Gnarls Barkley

Nov 1, 2006 12:00 PM, Photos and text by Steve Jennings


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A collaboration with Danger Mouse and Cee-Lo Green (a solo artist and former member of Goodie Mob), Gnarls Barkley is finding huge commercial success with their radio-friendly “Crazy.” The act is currently out on a club and festival tour, and Mix caught up with the audio crew, front-of-house engineer Stephen Curtin and monitor engineer Tim Engwall, at their San Francisco stop in mid-September.

This is Curtin and Engwall's first tour mixing on a Digidesign VENUE console. “The highlight of the desk is the effort Digidesign put into it after the preamp,” says Curtin. “Most other digital desks concentrate on the preamp and then just throw together some algorithms for everything that is post-preamp, such as the compressors, gates, etc.” Engwall added that he “mixed a couple of festivals in Europe this past summer on [the VENUE], and really liked it. With good-sounding mic pre's, comps and gates; onboard effects; and user-friendly controls, it's hard not to dig this desk.”

Green sings through a Sennheiser SKM5000 wireless with a 5000 capsule, but will soon be switching to the SKM5200 with a KSM 105 capsule; bandmembers are on Shure PSM700 in-ear monitors. Green's vocal goes through an Avalon 737 preamp/compressor. Onstage, Green uses a pair d&b M2 wedges with d&b A1 amps. Other d&b gear includes C7 subs/tops for sidefills (powered by P1200 amps).

Tim Engwall (left), Stephen Curtin

“I'm always excited to be working with new gear — it keeps me on my toes,” Curtin says. “I am very excited to be working with Danger Mouse and Cee-Lo. They are two of the hottest songwriters/producers/performers out there. Mixing the 13-piece band is always a challenge, yet fun.”

“Because the music is so diverse,” Engwall says, “mixing this band is definitely fun. I also enjoy working with Cee-Lo and Danger Mouse, both talented, cutting-edge artists. They encourage me to be creative and rockin' with the mix onstage.”

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