All Access: Rush

Jan 1, 2013 9:00 AM, Photos and Text By Steve Jennings

Clockwork Angels Tour 2012


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photo of Neil Peart drums

Neil Peart’s drum kit mics: Snare Top, Audio-Technica 23he; Snare Bottom, A-T AE3000 and Shure SM 98; Rim Shot/X-stick, Shure SM98; Kick, A-T AE2500 dual element; Hi-Hat, A-T 450; Ride, A-T 5100; Toms 1-2-3, A-T 350; Toms 4-5-6-7-8, A-T 3000; Splash Cymbals, Shure SM98; China Cymbal, A-T 4050; Overheads, A-T 4060 Tube Pre Mic; Piccolo Snare Top, A-T 23he, Bottom A-T 3000; Cowbells, A-T Ribbon Mic.

Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, Neil Peart…now that’s a power trio. Mix caught Rush on its 2012 Clockwork Angels tour in November at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., for a rockin’ two-and-a-half-hour show.


Rush 2012 Tour Gallery

FOH engineer Brad Madix first started working with Rush in 1990 for the Presto tour as the fifth man on a four-man sound crew, back when Robert Scovill was mixing FOH and Ted Leamy was the System Tech for Electrotec. He came on as full-time FOH mixer on 2002’s Vapor Trails tour, jumping into digital systems early with the Yamaha PM1D. In 2006, the band switched to Avid Profile.

“I really like the ability to use TDM plug-ins in the live environment,” Madix says. “I gravitate toward plug-ins that warm things up—Waves Vintage stuff, for example, or Cranesong Phoenix. But there are also a few go-to problem solvers like Waves C6 and the H-EQ for feedback control.”

photo of Brad Madix

FOH engineer Brad Madix

The band has been using the Audio-Technica AE6100 vocal mics for a few tours now. This tour includes a small string section of six violins and two cellos, which required a bit of research into what was new in piezo pickups. “I was looking at preamps to go along with the pickups and wasn’t really happy with the selection,” Madix says. “I wanted to avoid placing eight boxes—each with 3-band EQ, feedback suppression, compression and what-have-you—across a riser in front of eight people. I just wanted to get the signal to the preamps with as little degradation as possible. It turned out Radial was just releasing the PZDI, and it was exactly what we needed. We settled on Fishman V200 pickups for the violins and Mighty-Mini pickups for the cellos, all running through the PZDIs into a rack of Harrison preamps just behind the string riser.

“For P.A., we’re using a Clair Brothers i5 system, 14 deep per side with a matching complement of the i5b bass bins,” he continues. “On the offstage, we’re hanging ten deep i5s without the b’s. Across the front of the stage, we’ve got a timed array of eight double-18 subs, spaced eight feet apart, each with a small front-fill on top to hit the front row.”

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