Bruce Springsteen Live

Jun 1, 2012 9:00 AM, By Barbara Schultz; Photos By Steve Jennings



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photo of Bruce Springsteen monitor engineers

Stage-left monitor engineer Monty Carlo (left) and stage-right monitor engineer Troy Milner.

Mixing monitors for 17 musicians is an unwieldy job, so the Springsteen production splits those duties in two. At stage left, engineer Monty Carlo, who’s been with Springsteen since ’92, handles the mix for Bruce, guitarists/vocalists Steven Van Zandt and Patti Scialfa (who was absent from the show we saw), keyboardist Roy Bittan, a varying number of background vocalists, and the five-piece horn section.

Stage-right monitor mixer Troy Milner—with Springsteen’s crew since 2001—takes care of drummer Max Weinberg, guitarist/singer Nils Lofgren, bass player Garry Talent, keyboardist Charlie Giordano and vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Soozie Tyrell.

Both Milner and Carlo mix on DiGiCo SD7 consoles with the Waves SoundGrid. “We went with the SD7 this tour to handle the large number of inputs and outputs,” Milner says. “I think I’m up to around 138 inputs on the desk now, which I know is crazy, but with 17 people onstage and numerous reverbs, effects and talkback mics, it adds up quick. This console gives us plenty of options to change or move things around.”

Carlo agrees, especially given the vast amount of material that this tour racks up night to night: “The ability to save each song as a preset is a huge time-saver, even if it’s as simple as muting and unmuting inputs from song to song,” he says.

Wedge monitors are a combination of proprietary Audio Analysts models powered by Crown iTech-HD 12000 amps. Milner’s musicians use Shure PSM1000 in-ears, while Carlo’s are on Sennheiser SR2050s; both engineers say that these latest-model ear transmitters help streamline their search for bandwidth. “They make our lives easier in terms of the ability to find clean frequencies, with 70 channels of wireless instruments and in-ear monitors,” Carlo says. “I’m about a week away from implementing the Axient RF system from Shure to give us an even better tool to keep our show running smoothly.”

Each musician requires his or her own mix, but one essential quality of every mix is to help the musicians keep a handle on Springsteen’s performance.

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