Disturbed Tour Profile

Apr 1, 2009 12:00 PM, By David John Farinella

LONGTIME ENGINEERS KEEP ROCK MIX CLEAN

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There's no “Take 2” on tour, which means performing artists need a crew that knows them well and can anticipate the band's needs/wishes. So it only makes sense for artists to forge good, long-standing relationships with their live sound engineers. Such is the case with heavy-metal rockers Distrurbed: Scott “Skitch” Canady has been working the boards for the band for the past eight years. He first acted as their monitor engineer shortly after their debut release and then moved to the front-of-house position 18 months later. Similarly, Rob Lightner started with them as a sound tech during the band's 2005 run on the Jagermeister tour and then moved over to monitor world during that summer's Music as a Weapon run.

The band (and “fire” man from their latest release’s cover art) performing before an energetic crowd.

The band (and “fire” man from their latest release’s cover art) performing before an energetic crowd.
Photos: Steve Jennings

While Disturbed has made its share of trucks-and-buses tours across the U.S., when the band pulled into the San Jose Event Center (San Jose, Calif.) at the end of January 2009, it was with a scaled-down production. The band is carrying control — a pair of Yamaha PM5D consoles — and a Maryland Sound package of proprietary double-12 wedge monitors and JVL VerTec 4889 sidefills (along with Crown I-Tech amps to power the 4889s and Powersoft amps for the wedges); they are renting racks and stacks.

“We brought the PM5Ds because they are small and easy,” Canady says. “There's no reason to spend money now when we're going to spend money later on the Music as a Weapon tour, where we're going to be carrying production.”

Throughout this tour, Canady has seen JBL VerTec and L-Acoustics V-DOSC boxes. “It's got to the point where every company has the same gear,” he says. “So it's common for us to see a bunch of 4889s, or if it's a smaller place a boatload of 4888s. On a tour like this, we'll ask for what we think is minimal.”

For the San Jose show, Canady worked with a collection of VerTec 4889s hung in a left/right array, along with a series of frontfill boxes. “I try to keep it very simple,” he says. “I prefer everything up the middle, straight-ahead and forward. I've seen a lot of guys and know a lot of guys who are pan fans. I applaud that; I get it. But I've found that straight-down the middle is best.”

Lead singer David Draiman

Lead singer David Draiman

Canady takes a fundamentally rock 'n' roll approach to his mix, both for the hangs and the frontfills. “I used to add vocals and guitars [to the frontfills], but we've been on a 40×60-foot stage regularly and the frontfills can take an overall mix,” he says. “So I send a left/right mix to those boxes with just a bit of EQ and processing.” He prefers to fly as much of the rig as possible and likes to avoid sidefills whenever possible, but it turns out that guitarist Dan Donegan relies on a flown rig on both sides of the stage and a personal monitor to hear his live performance.






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