives me a chance to get as close to the studio sounds as possible in the live environment,” Chapman says.

Rat Sound is providing all the gear and P.A. systems, which comprise 15 L-Acoustics V-DOSCs in the main hang with four dV-DOSC downfills, another eight V-DOSCs for outfills and two V-DOSCs for centerfills on the downstage edge. “We have been lucky to get the new V-DOSC subs that go with the new K1 system, and we are using them both in standard mode and cardioid mode, depending on the architectural layout of the venue, as well as trying the various crossover settings in the amps,” Chapman says. “I found that I like the subs in cardioid mode with crossover at 100 Hz — it seems to work best for the show's dynamics. This is so much fun to mix because there is so much going on and so many cues. I would say that, as a sound engineer, you couldn't ask for a more fun, diverse show to mix.”

Slayer vocalist/bassist Tom Araya

Slayer vocalist/bassist Tom Araya

Bruce Danz, Marilyn Manson's monitor engineer, mixes on a Yamaha PM5DRH, opting to not use any plug-ins; instead, he gets a feed of an Eventide plug-in from FOH, as well as a rack-unit Eventide H3000.

Manson sings through a Shure SM58 with a UR wireless system. “I have them numbered and on four-way switchers,” Danz says. “He throws them around a lot: I have a guy that just runs and puts out new ones and tries to retrieve the thrown ones. I keep at least 12 mics set and ready for every show.

“For wedges, we are using d&b M2s. They are one of my favorites next to the V-DOSC FM115s, and I use four V-DOSC line array boxes a side, flown for side-fills.

“My main thing is watching Manson at all times, which can be tough with all the smoke and strobes going on. We have our cues worked out; it's just about seeing him and running his cues as quickly as possible. Getting the vocal on top of all the stage volume gets tricky, but that's metal man.”

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