The Quick Mix: Brad Parker

With Brad Parker


15 July 2017

Interview: Neil Gray

Who are you currently mixing?
I’m on the road mixing Daryl Braithwaite and Taxiride on the Red Hot Summer Tour, which also features John Farnham, Icehouse, and James Reyne. My main gig for the past ten years has been Daryl Braithwaite, whom I first worked in 1998. We average two to three shows a week doing everything from festivals and corporate shows to pubs and clubs; Daryl is pretty much a full time job.

Name some other bands you’ve worked with?
Russell Morris, Mike Brady, as well as filling in on shows with Diesel, Ross Wilson and many others. Last year I looked after FOH for the APIA Good Times Tour for the second time, featuring Daryl Braithwaite, Jon Stevens, Kate Cebrano and John Paul Young. I had the pleasure of mixing a gig at Michael Gudinski’s house with loads of different acts including John Farnham, Jimmy Barnes and Diesel singing together. Those three voices together are unforgettable.

When did you get your start in live sound?
I started out as a 17-year old, lifting heavy old gear for bands my older brothers were in. They are all very good musicians and I was lucky enough to get to work with David Briggs, who became a mentor and friend, and has taught me an amazing amount about music and audio; as did my brother Marshall Parker.

What is your favourite console and why?
The Avid Profile because of its reliability and ease of use. I use minimal plug-ins, apart from a Waves L2 over the main vocal and mix bus. It’s a less is more, old school analogue-style approach where I spend my time mixing the band instead of playing with software.

Favourite microphone or any other piece of kit?
I love the Sennheiser 901/902 combination on kick drums and AKG C214s on guitar cabs, held firmly in place by Warwicke Newman’s Tone Revival guitar miking systems. I always use Shure Beta 57s on vocals and my ‘secret weapon’ is a Superlux HI-10 on hats.

Most memorable gig or career highlight?
That would be Daryl and John Farnham at the Sydney Entertainment Centre, back in 2016 just before it closed. Everything came together perfectly. I always enjoy the A Day on the Green and Red Hot Summer shows as they are well organised and run.

What are three mixing techniques you regularly employ?
Firstly, gain structure. Second, learn the band and their songs so you become part of the performance. Thirdly, use your ears to put everything in its place as the song was originally recorded and the audience expect to hear it. If it didn’t have the kick drum sound and volume of a high energy dance track on the record it doesn’t need one now!

What do you like about your job?
I feel lucky to work with some of Australia’s best artists and musicians, and get to see parts of this country and the rest of the world you wouldn’t normally get to visit. Oh, and not to mention all the great food, and red wine after the show!

Any tips/words of wisdom for someone starting out?
Look and learn from experienced people as you never stop learning; once you already know everything you can’t learn anything anymore.


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