Jason Raboin with the A Designs Audio Pacifica mic pre on tour with Modest Mouse. New York (September 21, 2007)–FOH engineer Jason Raboin handles live sound duties for folk songstress and activist Joan Baez, Canadian alt-country rockers Cowboy Junkies and indie darlings Modest Mouse, among other artists. As the most recent string of Baez show dates transitioned to an intimate acoustic set, Raboin made some critical adjustments to his rig, adding a pair of A-Designs Audio Pacifica microphone preamps.
“I started out as Joan’s monitor engineer, but when the show became an acoustic trio, I started doing front-of-house and running monitors from there,” Raboin describes, from the Baez tour in Spain. “In order to make this work, we bought a small digital desk, which provided fantastic routing options, but the audio quality left much to be desired. When half of the show is just voice and acoustic guitar, you really need them to sound as good as you can.
“The Pacifica fit that bill perfectly,” he declares, citing it was Richard Bowman at TransAudio Group that suggested the Pacifica, a dual-channel solid-state mic preamp. “The thing about the Pacificas that make them better suited to the live environment than vintage and cloned preamps is the high end; the recording studio holy grail tends to be a thick low end, and this does not translate to the live environment quite as well. I am more interested in a solid upper mid cut, presence, and air without harshness or sibilance. That is the Pacifica.”
On the road with Baez, Raboin says the Pacifica has made his job easier. “I am no longer plagued with sibilance problems, nor do I have to fight to get a stunning, present, vocal sound. What it does to the upper mids is pure magic. Joan noticed the difference as soon as I plugged it in.” Raboin has also been using an A-Designs REDDI tube direct-inject box on bass guitar with the Baez tour. “It does exactly what I need it to,” he says of the REDDI. “You get that classic all-tube bass amp sound.”
A Designs Audio