Lindsey Stirling, performing live at Webster Hall, NYC, Feb. 9, 2013.
Pro Sound News met up with FOH engineer Rob McWhorter during the recent Lindsey Stirling concert at Webster Hall in NYC to talk about mixing for a modern violinist.
It was in 2010 that Sharon Osborne told violinist Lindsey Stirling that playing violin as a solo act would not fill a stadium. A quarterfinalist on the fifth season of America’s Got Talent, Stirling, then known as ‘The Hip Hop Violinist,’ wowed the crowd with her combination of classical violin with hip hop and electronic beats and carefully choreographed performance routines. But even as a favorite for most of the season, Stirling was eventually kicked off the show and sent back to the drawing board to make her dream of becoming a star come true.
Since her introduction to America in 2010, Stirling has honed her performances and developed a following through her YouTube Channel, which showcases a variety of original songs and covers of popular songs. In September 2012, she released her first solo album with 12 original songs, and currently is touring through 55 cities in the U.S., Europe and Canada until April 5.
FOH Engineer Rob McWhorter, mixing Lindsey Stirling on a Avid Venue Profile console at Webster Hall, NYC, Feb. 9, 2013.
On hand as Stirling’s FOH and Monitor Engineer is Salt Lake City-based Performance Audio’s Rob McWhorter, mixing on an Avid Venue Profile System with Pro Tools HD2 for the live performance and Figure 53 Q-Lab for playback. McWhorter emphasized that he always uses his Eventide Reverb bundle when mixing. “That’s one thing I won’t mix without,” he said. Because Stirling’s music is written for the stage, McWhorter said he is sure to give the mix a live feel, while also blasting the audience with the power of each piece.
“I call this rave-rock,” said McWhorter. “It’s not your typical violin act.” McWhorter said none of the violin is pre recorded, and Stirling is backed by her drummer, Drew Steen, and keyboardist Jason Gaviati. A Shure UR wireless microphone system and JH Audio JH16 Pro In-Ear monitors are used on stage for the performers. McWhorter noted he specifically chose the in-ears because he prefers them over other options “I just think they sound better,” he said.
During Stirling’s show in the Grand Ballroom at Webster Hall in New York City on February 9, a dozen L-Acoustics dV-Dosc 3-way line array speakers and four dV-Subs were used as the main speakers, with six L-Acoustics SB-218s subs and 15 L-Acoustics LA-48As amplifiers.
While FOH usually mixes from the balcony level of the Grand Ballroom at Webster Hall, McWhorter chose to set up his gear on the main floor to get a better sound from the speakers. “It’s easier to mix that way,” McWhorter said. “I’d rather be right in the middle of everything. What I hear is what they (the fans) hear and I don’t have to translate anything.”