InnovaSON chosen for Tom Waits tour

Wednesday, 8 December 2004
InnovaSON chosen for Tom Waits tourDerek VanOrd, monitor engineer for Tom Waits, with the InnovaSON console.
Europe - Tom Waits headed to Europe in November to play an eight-date sell-out tour. Monitor engineer Derek VanOrd, who was out with Waits for the first time, chose an InnovaSON 48-input console for use on stage.

VanOrd had first used an InnovaSON console on an 18-month tour with Ben Harper following a recommendation from US PA company Rat Sound. "It seems as if everything is going digital now and eventually you're going to have to make the jump," says VanOrd. "There was a month of band rehearsals prior to the Ben Harper tour so that was a great opportunity to learn to operate a new digital console."

Thanks to his intensive use of InnovaSON with Harper, VanOrd had no hesitation in specifying another board as monitor console for the Tom Waits tour. The console's small footprint, combined with onboard dynamics and EQ, perfectly suited the four venues Waits played at - the Bourla Theatre in Antwerp, Theatre Des Westerns in Berlin, the Carre Theatre in Amsterdam and London's Hammersmith Apollo. Although Waits last played in Europe during 2000, it was 17 years since he played in the UK, and the one-off Hammersmith show was one of the hottest tickets in town, and space was at a premium.

"To roll in something of this size really made sense on this tour," he says. "Essentially this seemed to be the smallest and most stable digital package available, plus it's very flexible and the dynamics are great. It's wonderful to have such a compact footprint, which contains all I need for monitoring, and I'm only using the onboard dynamics and EQ. I'm using them on just about every channel, depending on what it is, from just a smidgeon up to a brick wall. The flexibility of the EQ is amazing. For example, for the upright bass I need to add a low-end hump and remove some of the highs so that you can only hear the strings being plucked acoustically. You can't add three eight-octave notch filters to a channel on an analogue console without some major inserts; but you can on the InnovaSON!"

Waits was touring to promote his new CD, Real Gone, which was released in October and features Marc Ribot on guitar, Larry Taylor on bass and Brian Mantia on drums, the same musicians who accompanied him on the tour.

(Sarah Rushton-Read)

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