New York (August 8, 2006)–The “Unplugged” craze of the Nineties seems to be rearing its head again, this time in the form of the current Foo Fighters acoustic tour, making its way around the U.S. and Europe. Rolling along with monitor engineer Ian Beveridge and front-of-house engineer Bryan Worthen in tow, a combination of Sennheiser evolution series and Neumann wired microphones were selected for the acoustic jaunt.
The Foo Fighters monitor engineer, Ian Beveridge (right), and tech, Dave Pointer.Unusually, Beveridge favors a Sennheiser MD 431 II for Grohl’s vocals and elected to mic both electric guitars using Neumann KMS 105s. Other mics on stage include e914 condensers for the glockenspiel/vibes and bellows, an e908B on the bongos, an e906 on the Leslie cabinet, an e945 on accordion, and an e945 on drummer Taylor Hawkins’ backing vocals, with an MD 421 for the gong drum.
The decision to switch to Sennheiser last year was made by the monitor engineer, who has worked with drummer-turned-frontman Dave Grohl since he was 19 or 20, says Beveridge. “The MD 431 II was the mic that really got me going. That microphone is so unbelievably flat in the high-end, and incredibly stable with moisture and temperature. On the rock show, we used to have terrible instability problems with other microphones, and I was going through maybe four, five or six microphones a show with Dave, swapping them out. Now, I keep the 431 for the whole show. Since we changed I can’t remember having any feedback at a Foo Fighters show!”
Beveridge and Worthen are using Neumann KMS 105 mics on guitars rather than vocals, as might be expected. “It is a great sounding microphone, but there’s absolutely no point in using it for vocals in our circumstances. Even on the acoustic tour it’s loud up there. It makes a fantastic guitar mic and it’s nice and flat. We use it on the two little combos that the guys play big semi-acoustics through,” reported Beveridge.
As for the accordion, he said, “We needed something super-directional, so that’s an e945. It’s a case of gain before feedback, and trying not to pick up the rest of the band. We also have a 945 for Taylor’s drum vocal. Those work well there.”
The acoustic show has been selling out at pretty much every location it visits. “It’s an amazing show,” enthused Beveridge. “We always knew it was going to be good, but none of us knew exactly how good it was going to be. The first time they did it, it felt similar to being back in the Nirvana unplugged days. You definitely felt like you were watching something important.”