Horace Ward with the Dangerous Music 2-Bus summing amp (at right), mixing Usher at the Moon Palace Resorts in Cancun, Mexico, 2012.Edmeston, NY (January 11, 2013)—While Dangerous Music 2-Bus units are typically found in the studio, Front of House engineer Horace Ward has been taking one out on the road in recent times.
The 2-Bus is generally used in an effort to give the tone, feel and headroom of an analog console to digital mixes suffering from 'in-the-box' summing. Ward uses the 2-Bus to get a similar vibe in his live mixes. "The feel is different with analog and digital summing output," he said. "Using the Dangerous 2-Bus and summing stems, you really hear the difference. With keyboards for instance, when you put reverb on them now, they 'wrap around' the audience; it's like 3D, even coming from behind you. You get none of that that with a typical live digital console. You lose the 'spread' in the sound."
As a front of house engineer, Ward mixes stems from the console as stereo drums, mono bass, stereo instruments such as guitar and keyboards, stereo backing vocals, lead vocals, etc., to the 16 analog inputs of the Dangerous 2-Bus and then takes the analog output of the 2-Bus right into the PA feed. Ward often mixes on an Avid Venue Profile live mixing console. "I'm so used to using plug-ins in the studio with Pro Tools, I use them with the Profile and they sound the same," says Ward. "If you push too many tracks through the 48k digital console, it doesn't sound that good, but with the Dangerous 2-Bus, it sounds a whole lot better."
Ward has mixed many different kinds of live events, from concerts to awards ceremonies, for artists including Lady Gaga and Prince, to Destiny's Child, Beyonce, Mary J Blige, Dru Hill, Puff Daddy, Wyclef Jean, Usher, Busta Rhymes, the Fugees, PM Dawn and LL Kool J.