ProSound News - March 2009 - 36
lWhatesoundshowcase iv Becomes John Legend Most? S own shows. Legend spent most of the winter months on the road in the U.S., John Legend tore through the U.S. on his winter tour with the help of Sound Image and a wrapping up that leg of his world sizable PA based around Adamson Y10s and T21 loudspeakers. ix-time Grammy Awardwinner John Legend knows a thing or two about performing live, having been at it since Given that plug-ins afford the opportunity to bring a lot of technology to bear on a mix without having to carry racks and racks of gear, the temptation to pile them on exists, but not for Mack: “Been there, done that—and I don’t want to do that! There’s a lot of reasons: one, you get used to your console, but if you try to move that show to [another console], if they don’t have the plug-ins you had in your desk, then you’re kind of screwed. Also, having a lot of plug-ins makes the console a little sluggish in terms of coming on, so if you have a crash or a failure, it’s going to take that much longer for all these plug-ins to come back onboard. I try to keep it as slim as possible.” Mack found that it was also a keen fit for the music coming from the stage, admitting that while he has a fondness for delays, everything is best kept in moderation. “You know, I like delays, but I like ‘em where they make sense and they’re not overburdening the music. I just try to keep it as subtle as possible. You have to keep the music more representative of how the artist wants it to be and not try to do anything on top of it—if the music comes to me crazy, it’s going to be crazy either way, and if it’s good, it’s good. I don’t do a whole lot to it or color it that much. For any music that I’m doing, I’m just turning it up.” That turned-up music reached the audience via the sizable Adamson Y-Axis linearray rig that hung above the stage each night; while the tour wasn’t Legend’s first time making the rounds with Adamson boxes, Mack hadn’t worked with them before. The results, however, were a pleasant surprise. “Actually, this tour was the first time I’ve used them, and it was a joy,” he said. “It’s really a nice, transparent PA in (continued on page 38) joining his family church’s choir at age 7. Since then, he’s performed with everyone from Kanye West to Stephen Colbert, but the man is best known for taking the stage with his piano and a 10-piece band for his tour in mid-February. Across North America, he was aided in the audio department by Sound Image (Escondido, CA), which provided the tour with a sizable setup of Adamson Y-Axis loudspeakers, not to mention Digidesign desks at FOH and monitors. Manning that FOH console was Gordon Mack, who had his hands full as the production manager when he didn’t have them on faders. A veteran of two previous Legend tours, Mack was particularly enjoying the ride this time out. “We have probably better personnel, and it’s a little more organized this time,” he said with a chuckle. “I have a really good crew of great audio techs, and they make my walking up to the console a lot easier than maybe in another situation. Chris Stinebrink, the stage manager, does an incredible job of crewing the stage, making sure things are on and off when they’re supposed to, that the trucks are loaded when they’re supposed to, and more. He’s the best.” The console in question that Mack walked up to was a Digidesign D-Show Profile. While many engineers jump at the chance to bring in the exact plug-ins their artists used in the studio, Mack prefers to keep his mix relatively dry with less than eight non-standard plug-ins on the desk—a few 36 prosoundnews.com March 2009 NICK VAN NOSTRAND by Clive Young reverbs, a chorus and a pair of EQs.