The Joint: Bringing Hard Rock to Residencies

Apr 1, 2013 9:00 AM, Mix, By Lori Kennedy

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Rehearsal at The Joint

Rehearsal at The Joint

Las Vegas is chock-full of music residencies. There’s been Celine Dion, Elton John, Boyz II Men, Rod Stewart, Garth Brooks and CeeLo Green, to name a few, as well as scores of DJs—including Kaskade, deadmau5, and the newly confirmed Tiësto—peppering the strip. (Word has it that Britney Spears is close to signing a deal to set up shop in Sin City, too.) But the Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino has carved out a place where you can rock ’n’ roll all night (and, well, party ev-er-y day, if you’re so inclined).

Renovated and expanded (it nearly doubled in size) in 2009, the Joint has hosted residencies for rock ’n’ roll royalty such as Santana, Guns N’ Roses and Mötley Crüe. British hard-rock stalwart Def Leppard is currently inducing a sea of fist-pumps regularly with its exclusive 11-show residency entitled VIVA Hysteria! The band digitally released "Hysteria 2013" last month—a modern take on the classic album’s title track. For the residency, Def Leppard is playing songs from across the whole spectrum of its career, in addition to playing the iconic album Hysteria in full. Produced by AEG Live, VIVA Hysteria!, features an elaborate set design created exclusively for the band’s Vegas stint, which runs through April 13. (For tickets, visit thejointlasvegas.com.)

In addition to residencies, the Joint also plays host to rock acts on tour. Jens Muehlhausen, lead audio engineer for the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, says there’s no difference between residencies and regular acts with regard to sound. “Every night is someone’s very first time hearing their favorite band live in front of them. I try my hardest to honor that. We all remember our first time. It may also be the last time someone will ever hear their favorite artist live in concert…I try to honor that as well. Residency or not, every show is important.”

While most touring acts bring in their own gear, Muehlhausen says the Joint has “an extensive microphone package, as well as all the standard mics, cables and mic stands to facilitate and anticipate almost any needs.

The Joint uses a d&b audiotechnik speaker system: 10 J8s plus four J12s per side, six J-SUBs (flying) per side, six E3s plus two Q10s for front fills, 16 E3s for under balcony delays, and 4 Q10s for the third balcony. Four additional d&b J-INFRA subs can be set up. The venue also has 12 M2s, six M4 wedges and enough D12 amps to do 18 onstage mixes. “[Bands] always are happy to use our P.A. system since it is state of the art,” Muehlhausen says.

For consoles, the Joint has two Avid Venue Profiles (one for monitors, one for FOH), loaded with all common plug-ins. “We also own two Yamaha PM5D consoles, which are primarily used for shows in the summer at our pool stage with an L-Acoustics KUDO line-array system,” Muehlhausen says.

A classically trained musician, Muehlhausen’s mixing style is to rely mostly on his ears, listening to every note. “I’ve been playing violin since I was 7, and piano since I was 10. I grew up in Hamburg, Germany and have lived in the United States only since 1999. I like to say, ‘If the mix sounds clear to me, and I understand every word sung, then the average patron in the theater is bound to understand.’”






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