London O2 Show 1

Back on tour after an amazing 10 days at home. Surfed nearly every other day between catching up on Rat stuff and remembering there is more to life than go go go.

So I am mixing the Peppers’ o2 show, I come out hot, at 108 and slowly fade down to the 103 A weighted I usually mix at by slowly fading over the first two songs. London, Los Angeles and New York are high pressure gigs. Not so much for me directly but the audiences tend to be more discerning combined with management, band friends and all the heavyweights hovering filled with more angst than I feel. The mix comes up as it has most every show for quite a while now. The instruments are all there and I am focused on tonally compensating for room temp. A few songs in.I turn around and this guy in the FOH mix area looks like he has to tell me the secret of the universe. I walk over and he says, “what’s up with the high hat?” 
I am thinking, “The high hat?” We are doing the O2, the vocals are right on top, the subs are clear, the guitar is on fire, Flea is defined and strong. All the drums churning out with power and this guy is stressing on the high hat like it’s the end of the world. Kashisst Kashisst, the high is crisp, defined and if anything a bit bright. WTF? It’s like the reincarnation of cowbell guy. I figure he is a band friend but damn,  I ask him if his hearing is flawed, how can he not hear? Kind of a bummer, two songs of being a bit self conscience and right back into an awesome show.

After the show I went and hunted down high hat guy, turns out he was nice enough, I guess he got a bit excited with having an opinion of perceived importance. To bad it wasn’t more cowbell he wanted..

And while we are at the rock show, we have BabyMetal opening and it is delightful. White faced demons and toy doll pony tails in catering can’t help but make everyone smile. This is the way like should always be.

The tour bike adventures continue with a refreshing 13 miles after the gig through the streets of London  such a wonderful contrast to loud music and the thrill of the gig to fly down dark streets icy cool air and the feeling of freedom.

As far as sound tidbit of the day, I guess I will finish off my 3 key pieces of gear. I covered the Dorrough 1200B and the PCM60.

Edit
So let’s cover the eventide H3500. I like this unit because it not only can cover all my dedicated effect patches but also because I can punch the programs in directly on the keypad.  I the 3500 for the vocal delays on Sir Psycho and Higher Ground, the guitar pan for Blood Sugar, the phaser effect on Dani California, some vocal flange for Under the Bridge, vocal reverb flange for Could Have Lied and a few other patches I can’t think of at the moment.

By using just one unit for all the non PCM60 effects, it keeps the mix clean and defined and prevents piling a bunch of messy crap on to the band. I pretty muc focus on being an absolute minimalist. My job is to connect the artist with the audience.  Not to distract.

Cool cool and now I must mix London o2 #2

DR

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Author: Dave Rat

Sound Engineer at Red Hot Chili Peppers