David Mann and Gary Hirstius of Herbie Hancock Future 2 Future Band At the 35th Montreux Jazz Festival
Interviewed by Tom Dambly, Marketing Communications Manager, Meyer Sound
Dave Mann: Hi, I'm Dave Mann, front of house engineer for Herbie Hancock's Future 2 Future tour.
Gary Hirstius: I'm Gary Hirstius, monitor mixer.
Tom Dambly: Is this the first tour where you've been using surrround?
TD: Is this the first time you've used the M3Ds?
DM: Yes. They were very smooth. At sound check, when I walked the room, there was very smooth coverage of the whole venue. It's a very warm system. There's a lot of depth to it; it had nice imaging.
TD: How was it from the monitor mixer's perspective?
GH: Meyer wedges have always had this clarity that you don't' get out of other boxes. I found tonight that I had to do less EQ in the ranges where I usually get a lot of leakage into a piano, especially when you have a drummer like Terry Lynn Carrington, who's sitting back there, and her stuff's really hitting, and the piano's right in front. Now you've got remote trucks, you've got. . . seven lines in a piano picking up everything on that stage, and the Meyer wedges were able to bring it out, to where I could isolate what I had; I didn't have all these different frequencies that you would normally get, with all the phasing problems you normally get – it was clear as a bell.
DM: Yeah, you had that Sony C-100 tube condensor mic on the trumpet. . .
GH: That's right, I was so worried, because that's a mic you would use in the studio, when you're playing by yourself; you wouldn't put it up on stage. With most wedges, I'd be going for 80 [Hz], I'd be going for 160, I'd be going for 400, I'd be going for 2k, 8k – there'd be small dogs outside waiting for the show before I was finished. I don't have those problems when I deal with Meyer. It's a nice, level, clean sound.
TD: One of the features of the M3D line array is that it's very directional, even in the low frequencies. Did you notice any difference with respect to leakage onstage?
GH: Like I said, I had no problem with any leakage. I barely went to the EQ.
DM: Yeah, it's nice, especially since in the festival environment, you have precious little time to get to the sound check and do what you need to do, and if you're fighting a PA system, it's like "defensive mixing." It's like, "what are you doing to avoid feedback?" and I was very pleasantly surprised. As soon as we got our levels and brought up the faders, it was like, OK, that sounds like a piano!
GH: And you've got to depend on that in these festival situations. You don't have time to be screwing around with somebody else's system, getting it back to where it should be. You've gotta go. You've got maybe 15 minutes to do your changeover, get your knobs back where they should be, and that's hard enough in itself. If you've got to deal with a PA that doesn't work, it's a nightmare – everybody loses. And with Meyer, I've never lost.