Los Angeles (March 30, 2005)–Grammy winners Maroon 5 have set off on their latest tour, selling out venues across the country. Along for the ride is Rat Sound, providing a slew of gear and personnel. FOH engineer Brian Boyt noted that the band recently played a 70,000 seat stadium in Houston one day, while it played a 4,000-capacity venue in Corpus Christi for its next gig.
“I think our biggest challenge on this tour is to provide the same quality of show for every sized venue,” said Brian. “When they booked the tour and we spec-ed what we needed with Rat Sound, they had most of these places set up for half house shows. Then the tickets went on sale, they won a Grammy, and they started opening up more and more seats! We thought long and hard: Do we carry more PA or do we sub-rent at all the big ones? We kind of met in the middle and spec-ed out a good amount of gear to be supplemented, and it seems to be working out just fine.”
The main PA is comprised of L-Acoustics V-Dosc and dV-Dosc boxes. The FOH position is anchored by a Midas Heritage 3000 console with a Manley Vox Box, dbx 160, BSS 404 compressors, Drawmer 201 gates, TC Electronic 2290, Yamaha SPX990 and 2000 and an Eventide H3000. Amps on hand include Crown 5000s and Crest 7000s. “The biggest challenge is that we have a great band on stage and a lot of gear up there: 40 inputs to be exact. I have never been one to make rocket science out of mixing. They just have lots of things going on up there, and I have to keep them from draining into the lead vocal, for which I love my Manley Vox Box.”
On the monitor side of things, monitor engineer Andy Ebert mixes on a Midas Heritage 3000. Processing is provided by Drawmer DS201 gates; an Avalon VT737 for lead vocals; a BSS 404 compressor for bass DI, backing vocals and acoustic guitar; two Yamaha SPX990s for vocals and drums; and a Lexicon PCM80 for acoustic guitar. “There is definitely gear that makes my life much easier and the end result a little better,” said Ebert, “and that is the Midas Heritage 3000. It is, in my opinion, the warmest sounding monitor console. The SPX990s are great and easy to handle and the Maroon 5 guys are so used to that sound that it’s hard to edit other effects units to a similar result.”
The band recently switched to personal monitors, using Shure PSM700s with Ultimate Ears UE-7s, “which have a great, warm sound with pretty good low end,” said Ebert. “I mix the rhythm section louder in the sidefills, plus Brian’s FOH mix contains a good portion of low end, which helps me on stage. We also use Buttkickers for drum and keyboard thrones. Everyone has a mix of Audio-Technica AT4073 shotgun and Shure KSM137 audience mics, so during the show, I mostly mix lead vocal, audience mics, reverbs and guitars on my VCAs and, of course, individual requests for different songs.
“It has been a great tour so far, ” continued Ebert. “The Rat Sound crew is making it really easy for Brian and myself as they’re very experienced and great guys to hang out with. As for the band themselves, it’s great to see these very talented musicians and songwriters being that successful playing real, handmade music! Success hasn’t changed them at all.”