Lil Wayne Tour Profile

Jul 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By Sarah Benzuly

BLENDING ALBUM AND STAGE INTO A TIGHT PERFORMANCE

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Monitor engineer Sean Sturge

Monitor engineer Sean Sturge

“Wayne morphs from rap star on a record to a rock star onstage, so making sure the guitars are present is essential to his live shows,” says Moore, who previously held FOH tech position on the artist’s 2009 tour; Tim Colvard was FOH engineer. When Colvard couldn’t do FOH for these sets of dates (he was on the Usher tour), Moore was asked to step up to the desk. “I rely more on the band than any of the Pro Tools [tracks], so we get a bit of a different sound than what’s on the record. I use the Pro Tools just for key signature parts from the record and then use the band to fill up the rest. While the drums and keys can create a live version of what’s on his recordings, the DJ [DJ 4ourfive] plays a couple of songs from his rig, but he predominantly plays intricate samples that add key notes to every song. [Lil Wayne’s] songs have a wide range of instrumentation with dynamics, so I try and mix the band as a soulful funk band with a rapper.”

Sturge is also mixing on an SD7 with the upgraded 96k racks, finding that the upgrade in snapshots was a wonderful addition. “For hip-hop concerts and considering that rappers generally don’t do an entire song, we had a set list of 56 songs where it’s one verse, half a verse and then 10 different artists coming on and offstage. That’s where the snapshots come in handy, with mics being turned on and off without you having to do anything.”

Monitoring on this tour includes eight SD2 subs, 20 wedges, eight channels of in-ears, six channels of SKM EM3032 Version 2, SKL 500 (for Wayne and some bandmembers), six channels of Shure UHF for all the Young Money artists and two Q-Subs for the drummer. Sturge handles a combination mix as Lil Wayne is all wedges and the band is all in-ears. “The band was upstage under his set, so the band was literally 30 feet upstage from the downstage edge. Each individual had a mix of themselves. Wayne sings everything live. With a hip-hop artist, they enjoy it being loud for the simple fact that he wants to feel the beat and hear himself. We had as many speakers on the stage as we had on one side of the stage.

“As a monitor engineer working with speakers, you have to know the music you’re working with and your re-creation of it because you have to put it all together, especially working with a band. You have to know in the snapshot when to make the guitar go up, make the bass highlighted. You need to know the music you’re working with.”






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