Talib Kweli

Mar 1, 2007 12:00 PM, Photos and Text by Steve Jennings


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Talib Kweli's sold-out performance at San Francisco's Fillmore Auditorium had the crowd thumpin' to the music from the rapper's latest, Ear Drum. For this tour, front-of-house engineer Dave Dar is only carrying a portable Pro Tools system, which is used on the back of the tour bus. As the crew is not carrying production, Dar specs a Midas Venice Series board because “the EQs are very accurate and precise, plus the mic pre's sound chunky and warm. On this tour, there are seven inputs: DJ left and right, two background singers [Candice Anderson and Tari Torray], Talib's vocal, DJ Chaps' vocal, special guest Buckshot's vocal, so it's a fairly simple setup.”

FOH engineer Dave Dar

Also on Dar's rider are dbx compressors, and Yamaha REV7 and SPX990 reverbs. “I come from a recording studio environment and would always use these pieces for a mix,” Dar explains. “For delays, the TC Electronic D2 is great-sounding and an easy device to use.”

Due to his label commitments, Talib rarely has time to attend soundchecks. “I work very closely with the house monitor engineers,” says Dar. “We go over every single wedge together, adjusting levels and EQ for both music and vocal. Whenever you come to see a Talib Kweli show, you are going to hear every single line he breathes. The head-nod factor will be intense, and you will be exposed to the three principle aspects of hip hop: MC'ing, DJ'ing and B-Boy'ing. And if you are not a hip hop fan, you will be converted.”

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