Rihanna Tour Profile

Aug 18, 2010 12:17 PM, By Sarah Benzuly

HIP-HOP DIVA BRINGS EDGINESS TO THE STAGE

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Monitor tech Dustin Deluna (left) and monitor engineer Vish Wadi at the DiGiCo SD7. “I do not believe there is a style in mixing monitors. You give a mix of what the artist or band needs.”

Monitor tech Dustin Deluna (left) and monitor engineer Vish Wadi at the DiGiCo SD7. “I do not believe there is a style in mixing monitors. You give a mix of what the artist or band needs.”

Blanc is also recording the show, using Nuendo running through an RME ExpressCard. The SD7 allows him to do a MADI patch so that he can group the 70 inputs in the 56 MADI lines available. Also in his personal outboard rack are TC Electronic D2s; Klark Teknik DN6000 spectrum analyzer; AMS RMX16 reverb; Crane Song Trakker, ST8 and HEDD 192; DPR 901 frequency-band comp; a Wendel drum unit; Waves MaxxBass; SPL Transient Designer 4; and dbx 120X subharmonic enhancer.

The Clair Global–supplied rig is a standard i5/i3 package for arenas. According to Blanc, depending on the building, there are eight to 14 i5s per side and four to 12 i3s per side.

Drum mics include AKG D12s and Shure SM91s on kick; SM57s on snare; 460s on hat, ride and overheads; and Beyer Opus 88s on racks and floor. “There is no rocket science to microphones; it’s about the placement,” Blanc says. “The drum tech [Chris Achzet] is ridiculously good, so it sounds huge—period.” Bass (Eric Smith) and keyboards (Kevin Hastings and Hanna Vasanth) are DI; guitars (Nuno Bettencourt and Adam Ross) take Sennheiser 421s and Shure 57s.

Clair Global systems tech Paul Jump

Clair Global systems tech Paul Jump

Over at monitor world, engineer Vish Wadi is also manning a DiGiCo SD7, using onboard effects such as reverbs on drums, background vocalists and acoustic guitars. He’s also using a TC Electronic M5000 reverb unit on Rihanna’s vocal. Asked about his mixing style, Wadi says simply: “I do not believe there is a style in mixing monitors. You give a mix of what the artist or the band needs.” Enough said.

Like Blanc, Wadi has most of his presets dialed in before the band hits the stage, but is making small changes due to room acoustics—the tour is hitting mostly amphitheaters—and any tweaks Rihanna needs, which she denotes to Wadi via hand signals.

The band and Rihanna are on in-ears (Ultimate Ears’ UE7s for the band; UE11s for Rihanna); sidefills are Clair R4s. “Stage volume has not been an issue,” Wadi says, adding that he has run into some frequency problems but can easily find a new frequency. “I like working with Rihanna. She’s a very professional artist.”

Blanc echoes Wadi’s description of Rihanna: “The whole project is a blast to be involved with. All is good. I’m looking forward to hopefully many tours to come.”


Sarah Benzuly is Mix’s managing editor.






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