DiGiCo Quantum debuts on Eddie Vedder dates
Monday, 4 April 2022
digicoThe Earthling tour played to packed houses
USA - With Pearl Jam currently in the process of rescheduling its four-month North American Gigaton tour, which was postponed amid coronavirus concerns two years ago, frontman Eddie Vedder recently tested the touring waters with a brief road trip to support his new solo release, Earthling.
Backed by a band including Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Glen Hansard (The Frames), Chris Chaney (Jane's Addiction), Josh Klinghoffer (touring Pearl Jam/RHCP member), and Andrew Watt (producer of Earthling) Vedder’s tour spanned nine shows across six US cities throughout February.
The shows marked the first time that Pearl Jam’s long-time front-of-house engineer, Greg Nelson, manned his mix from behind a new DiGiCo Quantum338 mixing console supplied by touring sound company RAT Sound. Meanwhile, on monitors, Karrie Keyes, who has been with Pearl Jam from the start, moved from her usual SD5 worksurface to an ultra-compact SD11 to exclusively focus on Vedder, while Brett Heet mixed in-ears for the band on an SD5.
Although Nelson has been Pearl Jam’s mix engineer for 18 years, his first tour spent behind a DiGiCo desk was with the Goo Goo Dolls in 2013. “I did that tour on an SD10 and loved it, so I started mixing Pearl Jam on an SD5 that year as well,” he recalls. “Around 2017, I switched over to another console brand, but after a couple of years, I found that I really missed the workflow and sound of the DiGiCo. By that time, the company had just come out with their 32-bit input cards, which made my decision to go back to the SD5 very easy.”
In early 2021, Pearl Jam did some shows and Nelson transitioned over to a Quantum7. “While I loved all the things that Quantum gave me, I missed the SD5 surface because I use the centre screen for mixing,” he says. “I asked RAT if they could upgrade the SD5 with a new Quantum engine, but they in turn asked me if I would be interested in mixing on a new Quantum338. After getting my hands on one for a day, I absolutely fell in love. The worksurface is perfect for how I mix and it had all the amazing Quantum toys to play with.”
For Vedder’s Earthling tour, Nelson reports that he mixed approximately 65 inputs coming from the stage, which were shared on an Optocore loop with Keyes and Heet down in monitor world. For Keyes, the switch to an SD11 proved to be the right choice for this run as well.
“Ed has a complex monitor system, so Brett and I thought it was best to divide up the duties so I could focus solely on Ed while he could give his full attention to the band, which proved to be a good call,” she says. “Ed does not use IEMs. Instead, he has seven vocal and instrument mixes put across wedges, ground side-fills, and flown sidefills. I had the full input list so could access anything that was needed, and I was able to put my workflow in a format that was much smaller but still easily accessible.”

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