New York (December 1, 2006)–Guns N’ Roses are always good for a little entertainment, whether on stage or off, and with the long-awaited Chinese Democrazy–metal’s answer to Brian Wilson’s Smile at this rate–still MIA, “on stage” is all you’re gonna get. But just as GNR can be counted on for a few headlines and truly heavy rock, the gear they’re using is equally dependable, such as the Digidesign Venue desks at both the FOH and monitor positions.
Toby Francisc at the FOH Digidesign Venue D-Show console on the Guns N Roses tour.To handle the live shows, Toby Francis is handling FOH duties, Andy Ebert is manning the monitor chair, and both are using Digidesign Venue D-Show systems to each take on 70 inputs nightly. When he first discovered Venue, Francis “got it” quickly. “I didn’t even read the manual!” he laughs. “Actually I did use the manual to learn how to turn it on and off, and the rest was self explanatory. I have a Pro Tools background so the transition was natural, but again, everybody that’s been on it has said the same thing-it’s not overly complicated.”
Since the system uses the same type of TDM plug-ins as Pro Tools|HD systems, Francis estimates that he’s eliminated around 60 rack spaces of outboard gear. His current favorite plug-ins are emulations of older compressors and EQs, such as ones from Pultec.
“[Guns N’ Roses] rhythm guitarist Richard Fortus asked me what plug-in I was using on his guitar and was blown away that it was the same one he used in the studio,” said Francis. “This is when I first started working for Guns N’ Roses, and it helped us get a rapport going. Bassist Tommy Stinson pulled me aside last night and said, ‘This is awesome-I had the monitor engineer [Ebert] put a Fairchild plug-in on my bass and it sounds just like it does at home! I got the same thing in my ears that I’m used to hearing.’
“All these guys are studio guys; they all do sessions constantly and they all speak Digidesign. That’s a neat thing. It’s made it easier for the guys to relate to what we’re doing. The worlds are coming together. It’s neat, too, with the playback via Virtual Soundcheck because if there’s anything that needs to be refined, I can bring band members out-or a tech-and show them what the mix sounds like. It’s another tool to help everybody work toward the same common goal.”
Guns N’ Roses