Video: Tame Impala Rocks the Northside Festival

Tame Impala came and conquered Williamsburg this weekend. Their show at Glasslands was definitely the most popular show off the main stage. People were lined up down the block trying to get into the sold out show. Glasslands, known for their lack of air conditioning, was pushing 100 degrees with off the charts humidity as the people kept packing in. The band has gotten a lot of buzz, due in part to a glowing Pitchfork review of their new album “Innerspeaker”. Tame Impala’s sound, which fills a void in the current indie music scene, also has a lot to do with it. They have been compared to Cream, and other classic rock acts with a psychedelic bent. But their groove based rhythm section and fuzzy guitar lines references the German band Can more than anything else. There aren’t that many bands right now doing the psychedelic rock thing without venturing into a country-blues-Hill-Billy sound, or a adding unnecessary layers of tasteless electronica. Needless to say their tracks are fresh, simple, and filled with hooks left and right buoyed by Kevin Parker’s John Lennonesque vocal style.

Their humble stage presence is seemingly beyond their years. They were all incredibly poised on their instruments and showed off a quiet charisma that made it real easy to sink into their grooves. Anyways, check it out for yourself – we took some video of their show.

Also, it turns out that Tame Impala’s sound engineer, Jim Scott, has been a loyal customer of ours. Apparently all the microphones you see on stage minus two vintage sennheiser microphones were purchased from ProAudioStar. Awesome!

And The Light Is Growing Brighter Now: The Most Detailed Photographic Documentation of Phish’s Live Setup Ever Published

I’ve just returned from a 4 day excursion through the wilds of Hartford, CT and Saratoga Springs, NY following the reunited jamband empire that is Phish. If you’ve ever seen a Phish show, or heard anything about them, you know that they are grand achievements in both sound and lighting design, regardless of your opinion of the musical quality. In the next 48 hours, I’ll be posting an exclusive up-close photographic breakdown of their backline and front-of-house rigs, including all the instruments and effects they use, as well as all the gear that populates their legendary soundboard.

I’ll be filling in as many details as I can about the specifics of the equipment they use, plus a brief breakdown of how their industry-innovating Live Phish recordings happen, and recent adjustments to the drum setup. As a bonus, there will be a few more choice shots from the soundboard during the show to show off the majesty of their Chris Kuroda-run lighting design.

Keep checking back over the next day or two as we fill this space with possibly the most detailed photographic document of Phish’s live setup ever published.  Please note that in the interest of allowing everybody to enjoy the photos as soon as possible, we will be updating the gear breakdowns over the course of the week.  Should be completed by the 4th of July, at which time we’ll start uploading our photo documents of The New Deal and Jojo Mayer/Nerve’s setups.

Trey’s longtime Koa-bodied, Paul Languedoc-built, hollowbody guitar.  Info on the guitar from

This guitar is all koa with a maple neck, and the same tapered body shape as the second one. The finish on this one is a darker, redder stain, with a slightly different headstock shape, different (even smaller) inlays, and two chrome-covered humbuckers. The saddles are bronze on this guitar as opposed to the bone of the first two. He used this for the first time in October of 1996, and sporadically for the remainder of the year. In 1997, it completed the transition to his main axe, leaving the two blonde ones as backups. Languadoc states that “The koa guitar is the best of all of them because the wood has the most elegant and solid sound of the three.”  The electronics consist of a pair of Schallar Golden 50 humbucking pickups.

As has been noted in the comments, this is not the Koa guitar described at

Located behind the Languedoc is Trey’s pre-1998 100w Mesa Boogie Mark III head, running in to his classic Langedoc-built 2×12 cabinet, mic’d by an SM57 and an Royer 121 Ribbon mic (thanks John from The Bunker).  Behind the main amp rig is a Goff Leslie, full-sized as opposed to the “top” cabinet he used pre-breakup.

Trey’s smaller-than-usual rack currently features the following units:

Furman M8-L Power Conditioner
Korg DTR-2 Rackmount Tuner
Vintage Ibanez DM2000 Digital Delay
Custom Audio Electronics (CAE) Black Cat Vibe
CAE Super Tremolo
Alesis NanoVerb (x2, 1 set for delay, one set for Room reverb)
Alesis Microverb set to a gated reverb
CAE 4×4 Switcher

