The three week rehearsal period is now over and we all have a week off whilst the equipment is shipped to Seattle for the first date of the tour. We are planning a production rehearsal day, the day before the show. It will be a long day for the crew boys as the PA, Lights and back-line is set up for the first time. With the combined wealth of experience in the crew, I’m sure all will be well. I’m looking forward to seeing Simon’s lights as I was enquiring about the system to be used, he said there will be some ‘new’ lights in the rig. Apparently it’s the first time they’ve ever been used in the U.S. Stay tuned to this diary for details.

The last week of rehearsal was enjoyable (and eventful) as the band really started to sound fantastic as Tim and Mike get to grips with the material. They both bring quite a different and unique quality to the band and we’re all looking forward to playing in front of you folks. Eventful, as there were several notable events, the most delightful being the arrival of John and Heidi’s baby girl on Friday. Congratulations from all of us.

Danny responds here to a forum post about his drum kit –

Snare 1 is mic’d from underneath as well as on top this is obviously to give Dave Dixon, our sound man, more to work with. The top of snare 1 has two mics, one for regular playing and another for brushes and cross stick work. They are placed comfortably and don’t get in the way at all.

As for whether it was a pain to get them where they are I cannot say for sure but for an experienced engineer, I very much doubt it. As for general mic placement, the priority has to be for the musician to be comfortable firstly and secondly the mic placement to work around that.  It’s more likely to become a pain if the reverse were the case and it would also mean that all drummers would have to set up the same way to suit the engineer.

I don’t know what the main snare mic is but I don’t think that it’s an SM57, using an SM57 is one way to restrict mic bleed though, as it’s basically a Low Fi mic, by not reproducing sound in “too much detail” it limits the problem of hi hat spillage.  Also providing the drummer with a dedicated hi hat mic will tend to make him play the hats more quietly and with feel so in theory this should help to reduce the amount of hat going down the snare mic.  But I guess that this also depends on the player too.

I’m using Zildjian “Armand” series hi hats this time around partly for that very reason, as they are quieter than many others, without the searing top end that will spill not only through the other drum mics but vocal mics etc. I love dark sounding cymbals as a rule, I find them much more playable, providing me with a more atmospheric sound than their brighter sounding, cousins.

If Doc Fletch fancies the idea then maybe we’ll do a piece on his video diary later on, to detail more precisely the ingredients of my kit.
I hope that this at least partly answers your question.
Thanks be to Doc
Over and out

Dave Dixon poses with the new PC Audiolabs/British Grove recording system.

Two Citterns! Who would have guessed.

The Smurf-Wax is back…

Drum compartments loaded with sticks and heads as Robbo packs the kit up for the first time.

My Keys (rack) case had to come home with me over the weekend as a minor equipment failure meant I had to rebuild my entire AKAI Sample library. I used to opportunity to improve some of the sounds..the rack is now catching up with the rest of the shipment.

See you in Seattle.