Front of House Engineer Finds The Right ‘Angle’ With RIVAGE PM10
Reunited in 2009 after a five-year hiatus, Phish is on the road again, and this time, front of house engineer Garry Brown took along a Yamaha RIVAGE PM10 Digital Audio Console, thanks to Clair Global, who also provides full audio production for the tour. Phish ends the year with their traditional four-performance dates New Year’s Eve weekend at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Brown said he decided to take a PM10 out on tour this year because he was concerned about the age of the console he was previously using. “The PM10 became available, so I had Clair Global bring one up to Lititz so that I could put it into a console comparison that I was going to conduct. I ended up comparing the PM10 to five other consoles, and it was the one that I felt was going to give me the audio quality that I was looking for.”
Brown uses 80 inputs for a standard show, but that count can range up to 120 inputs depending on the goals of a specific performance. He said his previous console maxed out at 96 channels, and after that, it could get complicated. “With the PM10’s 144 inputs, it’s much easier for me to be flexible with what is required by the band, states Brown. And, I was able to get a mix together on the PM10 in a relatively short amount of time.”
With respect to other console features, first of all, Brown says, “The surface has proved to be extremely friendly. I’ve been able to move around 100 inputs quickly and in different ways. The EQ with the three variations is also great, and they definitely have different characteristics. The flexibility within the EQ has given me more scope in how I shape the sound of my inputs. I love the insert function; having the flexibility between eight hardware or software inserts is excellent. I’ve found the Rupert Neve Designs’ plug-ins to be excellent to the extent that I have substantially slimmed down the outboard gear that I carry.”
Although Brown didn’t use the SILK feature during the console comparisons, he’s added in SILK to the shows. “It brings a depth and character to the sound that I like.”
During Brown’s early career in Britain, his exposure to Yamaha consoles was limited. Moving to America in 1998 changed that. “I toured once with the PM1D, and loved the surface. I will definitely take the PM10 out again. I’m very happy with it and have had some great sounding shows.”