Trey’s floorspace is currently less cluttered than probably any other point in Phish’s history, and the layout currently prevents Trey from actuating the ubiquitous post-97 delay loops (see: studio version of “Ghost”).  Floor setup currently includes (on Trey’s right side):
Footswitch for CAE Tremolo
Expression Pedal for CAE Bad Cat Vibe
Original Boomerang Phrase Sampler
TC Electronics Nova Repeater Delay
Teese RMC Wah (hidden within a Crybaby shell) ->
Ibanez/Analog Man TS9 “Silver” Modded Tube Screamer (x2, one cranked and feeding in to the other) ->
Vintage Ross Compressor (thanks Chris M in the comments)

Trey’s left side is more for controllers than individual pedals, save for the Whammy:
Digitech Whammy II pedal (externally MIDI controlled)
CAE 4×4 footswitch board (for on/off control of rackmounted units)
Boss FS5U footswitches + Leslie control (all for control of the Leslie)

Mike has also trimmed down his rig.  Noticeably absent are the small combo amps that formerly perched atop his setup.  Main loudspeakers are all powered Meyer Sound cabinets, a pair of 750-P 2×18’s and a pair of MSL-2 15″ 2-ways. (some reports suggest 650-Ps and UPQs, but I’m 99% sure these are the same 750-P and MSL-2’s that Mike’s been using for a little while)

This rack houses all of Mike’s pedal effects, processors, including 2x Eventide Eclipse, and his CAE switching systems.

Expression pedals, CAE switcher (note the button marked “DWD”), and a Boss SYB-5 Synth Bass pedal.

1 of 2 Eden WT800 Heads (using preamp section only)
Meyer Sound Parametric EQ
Korg DTR2000 Tuner

The classic Mike effects we’ve been hearing for years.  The pedal effects include:

Lovetone Meatball
Akai Deep Impact
Source Audio Soundblox Prototype Bass Envelope Filter
Source Audio Soundblox Pro Multiwave Bass Distortion
EBS Octabass
Boss BF2 Flanger
MXR 10-Band EQ

I believe that the CAE switchers allow Mike to change the routing of the FX as he sees fit, so as such there isn’t a specific “signal path” to the pedal FX.

Classic Eventide DSP4000, Lexicon LXP-15, and 3 CAE 4×4 Switchers.

For direct processing, another Eden WT800 Head and an Avalon U5 tube-driven instrument direct box.

Here’s a little rundown on Fish’s current setup.  I got to chat with his drum tech Scotty for a while after taking the photos and he had a few specific insights as to what’s going on with the kit.  For example:

– the 2nd snare is a Yamaha Brass snare that actually belongs to Trey, and is 30-50 years old (I would assume that they had Yamaha change out the lugs with the Nouveau lugs back when Fish was playing a primarily-Yamaha kit).  This is the first time that anyone can remember Fish using 2 snares, and despite its presence, Scotty doesn’t remember him hitting it once at the 1st night of SPAC

– the main snare is in fact a DW 7×14, acquired just before this tour.  It “cuts” much better than the Black Beauty of old, believe it or not.

– the rest of the kit is a mixture of Noble & Cooley CD Maple toms (thanks Matt in the comments), a vintage Ludwig kick, and no longer includes any Yamaha or Ayotte toms

– the concept behind the tom arrangement is as such

  • the 6 and 8 are located off to the left as part of the left-side “percussion” setup, which is allowing Fish to move much more efficiently around the kit, with his elbows tucked in, as he generally prefers
  • the 10 and 12 are further left than before, ultimately giving Fish a classic jazz 3-piece arrangement with his bass    drum, 12″ tom, and 14″ floor tom.  This allows for closer ride placement, a more comfortable posture for Fish, and more use of the 12 for articulations (i.e. the “entrance” to David Bowie)
  • the 14 and 16 are where they’ve always been, although slightly covered up by the closer ride
  • Fish had been using coated Ambassadors on the toms, but for this tour they’ve been experimenting with clear Emperors, which has made mic’ing the kit much easier
  • Earthworks mics on the toms, Royer stereo mic for overhead

– the “little drum” in front of the kick is in fact a Yamaha Subkick, which uses an 8″ speaker as a microphone transducer

– cymbals are a mixture of brands and sizes, mostly older Zildjian, including a vintage Zildjian ride, New Beat hihats, K crash, A Cst splash, etc, some Paiste prototypes, and an odd UFIP and Wuhan here and there.

-hardware seems to be of the “whatever’s lying around” variety

– mostly Vic Firth Peter Erskine sticks

I really can’t beat Alex G from the comments on Page’s setup, so here’s his breakdown:
Rhodes Mk II, made somewhere from ‘75-’79 (the “73″ on it refers to the # of keys). He usually runs this through a phase shifter (now an mxr phase90, previously a maestro), but I don’t see it in the pictures, maybe on the floor?. On top of that is his beloved Yamaha CS-60 polyphonic synth (1977 i think?). Those are super rare and are a pain to keep in tune, hence the Sabine tuner placed on top of it.

