All Access: Queens of the Stone Age

Dec 1, 2003 12:00 PM, By Steve Jennings


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“The Queens are one of the best rock bands on the planet. The source of my sounds are great, and that makes my job a lot easier. The P.A. we're using is provided by Rat Sound,” says FOH engineer Hutch. “It's V-DOSC with front-loaded Rat cabinets with two 18s in them for our low end. We have been playing a wide variety of venue sizes, so the amount of boxes really changes. We're ‘bottom feeders,’ and I usually double the low end provided in most house rigs. We're extremely loud onstage and I need infield fills to give the kids something other than guitars. Rat makes a great low-profile fill with two 12s and a 2-inch horn that really kicks butt. Four of these across the front make a big difference.

“I'm using an old Midas board with 30 inputs, half-a-dozen effects, subs and infields on auxes; it's pretty straightforward. I'm not a book-smart engineer: I'm really the anti-tech. I'll try things for the sake of trying, even if it's not common practice. Sometimes, you discover new things this way.

“Across the front end, I'm using a Fatso Jr., vocals get Distressors; I have an old [DeltaLab] Effectron with jammed buttons that gives me a great vocal double; Eventide for my tripped out effects; TC stuff for echoes; my reverb is a Demeter Spring, [dbx] 1066s for drums, [dbx] 160s for bass; and on my guitars, Little Labs' IBPs: They're an amazing sweepable phase adjustment, and when double mics are used, it allows you to find the sweet spot without physically moving the mic.”

“I'm using an InnovaSon Compact Sy40,” says monitor engineer Matt Field. “This is 40 into 27 buses, all processing in the console so my setup consists of one Edison power cord (110 to 240 volts) and I am pretty much good to go. All EQ and dynamics are onboard, so I have no requirement for any external racks of processing. This means that we can achieve consistency even with the most far-flung shows and the shortest festival changeovers. I have 8-band parametric EQ on all outputs, gates and comps — all onboard.

“The band is on wedges. My preferred monitor — which we've been using most of this year — is the Rat-designed Radian Microwedge 12. We've been using these on all of the legs of the tour, where we have carried production and just slimming down to console and line system for festival runs.

“I have [drummer] Joey on a pair of Microwedge 12s with an 18-inch sub and a pair of Aura shakers mounted on a steel drum throne plate that I designed and had built specially for his purposes, and to increase the efficiency of the shake effect. For the kick drum, we have a Shure Beta 52A and a Yamaha NS-10 low-end speaker [woofer used in reverse as a transducer]. On snare, it's a Shure Beta 57A [top] and SM57 [bottom]. Shure KSM137s are on hi-hat and ride, the toms are Sennheiser MD604s and Shure KSM44s are the overheads.”

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