Duncan Sheik Tour Profile

May 1, 2009 12:00 PM, By Sarah Benzuly



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“We also did a bit of work on the input side of the processor, EQ'ing out the typical frequencies that would feed back. Having this gear each night saved me a lot of time in setting up Duncan's vocal mix as I didn't have to spend extra time notching out feedback. Typically, each day I'd just EQ out any room/stage anomalies and just turn the mix way up! Duncan likes to have a ton of gain-before-feedback, as he'll go from almost whispering to strong, loud vocals. The MicroWedge guaranteed that each night he would get what he needed out of his floor mix.”

Mike It Up

Engineer Adam Robinson

Engineer Adam Robinson

The tour is carrying an assortment of Sennheiser and Neumann mics, including the KMS104 for Sheik's vocals. “He's got a great ear and really knows how to work the mic well,” Robinson says. “We both agree that the Neumann is probably the best-sounding vocal mic you can put onstage. Lauren sings into the new Sennheiser e 965 switchable-pattern condenser. It exhibits a similarly flat response to the Neumann but is a bit tamer in stage monitors. We had been through so many different mics with Lauren trying to find the right sound for her. The moment I got my hands on the 965, I knew it was the right fit and she took to it quite well.” Brook sings through an e 945, while drummer Kevin Garcia's kit takes mostly Sennheiser 900 Series. Gerry Leonard's guitar amp is miked with a Sennheiser e 906.

“I'm using a Helpinstill system on the piano combined with a Neumann KM184 to bring some ‘wood’ back into the sound,” Robinson adds. “The orchestral instruments — clarinet, bass clarinet, French horn — are also Sennheisers. The cello utilizes a pickup.”

As most of Sheik's songs tell a story, the mic selections are an essential consideration in Robinson's overall mix style — everything must remain clean so that the vocals are intelligible. “Really when it comes down to it, though,” he says, “I just bring my usual style of mixing clean, clear and punchy to this show and it translates well. As he's proven over and over again, Duncan can write a hit song, but beyond that, every single one of the musicians playing with him is amazing, so it's a true pleasure to have such great source material to mix.”

Sarah Benzuly is the group managing editor for Mix, EM and Remix.

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