Midnight Oil frontman Peter Garrett has just finished a solo tour of Australia in support of his new album A Version of Now. On the East Coast, JPJ Audio supplied a FOH control and monitor set up as well as some extra wedges for a couple of gigs.
FOH engineer Colin Ellis mixed for Midnight Oil in the ’90s, returning to mix for them at a couple of large charity events. With the band expected to reform and tour in 2017, you could call this tour a bit of a warm up.
“I believe that Peter Garrett wanted me to do the tour,” commented Colin. “We had production rehearsals in Sydney including a small show for friends and family. For the tour, we decided to use in house PAs which worked alright. However, none of the systems were amazing and it was the first time in many years that I used non line array systems!”
Peter’s home crowd at Canberra Theatre was concerned that the in-house PA system may not kick out enough on stage, so Colin decided to add a couple of L-Acoustic Arcs and of L-Acoustic subs a side.
“We rang Jim Straw at JPJ, who is always helpful, and fortunately the truck was coming through Sydney so the extra gear could be picked up,” said Colin. “
Colin ran a Venue Profile console accompanied by a pair of KRK Rokit 5 powered monitors to assist with line checks.
Colin says Peter’s singing voice is a breeze to EQ, but his voice is very different during his mid-song spiels. “I have to keep grabbing the EQ knob to re-EQ his voice when he talks and vice versa,” he said. “It’s quite annoying and really it’s a proximity thing with the Shure SM58 microphone. Some of it can be fixed by C4 multiband compressors. When he speaks between songs he has a very strong midrange in his voice – I think it’s the politician coming out of him! I think it can be addressed by the new Shure KSM8 Dualdyne vocal microphone but we haven’t any in the country yet. If Midnight Oil happens next year and if I’m doing it, I’ll make a bunch of changes including these new microphones and a switch to the Venue S6L console.”
Colin used quite a few Waves plugins including NLS Non-Linear Summer for console emulation, C4 Multiband Compressors, a sonic maximiser on the bass and a couple of other places, Puigchild compressors, V-Comp EQ, and Q10 equaliser for parametric EQ.
Paul Kennedy ran monitors from a Venue SC48, chosen for convenience, size and budget as he usually uses a Yamaha PM5D. Most of the band including Peter had never used in-ear monitors before and loved the first-time experience.
“Kenno is such a good operator, they were all happy as Larry throughout the tour!” said Colin. “The only thing I had to do was keep reminding them that just because they can hear themselves loud and clear, they still have to sing really strongly. With in-ears they all immediately back off the microphone.”
Colin’s stoked with the service and equipment from JPJ Audio. “You know with JPJ that when their gear arrives it’s always well put together. They definitely do it right, everything has been tested, the support is there… there’s absolutely nothing backyard about JPJ!”
JPJ Audio: www.jpjaudio.com.au