Pearl Jam FOH engineer Greg Nelson mixed the band on a DiGiCo SD5 desk, using Waves MultiRack SoundGrid, plug-ins and Server One.New York, NY (December 9, 2014)—Pearl Jam spent October rolling through the midwest on a three-week, 12-date tour. Along for the journey as usual was longtime FOH engineer Greg Nelson, who mixed the band on a DiGiCo SD5 desk, using Waves MultiRack SoundGrid, plug-ins and Server One each night.
The engineer noted he began using Waves wares in 2002 while mixing live recordings for another act he handles FOH for—Incubus. “I think it was just the Waves L1 Ultramaximizer and the Waves C4 Multiband Compressor on the master to smooth out the mix a bit,” he recalled. “They sounded better than anything else around at the time and I loved using them. I was so excited when they were made available for use in a live environment.”
Describing his current setup , he remarked, “My favorite Waves plug-ins when working with Pearl Jam are the MV2 for kick and especially snare; the H-Comp Hybrid Compressor for vocals; the C6 Multiband Compressor for vocals and slight master bus tuning; and the CLA-3A Compressor/Limiter for guitars. I also use the Waves API 550 EQ, which works great on anything! On the master busses, I just use the Renaissance Compressor for some slight compression—a ratio of 1.8— and just a taste of the C6 again to smooth things out. I am a big believer in letting your live mix have dynamics and letting everything breathe. On my rec bus, I do a bit of mastering with a Waves L2 Ultramaximizer, a C6, a Waves Q10 Equalizer—still great after all these years—and a bit of Waves S1 Stereo Imager just to widen the mix a bit, as I don’t do too much hard-panning in arena shows.”