Berlin, CT (June 30, 2016)—Everyone wants modern sound quality when they go on tour, but that kind of gear requires both space and a lot of hands to lift it. Earlier this year, when production manager/FOH engineer Eugene “Geno” Mulcahy played U.S. Navy vessels and military installations in the Middle East and Europe with The Frontmen of Country Music, he had to go a bit smaller and lighter. The result? He carried a selection of mics and a QSC TouchMix compact digital mixer in his backpack.
“Space is extremely limited on military aircraft, so I had the monumental task of having to travel lightly but still have powerful audio tools to support my clients,” says Mulcahy, who has worked with The Frontmen since 2009. “I need the ability to archive every show and also produce a consistent sound from venue to venue and night after night. With space at a premium, carrying a regular console was out of the question. So I reached for my QSC TouchMix, my microphone package and my backpack, and away I went.”
Mulcahy remarked, “It’s a real pro mixer,” he says. “It (TouchMIx-16) has 10 auxes plus four effects engines, it does multitrack recording and mixing, and it has recall. Oh, and it sounds great.”
The lineup of The Frontmen of Country Music on this tour, which was sponsored by the U.S. military’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR), comprised Richie McDonald, of the band Lonestar, Tim Rushlow, formerly of Little Texas, Larry Stewart of Restless Heart and Donnie Reis of The Donnie Reis Band. “It was an all-acoustic show with vocals, acoustic guitars and electric piano. It was 10 tracks: I used Telefunken Elektroakoustik M80 mics on the vocals, a pair of M60s for house mics and Radial DI boxes,” he says.
“My soundcheck on day one was in the desert in Bahrain, hitting presets and renaming them. The presets are the biggest thing with this desk. People ask me, ‘Why does the desk sound good?’ I say, just use the presets; they really work. I also truly enjoyed the studio quality effects engines. Those processors produced the signature effects that are critical to my show. It didn’t matter where we were; I just plugged the TouchMix in, reset, recalled and we were ready.”
On the U.S.S. Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) aircraft carrier, on active duty in the Persian Gulf, Mulcahy was approached by the ship’s band, Shark Bait. “They asked if they could plug in. I said yes, we can use my vocal mics and I’ve got a few extra channels. So I was able to mix the opening act on the same board. At the end of the show, I gave them their cables back, put the TouchMix in my backpack and away I went.”