Phish Tour Profile

Oct 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By Joanne Zola



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Phish 2011 Tour Gallery

If you’re going to change things up, you might as well go all out. For legendary jam-band Phish’s summer tour, not only is front-of-house engineer Garry Brown manning a new console, but his mixes are heard through a new P.A. provided by a change in sound company providers—Clair Global. Mix caught up with the tour-de-force at their three-day SuperBall IX festival in Watkins Glen, N.Y., over the Fourth of July weekend.

Brown is on his third tour with Phish: Trey Anastasio (guitars/lead vocals), Jon Fishman (drums/percussion/vocals), Mike Gordon (bass/vocals) and Page McConnell (keyboards/vocals). Brown’s new FOH board is the Midas XL-8 interfaced into a Midas 9696 recorder. A peek inside his outboard racks reveals Crane Song HEDD 192s, Waves Maxx BCL, GML 8200s and Manley Vox Boxes. “Everybody needs to hear what everybody is doing,” he says of his mix. “The placement in the mix is going to come down to personal taste. Some fans are going to want to have Page [McConnell]’s piano louder than other parts, so my goal is that you can hear everybody or whomever you want to focus on; you can focus on them and hear what they are doing.”

The band handles all of their own effects, leaving Brown to focus on reverbs, drums, vocal and piano. “Anything outside of reverb is them,” he adds.

Front-of-house engineer Garry Brown

Front-of-house engineer Garry Brown

Front-of-house engineer Garry Brown and P.A. system tech Wade

Front-of-house engineer Garry Brown and P.A. system tech Wade "Wookie" Crawford

Phish's new Clair i5 line array

Phish's new Clair i5 line array

Monitor engineer Mark “Bruno” Bradley works on a Yamaha PM5D (using onboard effects). Onstage are Clair 12AM wedges—nary an in-ear to be found, a practice the band has used since their 2009 tour. On the P.A. side, the Clair i5 line array features BT-218 subwoofers and P-2 front-fills. The system also comprises 18 i5s and 18 i5Bs per side. Says FOH engineer Brown: “Stage-left was eight deep and stage-right was six deep—16 subs for both sides in total. We had 12 and six cabinets on the first leg of the tour, upping it to 14 and eight for the last leg of the tour for larger venues to add a bit more throw. Three delay towers with Clair R4s past the mix tower assisted in covering the vast raceway-infield-turned-concert site. All main stage system elements were powered by Clair StakRaks with Lab.Gruppen PLM amps.

“This year,” he continues, “changing to a new P.A., the response from the fans has been huge. It’s been the biggest response in the changes we’ve made since the band’s return.”

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