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Live Sound Engineering Techniques: On Tour with Rush
Illustration by John Hersey

Live Sound Engineering Techniques: On Tour with Rush

with Brent Carpenter

Video: Welcome

Hi, my name is Brent Carpenter, currently Audio engineering on a tour is not just about audio engineering. I'm going to take you around the live sound setup for Rush on their
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  1. 1m 7s
    1. Welcome
      1m 7s
  2. 20m 52s
    1. Starting the day with the big picture
      1m 7s
    2. Choosing the right PA for the venue
      1m 24s
    3. Unloading the trucks and load-in
      1m 6s
    4. Audio rigging: Points
      50s
    5. Audio rigging: Motors and cables
      4m 30s
    6. Audio rigging: Trusses
      1m 1s
    7. Amplifier racks
      2m 10s
    8. The best combination of analog and digital signal paths
      38s
    9. Audio rigging: Feeder and power
      2m 16s
    10. Flying the PA speaker arrays
      3m 56s
    11. Discussing the advantages of subwoofers and front-fill speakers
      1m 4s
    12. Where's the best place to sit at the venue?
      50s
  3. 25m 13s
    1. Monitor world: Setting up at the monitor engineer's position
      3m 19s
    2. Preparing the wireless in-ear monitors for the band
      1m 19s
    3. Scanning frequencies and configuring the RF antenna for wireless in-ear monitors
      5m 20s
    4. Real-world example: Getting a basic monitor mix for different band members
      7m 39s
    5. Line check overview: Making sure every line sounds as expected
      56s
    6. Sound check from the monitor position
      58s
    7. Monitor mix snapshots for the live performance
      4m 10s
    8. Communicating with Geddy, Alex, and Neil during the show
      1m 32s
  4. 18m 26s
    1. Guitar world: Getting the Alex Lifeson guitar sound
      3m 56s
    2. Guitar world: Alex Lifeson's guitars
      1m 36s
    3. Triggering offstage samples with MIDI pedals
      40s
    4. Alex Lifeson's stage position
      42s
    5. Placing microphones on Neil Peart's drums and the rotating riser
      5m 29s
    6. Geddy Lee's stage position: Vocals, bass, and keyboards
      57s
    7. Bass world: Getting Geddy Lee's bass sound
      41s
    8. Using audience microphones to connect the band to their fans
      2m 6s
    9. Getting a great isolated sound from the string section
      2m 19s
  5. 10m 42s
    1. Turning on the PA for the first time
      2m 14s
    2. Mixing live sound for front of house
      5m 20s
    3. Achieving even sound coverage in a large arena and adjusting for pockets of frequency buildup
      1m 50s
    4. Sound pressure level (SPL), loudness, and ear fatigue
      1m 18s
  6. 1m 3s
    1. What does the monitor engineer do during the show?
      1m 3s
  7. 1m 22s
    1. Loading out of the venue
      36s
    2. Conclusion
      46s

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Live Sound Engineering Techniques: On Tour with Rush
1h 18m Intermediate Dec 13, 2013

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Follow along with Brent Carpenter on tour with Rush, as he demonstrates what it is like to be a live sound engineer for a major rock show. We shadow Brent and the Rush sound crew as they prepare for the Denver, Colorado, show on their Clockwork Angels tour, where the band is set to perform for 12,000 fans. After the gear is loaded into the venue, Brent explains how he and the crew set up the rigging, amp racks, and fly the speaker arrays to make sure well-balanced stereo sound reaches every seat in the arena. He also shows how he sets up his console to mix the onstage sound for Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neil Peart and configures the in-ear monitor system and balance of audience mics for each member of the band. Then we get to sit backstage with Brent and watch what he does during line check, sound check, and the actual show. After the fans file out, see how all the equipment comes back down and is packed away so the cycle can start all over in the next city.

Topics include:
  • Choosing the PA for the venue
  • Setting up points, motors and cables, and trusses
  • Getting the best use of both analog and digital signal paths
  • How Rush gets that Geddy, Alex, and Neil live sound
  • Setting up the digital monitor mix console
  • Doing the line check and sound check
  • Using audience microphones to connect the band to their fans
  • Getting even coverage in a large arena
  • Working the monitor console and the power of snapshots
  • Loading out of the venue
Subjects:
Audio + Music Audio Engineering Live Performance
Author:
Brent Carpenter

Welcome

Hi, my name is Brent Carpenter, currently on tour with Rush as their monitor engineer. I've been working with the band for 11 years and have almost 600 shows under my belt with the guys. Come follow me on a typical day on an arena-level rock tour. Audio engineering on a tour is not just about audio engineering. Imagine, if you will, when you went to work in the morning you had to take your office out of a tractor trailer, set it up, assemble it, and then at the end of your eight or nine or ten hour day, you had to put it all back in the box and put it right back in another truck to let it meet you in the next city.

That's what I do everyday. I'm going to take you around the live sound setup for Rush on their Clockwork Angels tour, showing you the front of house monitor consoles, micing setups, amplification systems, speaker arrays, live show cueing, in-ear monitor systems, recording, and a lot more. So welcome to live sound engineering techniques on tour with Rush. Let's get started.

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