All Access: Florence and the Machine

Aug 1, 2011, Photos and Text By Steve Jennings

Florence Welch is having a good run, basking in the critically acclaimed success of her debut, Lungs. As for “The Machine,” it can be Welch and a drum kit or a piano, but right now it’s a seven-piece band including long-term collaborators Rob Ackroyd (guitar), Chris Hayden (drums), Isabella Summers (keyboards) and Tom Monger (harp). “I’ve worked with most of them for a long time and they know my style, know the way I write, they know what I want,” says Welch. And she’s bringing them out onstage for her current run of dates. Mix caught the first show of the tour at the Greek Theater in Berkeley, Calif. ...

Blue Man Group Tour Profile

Aug 1, 2011, By Sarah Benzuly

You’re never really quite sure what to expect from a Blue Man Group performance. It’s a visual experience, with numerous antics onstage to draw the eye—tickers displaying political messages; commentary on social media and human interactions; directions for the audience; flashing-lights costumes; very large inflated balls bouncing around the hall. And for those seeing their current tour—which is happening simultaneously in a number of cities—you get the best of all “Blue Man” worlds, a “greatest hits,” if you will. From their iconic “three guys pounding on bottom-lit oil cans” splashing colored paint on every down stroke, to booty-shaking hits from their album The Complex, to striking their mallets on instruments created from PVC piping, the Blue Men enthrall their audience. ...

Ray LaMontagne Tour Profile

Aug 1, 2011, By Candace Horgan

It's the voice that first hits you. A mixture of yearning and heartbreak, delivered in a raspy, delicate fashion that bypasses the ears and punches deep within. You realize that the music is very well written, a perfect backing track for that sad, aching voice. ...

Iron & Wine Tour Profile

Aug 1, 2011, By Sarah Benzuly

When Iron & Wine’s Sam Beam put together a big band for their current tour, he needed someone to mix the new arrangements. As front-of-house engineer Jeremy Lemos knew most everyone in the band, bringing him onboard was a no-brainer. With 11 bandmembers onstage, it was imperative to bring along their own monitor package as most of their stops—ranging from Chicago’s Millennium Park for 15,000 people to a beat-up rock club—couldn’t accommodate that many monitor mixes; monitor engineer Tim Iseler is manning an Avid SC48. The tour also has a full Shure mic package, with Lemos saying it’s the only way he can tame so many variables in different club P.A.s and mixers every night. ...

Al-Tee, Jay Sean on the Yamaha Train

Aug 1, 2011, By Sarah Benzuly

Currently out with Jay Sean, FOH engineer Al-Tee is mixing on a Yamaha PM5D, noting that it’s a board he can easily find no matter what venue he finds himself in. “The console’s dynamic performance helps [Sean] keep the rhythm pumping on the stage. Jay and I flew into India for a show with no time to do a soundcheck, and I was able to load my scenes into the console and make some EQ changes, and off we went. I was mixing monitors and front of house from the same mixer.” ...

Liquid Blue | Secure Sound From 75 Feet

Jul 1, 2011, By Sarah Benzuly

When The Grovler, the technical director/guitarist for band Liquid Blue, needed a behind-the-scenes solution for live access to audio equipment in a back-stage rack from an onstage laptop, he opted for the Gefen USB 2 Extender. It comes with a sender (connected to the audio equipment) and a receiver connected to the stage laptop. One Cat-5 cable feeds the audio to the laptop, reaching distances up to 75 feet. ...

System Fit for a Prince

Jul 1, 2011, By Sarah Benzuly


It was extremely difficult to get a ticket for Prince’s “Welcome 2 America” tour, what with announcing show dates just a few days before an actual gig. And that quick turnaround was also laid in the laps of sound reinforcement provider Rat Sound, or as sound company president Dave Rat says, “Rat got a call on the Thursday and by Sunday we had three semi-trucks of prepped gear headed to Oakland [Calif.] for a 2 a.m. load in.” Since the, the company has supplied the sound system for Prince, including his 21-night run at the Los Angeles Forum. ...

Avid, Midas on Bareilles Tour

Jul 1, 2011, By Sarah Benzuly

Opening for country rockers Sugarland and getting in a couple of headliner shows herself, Sara Bareilles is out in full force this summer, as is an Avid/Midas custom package, thanks to sound company Spectrum Sound. When front-of-house engineer Trey Smith posed the question of achieving the Midas sound on an Avid interface, the sound provider headed straight to their techs to get the job done. ...

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