Midnight Oil front man Peter Garrett has just finished a solo tour of the country in support of his new album A Version of Now. On the East Coast, JPJ Audio supplied a FOH control and monitor set up as well as some extra wedges for a couple of gigs.
FOH engineer Colin Ellis mixed for Midnight Oil in the nineties, returning to mix for them at a couple of large charity events. With the band expected to reform and tour in 2017, this tour could be described as a bit of a warm up.
“I believe that Peter Garrett wanted me to do the tour,” commented Colin. “We had production rehearsals in Sydney including a small show for friends and family. For the tour, we decided to use in house PA’s which worked alright. However, none of the systems were amazing and it was the first time in many years that I used non line array systems!”
At Canberra Theatre, there was concern that the in house PA system may not give enough onstage so Colin decided to add a couple of L-Acoustic Arcs and a couple of L-Acoustic subs a side.
“We rang Jim Straw at JPJ, who is always helpful, and fortunately the truck was coming through Sydney so the extra gear could be picked up,” said Colin. “
FOH Colin ran a Venue Profile console accompanied by a pair of Rokit 5 powered monitors to assist with line checks.
Colin reports that when Peter sings his voice is completely normal EQ wise but when he talks between songs, his voice is very different.
“I have to keep grabbing the EQ knob to re-EQ his voice when he talks and vice versa,” he said. “It’s quite annoying and really it’s a proximity thing with the Shure SM58 microphone. Some of it can be fixed by C4 multiband compressors. When he speaks between songs he has a very strong midrange in his voice – I think it’s the politician coming out of him! I think it can be addressed by the new Shure KSM8 Dualdyne vocal microphone but we haven’t any in the country yet. If Midnight Oil happens next year and if I’m doing it, I’ll make a bunch of changes including these new microphones and a switch to the Venue S6L console.”
Colin used quite a few Waves plugins including NLS Non-Linear Summer for console emulation, C4 Multiband Compressors, a sonic maximizer on the bass and a couple of other places, Puigchild compressors, V-Comp Neve style EQ, and Q10 Equalizer for parametric EQ.
“Basically it’s the same stuff I use for John Butler,” admitted Colin. “In fact I took a John Butler file with all the plugins and just rewrote it to suit Peter.”
As John Butler was not on tour and shares the same production manager, many of the crew came from his camp.
Paul Kennedy ran monitors from a Venue SC48, chosen for convenience, size and budget as he usually uses a Yamaha PM5D. Most of the band including Peter had never used in-ear monitors before and absolutely loved them.
“Kenno is such a good operator, they were all happy as Larry throughout the tour!” said Colin. “The only thing I had to do was keep reminding them that just because they can hear themselves loud and clear, they still have to sing really strongly. With in-ears they all immediately back off the microphone.”
Colin cannot fault the service and equipment he receives from JPJ Audio, saying “You know with JPJ that when their gear arrives it’s always well put together. They definitely do it right, everything has been tested, the support is there ……. there’s absolutely nothing backyard about JPJ!”
Photos: Joseph Mayers
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