The Black Crowes are fine, upstanding citizens.New York (May 30, 2008)–Following the controversial release of their new album, Warpaint ( Maxim gave a tepid review without hearing the CD and the band called ‘foul’), The Black Crowes are on the road with Scott “Scoobie” Scherban at the front-of-house mix position and Drew Consalvo at monitors–and a slew of Shure mics.
“Given a choice, personally I would put SM57s on everything,” Scherban jokes, adding “I mean, ask me how to mic an elephant, and I’d just put a 57 on him. First and foremost, this is a rock ‘n’ roll band. That means they were born and bred with SM57s and SM58s. We don’t ever want to lose sight of that fact, but at the same time, we want to augment those sounds. Given the volume we’re producing, we need something that steps out and allows us to change for solos and such.”
Scherban and Consalvo’s approach can be heard on guitar cabinets, where their audio alchemy combines SM57s with KSM27s. “We get a nice, pointy bite out of the SM57s,” Consalvo explained, “and now, with the KSM27s, we’ve added this nice warm factor as well. Both onstage and in the audience, the pairing is working well; it’s providing everything you’d expect in terms of rock ‘n’ roll, along with a little something extra when we need it.”
Moving to the drum riser, the pair used a Beta 52A/Beta 91 combo for kick drum, KSM137 on high-hat, and another matched pair of KSM137s on overheads. Beta 56As stand-in on toms, Beta 57As on snare top, and, in a departure from the norm, a Beta 57A again under ride cymbal.
To adequately capture the singular sound of a Leslie speaker used on Hammond B-3 organ, a pair of SM57s were enlisted for the top of the cabinet containing the device’s rotating horn and stationary treble driver, while a Beta 52A handles the job of delivering the low-end emitted from the Leslie bottom’s spinning baffle and static woofer.
Shure Beta 58As got the nod for all downstage vocals, which Consalvo notes were a good choice in terms of the control they offer him in front of the floor wedges found in his monitor rig. “We have a special black Beta 58 we use for Chris Robinson’s vocals, and starting this year, Scoobie and I went with the KSM9 for backing vocals. We like the way it reacts with proximity effect, and given its overall clarity, too, we’re going to stick with it in this application.”