New York (October 8, 2008)--Janet Jackson may have cancelled a half-dozen shows on her current Rock Witchu tour due to an undisclosed illness, but the show is due to get back on the road soon. When it does, it'll bring with it over 45 songs showcased throughout the course of a 2-1/2 hour evening--all mixed by FOH engineer Jon Lemon on a DiGiCo D5 console.
Lemon has used the desk in the past with acts like Beck, Bryan Ferry, Smashing Pumpkins and Pink Floyd. "Sonically, the D5 is the best thing out there, but I have not tried the SD7 yet," he says. "And on this show, I knew I needed something dependable because I have over 100 snapshots in the console. I admit, I don't do many pop tours, but I was chosen by her. She had heard some stuff I'd done and said, 'I want that guy'. She didn't want a pop sound on this tour; she wanted it loud and with more of a rock sound."
Lemon was able to pre-program and dial in the majority of the snapshots in his laptop in the week leading up to the final show rehearsals. "If I've got all the information, I'll do it all on a laptop in an afternoon and then send it to the sound company and they can patch it all up. I always use all the basic stuff on the console, compressors, gates on drums... but then I like having a rack of some additional valve outboard equipment and EQs, and they can line check it all so when the console arrives, it's basically ready to go."
That preparation was essential for this tour, and made the ever-changing nightly challenges and complexities of the show, both on- and off-stage, manageable. "There are over 45 songs and multiple medleys, with things changing rapidly between the band and Pro Tools, and costume and headset changes," Lemon said. "With the D5, I can cut down on my external inserts because I can just swap all of that around within the snapshots. It just makes more sense, really... The rest of the challenge is getting through the long days!"