Phish Tour Profile

Sep 1, 2009 12:00 PM, By Donny Emerick and Joanne Zola



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Along with his live sound duties, Brown also manages two recording suites during each performance: One is a Digidesign Pro Tools LE system for a live recording download series appropriately named Live Phish; the second is an HD system multitracking every input for the band's archives.

“What's online is the board mix with added audience mics and a delayed microphone at FOH all blended together to a 2-track mix,” Brown explains. Audience mics include Telefunken M216, Shure SM81 and AKG C414 models. “The LivePhish engineer, Micah Gordon, gets the two tracks, chops it up and labels it. The whole thing is up on a Website an hour or so after the show.” Beginning with the Red Rocks show, they are doing a separate mix directly from the stage inputs exclusively for online. This is a live mulitrack mix as opposed to a FOH soundboard/audience mic matrix. The files are uploaded nightly as both MP3 and FLAC formats for purchase.

Donny Emerick is a writer in Rhode Island. Joanne Zola is Mix's sales director of key accounts.

Sound All Around

Eighth Day Sound is supplying the tour with a d&b J Series line array comprising (per side for the mains) 14 J8s, a couple of J12s, six J Subs and three B2 subs. The sidefills ech take 10 J8s and two J12s; power is via 48 d&b D12 amps.

“We think that this system is the way of the future for us as a company and for live audio,” comments Jordan Zur, systems engineer who has been with the sound company as a project manager for 11 years. “It sounds good, it's ideal for mixing sound, and it's blown everybody away.” Other crew members from Eighth Day include techs Vince Beller and Kurt “Grumpy” Wolf.

At FOH, Brown relies on a Dolby Lake Processing system, which he calls one of his favorite tools: “That's my lifeline, but that's because I do a lot of EQ'ing. People accuse me of over-EQ'ing. I do a lot of little things as opposed to a lot of big things. Instead of an octave cut, I do 15 little cuts to make a collective. There have been times when I'm using three pages of filters at 26 filters per page. It's a powerful thing.”

Extended Mic List


Kick: Shure Beta 52, Beta 91, Yamaha subkick

Snare: Shure SM57, Neumann KM 184

Rack/Floor Toms: Neumann KM 184

Overheads: Royer SF2

Woodblocks: Sennheiser e 604

Mini-Congas: Shure SM57

Vocals: Shure Beta 56A

Electric Guitars and Amps: Shure SM57, Royer 121L

Acoustic Guitars: Radial J48

Piano: Earthworks PM40, Helpinstill pickup, Shure SM57

Hammond B4: DI

Clavinet: Sennheiser MD409

Moog: Radial J48

Key Tar: Radial JDI

Bass: Radial JDI, Yamaha Subkick

Vacuum Cleaner (Really!): Telefunken M80

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