Dissecting The Mix
Garbage - Hammering In My Head
We’ve all heard the phrase; “we’ll fix it in the mix.” Well in the live arena you only get one chance to get it right. With all the digital technology now available to live sound engineers this has become easier. With the integration of snapshots and automation everything can be programmed and rehearsed so that it is possible to get it right. With a song as complicated as this one is I can have a snapshot for each part of the song so that all my vocal changes are done with the push of a button on the desk.
Vocal Effects: Soundtoys Decapitator, McDSP Futzbox, Line 6 Echofarm, Waves Vocal Doubler, Waves Truverb
In addition to all the individual channel processing being used on the drums everything gets bussed to a group and gets processed like this:
Drum Group: Waves SSL G-Buss Compressor, Waves API 550A, Cranesong Phoenix.
Parallel Compressed Drum Group: Same as above
Bass Group: Cranesong Phoenix
Parallel Compressed Bass Group: Waves Veq4 and Waves CLA LA2
Steve Guitar Group: McDSP 4020 Retro EQ, McDSP 6030 Ultimate Compressor and Cranesong Phoenix
Duke Guitar Group: Waves SSL G-EQ, McDSP 6030 Ultimate Compressor, Waves C6 and Cranesong Phoenix
Tracks Group: no processing.
Vocal Group: Waves Q10, Waves Q2 and Soundtoys Decapitator.
The effects processing of the vocal from the verse to the chorus to the bridge goes like this. Vocal during the verse is going through Decapitator. When the chorus comes in Decapitator gets turned off and reverb and delay are applied. Into the bridge section reverb and delay are turned off and vocal distortion from Futzbox is applied. 2nd verse and it’s back to Decapitator. 2nd chorus and its Decapitator off, reverb and delay on. Gets to the end of the song with the spoken word section and it’s back to distortion. Yes this might seem complicated but with rehearsal comes the practice of “getting it right”. I only get one chance to do this live, but with that comes the thrill of mixing a live show.
Keep in mind that while all this is going on with the vocal there are guitar parts coming and going, tracks are running and the bass and drums are pounding away.
“Have a good show everybody!”