FOH Engineer Mike Fanuele and Monitor Engineer Kevin “Tater” McCarthy Choose Waves Plugins and Sound
FOH engineer Mike Fanuele(The Chainsmokers, Garbage, Meghan Trainor, Hanson) and monitor engineer Kevin “Tater” McCarthy (Stone Temple Pilots, Prophets of Rage, Don Broco, Linkin Park) choose Waves plugins for the Mike Shinoda 2019 tour, supporting his solo album, Post Traumatic.
Fanueledescribes his setup: “We use a DiGiCo SD10 v987 with a Waves Extreme Server and L-Acoustics P1 processors. I record via MADI and a DiGiGrid MGB to a Mac Mini for virtual playback. Tater and I share preamps from a single SD Rack with 32-bit input and output cards. I distribute to the PA through the P1 processors via AES, and then to an L-Acoustics K2 rig with KS28 subs.”
On using Waves plugins, Fanuelecomments, “I use the Waves C6 Multiband Compressor on every vocal I mix. I’ll usually take the upper mids very slightly, as well as the low end. Having the C6 at my side to help me level out Mike Shinoda’s vocal frequencies definitely helps the overall production of the show. I really like the vocals of a live show to sound very natural to the audience. Sometimes, you need a bit of the top end in there to help cut through the mix. It’s nice to lean on the C6 to help keep that clarity, without letting the vocal become too aggressive. Depending on the guitar sound from stage, I may also use the C6 on an electric guitar to just touch up some mids when they’re too strong.”
Fanueleadds, “The EMI TG12345 Channel Strip is my new favorite drum buss plugin. The drummer, Dan Mayo, is an extremely versatile and very dynamic player. Having a tool like the TG12345 is a fantastic way to keep his drums gelled, without overly affecting his dynamic playing. I’ll set it to dyn>EQ>pres and set the dynamics to compressor and hit it pretty hard. Then, I’ll blend that in only about 10%. It sounds absolutely fantastic on a drum kit! Sometimes I’ll spread the kit width a bit as well; I will use the API 2500 VERY lightly on both my drum and guitar busses. I absolutely love how it tightens up the busses! The Waves Doubler is my vocal harmonizer plugin for every band I work with. Standard settings > -10/+10 cents, 24/33ms delay, detune modulating; the Scheps 73 is my go-to electric guitar EQ tool, using it on the actual channel; I use the InPhase, sending the Kick In to the left side and Kick Out to the right side. I can take a sample at any point, and align the drums perfectly via the waveform, or slightly off if I like the sound slightly out of phase better.”
Monitor engineer Kevin “Tater” McCarthy details his setup: “We use a DiGiCo SD11i v.929 with Waves and Optics installed. One SD Rack (which is shared with FOH), 56 x 40 all 32-bit Stadius input and output cards; one Klang Fabrik; one Waves Extreme Server; three Shure PSM 1000 IEM systems; two Shure Axient Digital wireless microphone systems; one Shure PA821a antenna combiner; one Shure AXT 600 spectrum manager and one Shure AXT 900 rechargeable battery system. The only live microphones on stage are the vocal and drum microphones, which are a mixture of mainly DPA on the drums, 4099s and 2011s and 4018s on vocals. The only speakers on stage are a pair of D.A.S Event 121-A subs. One per side.”
Tater comments, on using Waves plugins, “I mainly use a combination of the SSL G- Master Buss Compressor, the C6 Multi Band compressor and the L2 Ultramaximizer as a limiter on all my IEM mix outputs. This is a chain I use on every band I mix and have been using this combination for years now. It gives me a sound that seems polished, punchy and natural, while also adding some protection just in case. I also use the Waves CLA-3A Compressor/Limiter on all the vocals including the two guest vocals. Mike Shinoda, Dan Mayo on drums and Matt Harris as a multi-instrumentalist (vocals, keys, guitar, bass), are really quality and consistent players. The Waves CLA-3A really helps me with keeping the vocals consistent. Mike goes from his singing to rapping parts quite frequently, and that compressor helps me keep that in check.”
Tater adds, about the benefits of using plugins for Monitor, “Mike Shinoda is a very savvy engineer and knows exactly what’s going on. The gentle use of limiting and compression on the mix buss helps with the consistency from night to night, and that is what affects the performances. They hit the stage with confidence, knowing the mix is there, and that enables them to concentrate on what they do best. When mixing monitors, consistency is always key, and Waves plugins are my tools to help me achieve that.”