Mics, mics, mics!

Jun 5, 2003 12:00 PM, Candace Horgan


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Learn more about Pearl Jam’s mic set-up onstage…

Eliason uses four Audix OM7s for the vocal mics. Lead guitarist McCready plays into two Marshall 4x12s, while Gossard plays into one. Both guitarists use heads custom-built by Sal Trentino. Eliason mics the cabinets with a Shure SM57 and an Audio-Technica 4050, putting them side by side just off center, pretty tight to the cabinet. McCready also has an isolated Marshall Plexi cabinet offstage on stage right, by his tech, that lets Eliason get a tight, dry signal that gives a little more edge for leads. That is miked with a Sennheiser MD409. Jeff Ament has an Avalon DI for the bass, and also plays through an SWR 6x10 cabinet; Eliason uses a Beyer M88 and Sennheiser MD409 on the SWR, and blends the signal in the truck. Ament also plays an electric stand-up Azola going through a separate rig, and Eliason takes a balanced direct out from the head. “Jeff does a lot of speaker overdrive and distortion, and if I didn’t use the mic, I wouldn’t get that aspect of his sound. Both of his rigs sound very nice.” Eddie Vedder has been playing guitar at a lot on recent tours, and uses a Hiwatt head and a Marshall 4x12 cabinet. Eliason mics the cabinet with a Shure SM57 and a Sennheiser MD409.

Drummer Matt Cameron is playing a Yamaha kit with two racks, two floors, typical kicks and a few cymbals. Eliason uses a fairly normal mic setup on drums: “On the kick I use a Shure SM91 and an Audix D6, the SM91 inside the drum, and the D6 just inside the hole on the front. On the snare, I have an SM57 on top and a Beta 57 on the bottom. On hi-hat I have an AKG 460. Toms have four Beta 98s, and overheads are two AT 4050s.” Keyboardist Boom Gaspar is playing on this tour, as well. Eliason uses a BSS DI for the piano, and mics the Leslie cabinet with two Sennheiser 421s and an EV RE20. “We position the left on the rear cabinet in the horn and flare one on the outside, and then the RE20 is on the low-end driver.” For the acoustic instruments played by Vedder and Gossard, Eliason has Avalon DIs.

The audience mics for the bootleg recordings are an AT shotgun and an Oktava condenser, each on stage left and right. “The shotguns are outside, pointed towards the outside and up part of the venue, and the Oktavas are pointed towards the crowd. I also have an Audio Technica AT 822 stereo mic at front-of-house. The mics onstage are reasonably time-aligned to the mix. The mic at FOH is not for the bootleg series; it is for future 5.1 applications.” While Eliason says he likes the pre’s in the XL4 console, he has a bank of Grace Design 801Rs for all the microphones.

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