New York (October 30, 2009)–Pearl Jam is on the road once again, this time travelling the world as it supports the new album, Backspacer, and once again, Oxnard, CA-based Rat Sound Systems is along for the ride, this time with L-Acoustics and EAW gear onhand.
For this tour, the band chose to take out the new L-Acoustics K1 system as its main system under the direction of FOH engineer Greg Nelson, along with EAW MicroWedges on stage, overseen by monitor engineer Karrie Keyes.
When asked about his reasoning for choosing the 24-box L-Acoustics K1 system and SB28 subs, Nelson clarified “After hearing the system at Coachella, I was blown away with how much sub bass we were able to get out of the main flown system. It was a perfect fit because I have had to fly subs in the past both to cover the venue and to keep the sub bass off the stage where it can annoy the band. Add the cardioid sub pattern I am using with the SB28, and I am able to get away with way more sub bass than I have in the past and even now have complaints from my monitor engineer that the PA is too quiet! The clarity of the system is great. A lot of times during the show, I have three guitars just hammering away and it is very easy to make them all individually heard with this new system.”
At the monitor helm is longtime monitor engineer Karrie Keyes, who met the band in 1991 when working for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, which Pearl Jam was supporting at the time. She has been with them ever since and knows their needs extremely well. Amongst the challenges she faces this tour is the sheer volume on the stage, small stage space and each member of the band wanting to hear different things–except when they want a crossfire sound. The goal is to have no pockets on stage without sound, with singer Eddie Vedder being the loudest and the clearest, as he thrives on the volume. For this reason, she chose to tour this time with the new EAW MicroWedge 12s.
“I am using the Microwedge 12 for Ed’s guitar mix”, explains Keyes. “They are wonderful and I can get them to sound very close to his guitar rig’s sound without much EQ or trouble! So far, I have found no other wedge that comes as close. The small footprint helps as well, as we have limited stage space. We are also using MicroWedge 12’s for drumfill with a left and right mix plus a sub. We have had challenges in the past with getting the Drumfill world right, so finding the right combo has been a crucial hurdle we have overcome. Again, they need very little EQ and I can over power them if needed and the smooth high end does not add to ear fatigue! The band thrives on the stage volume which provides the energy to rock. We are all very happy!”
Pearl Jam is touring with a Digidesign Venue at FOH and a L-Acoustics K1 system for mains PA, powered by L-Acoustics LA8 and LA48 amps. At monitor world, a Yamaha PM5D console is used, sending mixes to a variety of EAW MicroWedge 12s, Rat Trap sidefills and Sennheiser personal monitors.
Rat Sound Systems Inc.