On the Disturbed tour are (l-r):
Skitch, Rob Lightner and Mark
New York (May 27, 2009)--Disturbed's on-going series of traveling festival packages--Music as a Weapon--is on the road again, this time in its fourth edition. Along for the ride are a quartet of Yamaha PM5D digital audio consoles.
Sitting with two at front of house and two at monitors, the desks are part of an audio system provided by Eighth Day Sound (Cleveland, OH) with technical assistance from 8th Day's Mark Brnich. The festival-style 'Music as a Weapon' tour, inclusive of tattoo artists, features three other bands on the main stage joining the headliners: Killswitch Engage, Chimaira, and Lacuna Coil.
The need for four consoles is obvious for the amount of inputs required for all musicians with four bands. Front of house engineer Scott 'Skitch' Canady, who has been on tour with "Disturbed" over the past eight years in support of all four records, was initially brought in as a monitor engineer for the Sickness album and subsequently moved to FOH from there on out.
"Having two Yamaha PM5Ds at front of house on this tour is very convenient," states Canady. "It's small, and in our situation of having two audio consoles with Disturbed's singer, David Draiman, performing out at front of house on the last song, space is a factor. The PM5D is easy, effective, and provides you with all the tools needed to build a mix."
Canady said he had the opportunity to learn the console with a five-hour crash course. "The band was rehearsing for an earlier tour and we were using a PM5D for monitors. When rehearsals were completed, we re-initialized the console and Bob Bussiere, our systems tech for that tour, had me build my FOH scene from scratch--a true benefit for me since I learned the connections between the soft patch and assignments needed to make the console 'understand' where a source is coming from, and where it needs to go. Having to build, assign, label, and then troubleshoot my scene, I had a better mental image on understanding the console's signal flow. As a console to mix on, I think there is maybe a 15-minute learning curve--quick and easy. After being taught the commands, it is like any other console: the more operating hours on it, the more familiar you become. Your physical motions and mind will follow."
Rob Lightner has been with Disturbed as monitor engineer supporting the past two tours. "I prefer all potentiometers having designated purposes," says Lightner. "One knob that can do multiple things can create an extra step in a situation requiring immediate reaction. I stand by the feature of having analog inputs connect directly to the control surface, eliminating a connection that could potentially cause a problem and increase the time it takes to troubleshoot the problem."
Lightner notes that he began using a PM5D console four years ago on tour with Disturbed, as a tech for both monitors and front of house. "I had my hands on the console a few days before, attending a Yamaha training class in California, so I was more prepared to ask questions that revealed answers for everyone in the session as well. I felt confident enough to answer any questions or solve problems encountered on that first tour. I am also partially responsible for assisting guest engineers with their use of the console, and found it very easy to convey all the necessary information to make their show a success. Using a 5D also makes it easier to switch over to a PM1D when needed for certain performances requiring more outputs."
Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc.