New York, (May 15, 2006)–Jon Ostrin has been Toto’s live mix engineer for around 15 years, working almost exclusively with analog gear. But more recently he’s been swept into the digital world, and on Toto’s current world tour, he uses Sony Oxford plug-ins on Digidesign’s Venue Live Console.
Toto FOH engineer Jon Ostrin uses Sony Oxford plug-ins on his Digidesign Venue consoleOstrin explained, “There are some great audio processing tools available, but a lot of live engineers are so used to the same, standard outboard racks they’ve had for years that they don’t realize how amazing plug-in processing can sound.
“I’ve been using the Oxford EQs a lot and they sound great. I ended up using two on my master to equalize the PA system, which gave me ten bands of EQ. Now that might sound like a lot to some people, but I often work the parametric to a really tight bandwidth. With the Oxford EQ, I can hit six or seven frequencies at a time without losing any headroom. When you get into conventional graphics, and you’re moving things around a lot, you often don’t realize how much you’re EQing. Then, before you know it, you’ve lost 2 or 3 db. What I’ve found with the Oxford EQ, is that you can keep the bandwidth nice and tight and really hear the frequency within 30hz or 50 Hz. Because of this, I’m able to quickly find the trouble spots in a live setup; I can then dig them out or add them in accordingly.”
For Ostrin, the plug-ins have become an essential timesaving device in his schedule. With a lot of festivals to attend (a different PA system at each one), plus any number of discreet zones to sound check, the quality, quantity and accessibility of his outboard gear are crucial aspects of the mixing equation.
He added, ‘Having Sony Oxford plug-ins totally self-contained, right in the console, is extremely useful. If I want, I can quickly stack four EQ sections in a line, so even though there are only five bands on each plug-in, the combination gives me 20 bands. Or if I’ve got, say, four different zones at a concert, I can drop them onto the outputs very easily. One of the most exciting things about the Venue console is that I can comfortably run 50 plugs-ins without experiencing any latency at all. In a live configuration, that would be three full racks of heavy outboard gear with all of the associated technical problems! Now it’s simply about pushing buttons and being creative.”