Mixing the Vocalosity A Cappella Tour

On the road supporting its Universal Music Classics debut album, a cappella group Vocalosity brings to the stage 12 voices singing modern-day hits in brand-new arrangements. Bringing all that to the audience each night is technical director and front-of-house engineer Tony Huerta, mixing on a Roland M-5000 OHRCA live mixing console.
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Los Angeles, CA (March 4, 2016)—On the road supporting its Universal Music Classics debut album, a cappella group Vocalosity brings to the stage 12 voices singing modern-day hits in brand-new arrangements. Bringing all that to the audience each night is technical director and front-of-house engineer Tony Huerta, mixing on a Roland M-5000 OHRCA live mixing console.

Huerta helms an entire Roland REAC system that also includes one Roland S-2416 24 x 16 digital snake stage unit, the XI-Dante card, which allows another 64 inputs, and the XI-MADI Card for future integration with Waves SoundGrid.

“The M-5000 is the only console I’d want to use on a live project like this, because it’s the most flexible desk out there,” says Huerta, who also owns Sonic Audio, a full-service Pro Tools recording studio and live sound production company based in Denver, CO. A veteran of vocal-oriented live shows, having worked with vocal artists such as Take 6, Manhattan Transfer, and The Sing Off Live tour, Huerta noted, “I’ve got up to 128 signal paths and 28 totally assignable faders to work with, for any combination of mono and stereo inputs or outputs. And the BOSS guitar effects that are built into the console let me do amazing things with a cappella vocals.”

For instance, one performance has five vocalists performing Led Zeppelin’s classic “Whole Lotta Love” with voices alone; though, thanks to effects such as the BOSS guitar distortion pedals, digital delays and a sub-harmonic effect, the entire song, including guitar solos, is completely vocal, but sounds like real instruments. “The way the M-5000 is configured, I can have as many aux and matrix as I need,” Huerta explains. “And the M-5000 is Dante-ready, so using the XI-Dante card, I can have all channels of the Shure ULX-D wireless microphone system going directly into the desk.”

Vocalosity posts various live performances taken from each night’s concerts on social media, so Huerta handles those with the R-1000 Ethernet recording unit, but it all starts with the M-5000. He noted, “The pre-amps are great—warm enough to make me feel good, super-clear on the high end and nice and tight on the low end. We need that for a cappella, especially for the bass voices.”

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