She & Him Tour Profile

Aug 1, 2013 9:00 AM, By Barbara Schultz



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photo of She & Him

She & Him and their band delighted the audience at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley, Calif.

She & Him—the musical union of singer, songwriter and actress Zooey Deschanel and artist/producer M. (Matt) Ward—are on the road this summer, sharing songs from Volume 3, their latest album of Deschanel-penned vintage-inspired pop. At the show Mix caught, on a warm summer night at the Greek Theatre (Berkeley, Calif.), She & Him & band delighted fans with joyous, faithful live versions of their recordings.


She & Him 2013 Tour Gallery

Front-of-house engineer Shelly Steffens creates a clean, detailed mix despite the sheer numbers of musicians onstage. In addition to Deschanel and Ward, there are core bandmembers: Scott McPherson on drums, and bassist/multi-string player Mike Coykendall; plus, violinist/multi-instrumentalist Tom Hagerman (also of the group DeVotchKa); Chris Scruggs, who plays violin, pedal steel, guitar or bass, depending on the song; and the Chapin sisters, Lily and Abigail, who sing backup and help Deschanel to realize onstage the lush, beautiful harmonies that she overdubs herself on records. For shows in major markets (New York, San Francisco, L.A.), more strings—another violin and a pair of violas—build the wall of sound even higher.

photo of Shelly Steffens

Front-of-house engineer Shelly Steffens

“I use Snapshots to quickly mute anything that we can, to limit things to mics that actually need to be open,” says Steffens about the feature of her Sound Image-provided Avid D-Show Profile console. “That helps you hear everything clearly, and helps avoid handling noise as people are changing out instruments or changing positions.”

Deschanel moves between three different positions onstage, sometimes standing at a mic on a stand to sing with or without tambourine or ukulele, other times moving over to sing and play Wurlitzer or piano. Wherever she is, her vocal mic (like all the vocal mics on the tour) is a Sennheiser 935. Steffens uses the ReVibe reverbs within the Profile to emulate the vocal sounds on the records. “I’m using two or three different reverbs at all times on vocals, and broadening the instruments as well, using halls and medium-sized room [settings] and blending a shorter reverb with a longer one.

“On Matt’s vocal, I use a slap delay, and that’s consistent with what he likes when he appears as M. Ward, too,” explains Steffens, who has also toured with the M. Ward band. “On his guitar, we have a [Sennheiser] 421 on his amp, and I just compress that very lightly with a Joemeek and a little touch of an onboard compressor.”

On She & Him’s previous tour, Steffens was only able to carry a mic package and backline, so the addition of the Profile boards—at FOH and monitors—is a welcome expansion. They’re using house-provided P.A.s; at the Greek they made use of the L-Acoustics V-DOSC system (20 V-DOSC and six DV-DOSC speakers, six ARCS, and 18 SB218 subs, provided by Sound on Stage).

“I brought along two Avalon 737SPs for some outboard processing on the left/right mix,” Steffens says. “I also have one Summit Audio CDL200 compressor for front-fill and subs. Any additional sends will most likely come from the matrix.”

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