Phish Tour Profile

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

NEW SYSTEM KEEPS FANS ON THEIR FEET, REMIXES AT THEIR FINGERTIPS

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Fans hard at work inside the House of Live Phish, which is manned by engineer Ben Collette (top).

Fans hard at work inside the House of Live Phish, which is manned by engineer Ben Collette (top).

THE HOUSE OF LIVE PHISH
Starting in 2003 as a promotional tool for LivePhish.com (where fans can download a show 48 hours post-lights up) and an opportunity to give away free music, the House of Live Phish has become a sensational hit among the band’s fans.

“At Festival 8 at the Indio [Calif.] Polo Fields, I had the idea that it would be great to share a multitrack setup for fans to mess around with, because Phish music is so deep and complex that being able to dissect it on that level is really cool,” says engineer Ben Collette. “A lot of Phish fans are technically inclined, and most of them are musicians, so it’s super-interesting for them to be able to pick apart a mix.” For that first outing, a call to the folks at Pro Media Training got Collette up-and-running with Avid MBox 8 setups and instructors to flesh out the eight stations.

Inside this year’s House of Live Phish tent are Collette and Rob Oday, co-studio owner of The Tank. Avid and Dale Pro Audio provided laptops loaded with Pro Tools 9, Apogee Duet headphone amp, and Avid Artist Mix and Artist Control. “The controllers really help because most of the people who come in just want the experience of being able to solo the guitar, drums or bass,” Collette says. “The songs are broken down into basic stems, stereo tracks. It’s one thing to release multitracks to the public and have people do remixes at home, but to be able to provide the fans the opportunity to pick apart their favorite songs with the gear and with someone who really knows the software is great.

“We had a guy in here yesterday that was doing a real-deal mix, and he’s coming back today to finish it up,” he continues. “We had a guy come in the other day who was a drummer and he panned all the drums to the left and everything else to the right so he could hear everything ‘Fish’ [drummer Jon Fishman] is doing so he could learn it. And then we have people come in and mute the bass so they can play along. Parents and kids come in; the reaction has been amazing. Dancing in the corner, ride the faders—it’s such a rewarding thing to see people so blissed out on this.”

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