All Access: Linkin Park

Jun 1, 2008 12:00 PM, Photos and Text by Steve Jennings


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Chester Bennington

Chester Bennington

Linkin Park's Midnight to Midnight tour hit cities across the U.S. in support of their latest album of the same name. Fans attending the concert can purchase a digital souvenir package, a post-gig memento that features an audio download of the entire concert — mixed by front-of-house engineer Ken “Pooch” Van Druten and made available on the Web after the show. Audio Analysts is supplying all board groups and Atomic Pro Audio is providing an Adamson rig. Mix caught up with the band at Arco Arena in Sacramento, Calif., one of the tour's last stops.

Chester Bennington and Mike Shinoda (vocals/guitar) sing through Audio-Technica Artist Elite Series AEW-T6100 mic/transmitters, with AEW-R5200 dual receivers. The crew uses three systems: Shinoda (main and spare), Bennington (main and spare) and one for guest mics. Antenna combiner is an Audio-Technica AEW-DA550C with ATW-A49 antennas.

Ken “Pooch” Van Druten mixes on a Digidesign D-Show Profile, using the onboard Waves Live Bundle, Digidesign All Access package, URS comps and Serato plug-ins.

The P.A. comprises 12 Adamson Y18 per side with four Adamson Y10s as underhangs, two clusters of four SpekTrix boxes flown in the mother grid for sidefill, 16 Y10s per side for side hang, eight Spektrix per side for coverage of the far 270 degrees. “On the four shows that were sold as end-stage 360 degree,” Van Druten says, “we added another 16 Y10s for coverage. All [speakers are] using XTA processors and Lab.gruppen amps. We are the first major tour in the U.S. to exclusively use the Adamson system and we are really happy about it.”

System engineer Evan McElhinney, who is seen holding a 12-inch Motion Computing table PC running XP Pro, says that unit was the main control for the 10-processor XTA network they operate daily.

According to DJ/sample tech Jason LeMiere, Joe Hahn's rig is really two rigs: a DJ side and a sample side. “The DJ consists of two Vestax turntables, a Vestax digital hybrid mixer, Line 6 distortion effect, Pioneer EFX 1000, M-Audio Trigger Finger, Rane Serato Scratch LIVE interface and a Mac to run it all. The sample rig is eight M-Audio Trigger Fingers and a Mac running [Native Instruments'] Kontakt as a Pro Tools plug-in for all the samples.”

Bassist Dave “Phoenix” Farrell plays Ernie Ball/Music Man Stingray basses, as well as Fender ‘59 Reissue Precision basses. According to bass tech Ted Regier, “From the guitar it goes into an Audio-Technica wireless system. Then the signal is split and goes into a dbx 160A compressor into a SansAmp PSA-1 preamp into an Ampeg SVT Classic amp into two 8x10 cabinets. The other side of the split goes into a SansAmp RBI preamp. FOH receives direct signals from both SansAmps; no mics on the cabs.”

“Brad Delson uses Randall amplification and XL cabs (with built-in stereo direct outs) loaded with vintage 30s at a 16-ohm load,” says his tech, Sean Paden. “We also use Audio-Technica mics: 4047s and 4050s. I have 11 guitars in my touring vault. He uses Audio-Technica wireless units and antenna combiners. My rig is dual-mono, so after a small front-end effect chain, which lives in the racks, the signal ‘y's’ into two Randall RM4 preamp chassis, each containing four Dave Friedman-modded MTS modules. This gives me all the flexibility to mix-and-match tones.”

Monitor engineer Kevin McCarthy is manning a Yamaha PM5DRH. “I am mixing underneath the rolling stage that we carry with us, dead center between the hydraulics for the drum and DJ risers,” he says. “The video company supplies us with spy cams that we have located on the sidefills stage-left and -right, one on the keyboard and one on the drum set. I mix off the FOH pressure, which is difficult from underneath a low ceiling, being center and behind all the backline speakers. You have to trust your mix because you are not in the same environment as the musicians.”

All bandmembers are on in-ears except for Delson, who wears foam plugs with gun muffs over the top. The rest of the musicians wear Ultimate Ears UE-7s with the exception of Bennington, who wears Sensaphonics 2MAX. “We all use Sennheiser EW300 G2 systems powered with a custom Audio Analysts power supply, a Shure PA 821 combiner with Professional Wireless Systems helical antenna and cables,” McCarthy adds. “I use a Sennheiser A2003 UHF antenna for my cue under the stage. Wedges are all Adamson M15s underhang, and sidefills are Adamson SX18s.”

Drum tech Brad Stonner gives the rundown on Rob Bourdon's kit mics: kick drum, Audio-Technica AE2500 and a Shure Beta 91; snare top and bottom, Shure SM57s; hi-hat, A-T ATM 450; toms, A-T ATM 350s; ride, A-T AE5100; overheads, A-T AT4050s; talkback mics, A-T ATR 20s.

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