New York (December 13, 2005)–This past fall, Musicplayer Live was billed as “the ultimate music summit” and if nothing else, it certainly paid tribute to perhaps the ultimate music guru. The fledgling music industry/musician confab’s highpoint was the show it sponsored at New York’s Roseland Ballroom: A Tribute and Celebration to Les Paul.
On hand to help rock the house with Paul–who still plays out weekly at Iridium in New York City–were Larry Carlton & Firewire, The School of Rock all-star band; Adrian Belew; Jon Brion; Bakithi; David Ellefson; Will Lee; Billy Burnette; Lisa Loeb; Doug Wimbish; Robben Ford; Jack Bruce; and Ron Carter.
Providing audio for all those name artists was Mark Sonder Productions (Linden, VA), which had FOH engineer Bruce Robbins in the hot seat, mixing the show behind a standard Yamaha PM4000. “We were not sure if there would be visiting engineers, so we wanted to make it as easy and fast as possible to use,” he explained. “It’s a staple…everyone knows it!” As it turned out, there was virtually no input from the artists or their engineers, except for folks from the Carlton and Loeb camps. Next to the desk was a simple rack of standard tools like a Lexicon PCM70, a Yamaha SPX900 and REV5, a TC Electronic D-Two, and dbx 160 limiters and transversal EQs.
The PA for the event was based around a Meyer Sound PA comprised of five MSL3As per side and three 650 subs per side, all powered by a variety of Crown MacroTech amplifiers. Throughout the show, the PA covered the room nicely, keeping things rocking and hitting 105 dB at the peak.
Of course, handling a sizable show like this with a long list of guests required an unusual stage arrangement; because of the extensive backline equipment utilized, two additional personnel were required on the stage to bring equipment in and out, while another was finding available inputs and radioing those inputs back to the FOH position.
At stageside, monitor engineer Demo Manolis manned a Crest LMX desk, sending signal to 10 Meyer UM-1 wedges and a variety of personal monitor systems. Miking for the multitude of players on stage included: Shure SM58s on vocals, SM57s on guitars, Beta52s on the Kicks, Beta98 on the rack toms; Sennheiser MD421s on the floor toms; SM81s on the hi-had and overheads; and the bass rigs were captured using Behringer active DIs.
Mark Sonder Productions