All Access: Chris Cornell

Aug 1, 2009 12:00 PM, Photos and Text by Steve Jennings


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Chris Cornell performing

Chris Cornell performing

Former Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell is taking his solo gig on the road, backed by an A-list band comprising drummer Jason Sutter, bassist Corey McCormick, and guitarists Yogi Lonich and Peter Thorn — all of whom create a massive wall of sound. Touring in support of his latest, Scream — the cover of which shows Cornell about to smash his six-string guitar, an interesting message considering that the album's executive producer is hip-hop heavyweight Timbaland — Cornell and crew gave a stellar rock 'n' roll performance, with just a subtle rock-dance undertone. Mix caught up with the act at San Francisco's Grand Ballroom at Regency Center.

Front-of-house engineer Ted Keedick

Front-of-house engineer Ted Keedick

For the past five years, front-of-house engineer/tour manager Ted Keedick has relied on a Yamaha PM5D. He says the PM5D has “just enough analog character with the benefits of the digital world to suit my needs. For all but three of my 37 inputs, I am using the onboard gates, comps and effects engines.”

Keedick runs Chris Cornell's vocals first through an Avalon 737 and then adds an Empirical Labs EL8 Distressor as an insert, giving him two stages of compression. He also uses a Summit Audio DCL-200 on Jason Sutter's cymbal mics.

Monitor engineer James Bump

Monitor engineer James Bump

“We were using the house P.A. — a JBL system that responded pretty well in a not-so-forgiving room,” Keedick says. He uses a Clair IO for system tuning. “I actually was using only one channel as an EQ for my main vocal. Chris plays for a long time each night, but I rarely tire of the set. The guy switches up night after night, choosing from a vast selection of his works from previous bands, solo work and a few very well-done covers. The band delivers consistently, and my crew rocks!”

Monitor engineer James Bump mixes on a Digidesign Profile, using very few onboard plug-ins including Smack!, Echo Farm and ReVibe. “The band is on in-ears — Ultimate Ears model UE7; no wedges. We are using a Shure UR4D wireless with a Shure SM58 capsule for Chris' vocal mic.”

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