BUENA PARK, Calif.âŽ¯Nearly a decade after the release of their groundbreaking debut in 2000, The Sickness, “Disturbed” have become one of the most passionate and well-respected bands in the hard rock universe, a dependable source not only of pummeling riffs and jackhammer beats, but of personal and political insights into our troubled times. Yet success (in the form of three platinum-plus albums, with both Believe and Ten Thousand Fists topping Billboard's album charts, and over nine million albums sold) hasn't dulled this Chicago-based foursome's taste for adventure.
“Disturbed” is currently in non-stop tour mode supporting their latest record Indestructible as part of the â€˜Music as a Weapon IV' tour. The engineers' choices for mixing consoles are four Yamaha PM5D digital audio consoles, two at front of house and two at monitors. Audio production for the tour is provided by 8th Day Sound (Cleveland, Ohio) with technical assistance from 8th Day's Mark Brnich. The festival-style â€˜Music as a Weapon' tour, inclusive of tattoo artists, features three other bands on the main stage joining the headliners: Killswitch Engage, Chimaira, and Lacuna Coil.
The need for four consoles is obvious for the amount of inputs required for all musicians with four bands. Front of house engineer Scott â€˜Skitch' Canady, who has been on tour with “Disturbed” over the past eight years in support of all four records, was initially brought in as a monitor engineer for Sickness and Believe, and switched over to front of house with the Ten Thousand Fists tour.
“Having two Yamaha PM5D's at front of house on this tour is very convenient,” states Canady. “It's small, and in our situation having two audio consoles with Disturbed's singer, David Draiman, performing out at front of house on the last song, space is a factor. The PM5D is easy, effective, and provides you with all the tools needed to build a mix.”
Canady said he had the opportunity to learn the console with a five-hour crash course. “The band was rehearsing for an earlier tour and we were using a PM5D for monitors. When rehearsals were completed, we re-initialized the console and Bob Bussiere, our systems tech for that tour, had me build my FOH scene from scratchâŽ¯a true benefit for me since I learned the connections between the soft patch and assignments needed to make the console 'understand' where a source is coming from, and where it needs to go. Having to build, assign, label, and then trouble shoot my scene, I had a better mental image on understanding the console's signal flow. As a console to mix on, I think there is maybe a 15-minute learning curveâŽ¯ quick and easy. After being taught the commands, it is like any other console: the more operating hours on it, the more familiar you become. Your physical motions and mind will follow.”
Rob Lightner has been with “Disturbed” as monitor engineer supporting the past two tours. “I prefer all potentiometers having designated purposes,” says Lightner. “One knob that can do multiple things can create an extra step in a situation requiring immediate reaction. I stand by the feature of having analog inputs connect directly to the control surface eliminating a connection that could potentially cause a problem and increase the time it takes to troubleshoot the problem.” Lightner notes that he began using a PM5D console four years ago on tour with “Disturbed,” as a tech for both monitors and front of house. “I had my hands on the console a few days before attending a Yamaha training class in California and so I was more prepared to ask questions that revealed answers for everyone in the session as well. I felt confident enough to answer any questions or solve problems encountered on that first tour. I am also partially responsible for assisting guest engineers with their use of the console, and found it very easy to convey all the necessary information to make their show a success. Using a 5D also makes it easier to switch over to a PM1D when needed for certain performances requiring more outputs.”
Both Canady and Lightner will be with “Disturbed” on the â€˜Music as a Weapon IV' tour until it ends in late July.
For more information on the Yamaha PM5D digital console, visit www.yamahaca.com.
About Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc.:
Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc. (YCAS) provides a full line of integrated professional audio products offering complete systems solutions for the broadcast, sound reinforcement/installed sound, touring, commercial recording, and post production markets. With the recent purchase of NEXO loudspeakers by Yamaha Corporation Japan, the company remains the official U.S. and Canadian distributor for all NEXO models. YCAS offers comprehensive in-house and field product training for its customers, a dedicated dealer network, and 24/7 technical support.