Fall Out Boy Tour Profile

Jun 1, 2009 12:00 PM, By Candace Horgan

POWER-PUNK TOUR SLIMS DOWN

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Performing at The Fillmore (Denver), from left: Joe Trohman (lead guitar/vocals), Patrick Stump (lead vocals/rhythm guitar), Pete Wentz (bass/vocals) and Andy Hurley (drums)

Performing at The Fillmore (Denver), from left: Joe Trohman (lead guitar/vocals), Patrick Stump (lead vocals/rhythm guitar), Pete Wentz (bass/vocals) and Andy Hurley (drums)
Photos: John Johnston

When punk-pop rockers Fall Out Boy hit the road in support of their latest, Folie a Deux, with five other bands (Cobra Starship, All Time Love, Hey Monday, Metro Station and 50 Cent), the band's longtime front-of-house engineer Kyle Chirnside knew he had to cut down his FOH footprint to accommodate mixing all the acts. To do so, Chirnside looked toward Midas' new Pro6, a smaller version of the XL8.

“I'm super-excited about this thing,” he says. “Midas told me about the XL8, their first digital-format console, which is considerably larger than the Pro6. I worked on it a few times and fell in love with the sound. I told the people at Midas I was sold on the desk, but the cost had to be worked out with our production management. With cutting touring costs, the XL8 was not affordable for that tour. When I heard Midas was doing a smaller format of the XL8, the Pro6, I wanted to get in on it right away, and Midas has been awesome about it. I used it first in Australia, then the UK and Europe. In the U.S. now, we have five bands on this tour, and they all go on this desk. It's Linux-based, so I'm not worried about losing our shows. I've been on every digital console possible, and this desk is the easiest to jump on and function, and it has the signature Midas sound.

“Midas took the guy who designed the Heritage Series and XL Series and made him work with digital people so he could show them what the analog desk was doing to transfer it over to the digital domain,” Chirnside continues. “Instead of having a footprint at FOH where I have an XL4 and a [Yamaha] PM5D [for the openers] before, now I'm just using this.”

Front-of-house engineer Kyle Chirnside (at the Midas Pro6) has slowly taken away a “performance crutch” from each of the bandmembers.

Front-of-house engineer Kyle Chirnside (at the Midas Pro6) has slowly taken away a “performance crutch” from each of the bandmembers.

Though Chirnside did bring some outboard gear, he found he preferred the Pro6's onboard selection. He says that using a TC Electronic D-Two delay as the onboard delay is “a little bit overboard for what I need to use it for. I'd rather just reach over and tap and go. Plus, I always used Distressors before, but then I found these 3-band compressors on the Pro6, so I've been putting those on my vocals instead. They sound really good; you kind of have to mess around with them a bit, so I'm using them instead of Distressors.”

One thing that has changed on this tour is that there are no guitar or bass cabinets onstage. Lead guitarist Joe Trohman is using an Engl amp directly into a Palmer PGA-04 ADIG-LB, while guitarist Patrick Stump uses a Marshall DSL 20000 into the Palmer, and for a clean channel sound a Line 6 POD with a direct out. Bassist Pete Wentz is even more simplified, using one line into a Tech 21 SansAmp pedal and one through a Countryman DI.

“We've been taking away all their crutches since day one,” Chirnside says with a laugh. “It used to be two full stacks onstage, two full bass rigs onstage, full monitor rig, sidefills, no in-ears. Within the last five years, we've taken away one crutch at a time. Now we're sans-everything — no sidefills, no wedges. All the drummer [Andy Hurley] has is a Thumper on his seat. It keeps the stage really quiet.”

Asked about the tonal differences between a DI and the moving coil of a speaker, Chirnside acknowledges that there are a few, but the Palmers come close to simulating an actual speaker. “We went through a lot of different Dis and combinations for the guitars because it's hard to replicate the sound of a speaker moving. Basically, you turn the Palmer up to the wattage of head that you're using and the output is speaker-emulated. It's not like a speaker moving, but it's pretty similar. It gives them confidence because they can get the tone they want without the cabinet.”

With no cabinets onstage, monitor engineer Mike Baehler finds his job a lot easier. “It's all in-ears,” he says. “I have seven stereo mixes through Sennheiser GTs, one mono mix and four effects.” Baehler works on a Yamaha PM5D digital console, running at 24/96 on an external clock, an Apogee Big Ben, which he says gives a wider stereo image and sounds better.






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