All Access: Pink

Aug 1, 2006 12:00 PM, By Steve Jennings


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Hot off a stellar new album, I'm Not Dead, and a new marriage, Pink is currently taking her punk rock — tinged styling out to clubs across the U.S., with a world tour beginning next month. Accompanying Pink onstage is a full band comprising (below, clockwise from top-left) Mylious Johnson (drums), Janis Tanaka (bass), Suzie McNeil (backup vocals), Justin Derrico (guitar), Adriana Balic (keyboards/vocals) and Jason Chapman (keyboards/musical director). Mix caught up with the Showco (monitor/front-of-house package; local racks and stacks) tour in late June at San Francisco's Fillmore; for the arena dates, the tour will pick up a Showco Prism rig.

Front-of-house engineer Bruce Jones is using a Midas Heritage H3000, which he says is his favorite board to mix on. “It sounds great and is completely user-friendly,” Jones says. “You can also set up a drum mix on groups right above your VCAs and do most of your mixing at the center of the desk. I do a lot of fine drum mixing from song to song. I also like to break my vocals up into background groups on the VCAs.”

For the next leg of the tour, Jones plans to switch to a DiGiCo D5 for the added channels. “I've used the DiGiCo on a couple one-offs with Joe Cocker,” Jones says, “and some Pink radio shows. The DiGiCo sounds great, but if you don't have your show on a memory stick, it takes a while to label and assign.”

Jones' outboard rack is chock-full of choice pieces, including a dbx 160SL daisy-chained with a Brooke Siren DPR-901, Sony MUR-201 (reverb), Roland SDE 3000 and Aphex Aural Exciter for Pink's vocal. For background vocals, Jones employs a dbx 160XL, Lexicon PCM 300 and Eventide Eclipse; acoustic guitars take Yamaha SPX-990s; drums are on Yamaha REV 5 and Drawmer 210 gates; keys take BSS DPR 4021s; and Vactronics tube comp, Klark Teknik stereo EQ and DN-60 RTA for main L/R inserts.

“This is my first tour with Pink,” Jones says. “Pink has awesome vocals and the band is great. There are a lot of cues and you stay very busy throughout the show. The tour manager, Nick Cua, is the best, and the crew is strong across the board.”

Musical director Jason Chapman is using a Roland XV5080 module. “We have just started using a Muse Research Receptor,” says keyboard tech David Rapp, “along with a Roland XV5080 module. We use a Roland VK-8 as a controller for the Receptor. All run through a Mackie 1604-VLZ, with a main left and right send and a sub-group L/R send to control his own mix levels. Adriana [Balic, keyboards] is using a Roland [Fantom] X8 and a Roland [Fantom] X7 run through a Mackie 1402-VLZ mixer.”

“Justin Derrico is working Gibson Les Paul and Explorer guitars,” says guitar tech Tony Hanuman. “Both are equipped with Fishman acoustic pickups in the bridge so each guitar can double as an acoustic with the aid of a Bradshaw switching box in the pedal board. We are also using Yamaha acoustics and a Fender Stratocaster for one song. His amp is a Bogner Shiva head with two Bogner 2×12 close-back cabinets.”

As this is a small tour, monitor engineer Doug Deems is using a Yamaha PM5DRG for its compact size; he will also be picking up a DiGiCo D5 for the arena dates. “It's nice with a digital desk to have access to comps/gates/delay on all ins and outs,” Deems says of the DiGiCo board. “When they're available, one comes up with some creative uses for them.” The Yamaha board is taking 44 inputs from the stage — about 58 channels — and all 24 aux outs, plus a few matrices. Interestingly, he is also using five effects without using up aux sends by using the stereo buses, direct outs and other “tricks.”

A look inside Deems' rack shows two Distressors, two dbx 160s, an Aphex Exciter and Lexicon PCM81; everything else comes from the board.

“All the bandmembers are using ears,” Deems says. “Brand-new Ultimate Ears UE-7s all around and Sennheiser G2 IEMs — by far my favorite. We've got Shure Beta 86s on U4D wireless for Pink and regular 58s on everyone else — old-school rules.

“Pink is a great vocalist, great band, really fun people to work with. After doing pop/R&B acts with huge bands and tons of outputs for the last few years, it's nice to have a small number of really talented people onstage and time to dig deep and polish the details. It is a pleasure to mix this band.”

Drum tech Mark Bennett mikes the kit with SM91 and Audix D6 (kick), Shure Beta 86 (snare top), Beta 87 (snare bottom), Audio-Technica AT3000s (toms), AT3031s (hat/ride) and Shure KSM32s (overheads).

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