1967 Hammond B3 organ going through a Leslie 122 rotary speaker (the classic Hammond setup). The organ was modded by the Goff brothers who added fine control/boost of chorus and percussion, and who removed the tubes, replacing the internal amp with solid state circuitry. On top of that is a Bob Moog Signature Little Phatty synth, which I believe he got fairly recently. The small module to the left of the Moog is a tuner, as the synth is all analog.

Wurlitzer 106p. These were made in the early 70s and sold in sets of EIGHT, all mounted on (the same) folding frame for classroom instruction. The internal mechanics are very similar to a Rhodes, except with reeds instead of aluminum tines, thus the sound is a bit “barkier” if I can call it that. I have never even seen one of these, let alone see someone play one.  Page acquired this somewhere along the line during the Summer 2010 tour.

2001 Yamaha C7 grand piano fitted with German Steinway hammers (an exact replacement of the one he used from 93-01) for better attack and brightness. The piano has Helpinstill pickups fed to an Avalon DI and an Earthworks microphone system to capture the piano’s acoustics. Atop that is his Hohner D6 Clavinet fed through a Fender Deluxe amp (shown below). He usually uses a myriad of effects on that, you can see the mxr phase90 on top, but I’m not sure what he has on the floor. Typically a wah (vox recently, crybaby in the 90s), sometimes a boss distortion and/or digitech whammy.

Front of House sound is run by Garry Brown on a Midas XL8 Digital board.

From top to bottom, we have:
Crane Song HEDD 192 Signal Processor
Dolby Lake Processor
Apogee Big Ben
Rane C4 Quad Compressor
Empirical Labs Distressor
Midas DL451 Modular I/O
Tascam CD-01U

On this side we have:
API 8MX2 8ch Mic Pre
Crane Song HEDD 192
Crane Song ISIS EQ
Manley Stereo Variable MU Limiter/Compressor
Tascam HD-R1 x2
Midas DL451 Modular I/O
Klark Teknik DN9696 Hi-Res Audio Recorder
Glyph GT103 w/ 1 drive

The left side of the Live Phish racks includes:
Apple Mac Mini
Presonus Firestudio
<unidetified unit>
Presonus FP10 Firepod

The right side of the Live Phish rack contains:
Apple Mac Pro Tower
Glyph GT103 w/ 1 drive
Avid Audio (Digidesign) 192 Convertor
Studio Technologies AN-2 Stereo Simulator

Both Kuroda and his assistant are running full-size MA Lighting grandMA 2’s.

Kuroda’s grandMA2 is equipped with an M-Audio Axiom 61 for tactile control over the lights.  The first 2 octaves are marked as “wipes”, the middle octave as “sprinkles” and the last 2 octaves as “scrim ex w/ color”.  The black keys with green tape are each marked with different colors.  In the scrim section, the keys are marked with letters and numbers.  There is also one white key in the sprinkles section labeled “Bowie Pt 2″. is great place to buy pro audio and dj equipment.

Check out ProAudioStar across the web:

ProAudioStar Blog
ProAudioStar on Twitter
ProAudioStar on Facebook
ProAudioStar’s YouTube Channel

ProAudioStar on eBay

Gear Review: Blue enCORE 200 Active Dynamic Mic

Buy the Blue enCORE Mic

BLUE is one of the industry leaders in cutting edge studio microphone designs. With the enCORE 200, BLUE takes a bit of their studio sound magic and puts it in to an affordable ($149) microphone for live sound use.

The BLUE enCORE 200 is a unique and groundbreaking design concept that attempts to solve the age old problem of singers and sound men everywhere. How do you get the clarity and definition of a condenser or studio microphone while getting the flexibility and ease of use of a standard dynamic stage microphone? BLUE’s answer was to create a dynamic microphone with active circuitry. This gives you an increased depth and clarity, with far less feedback issues than a standard stage condenser microphone.

At first glance, I notice of course the stylish looks of this microphone. There are very few microphones on the market that offer a great sound and a unique statement making look. Don’t be fooled though, this microphone is much more than just the surface looks. I also immediately noticed the great feel of the non slip dark blue body and the extremely tough copper colored grill. The enCORE 200 also features a very small orange phantom power indicator, so you know that you are receiving phantom power. The light is unobtrusive and is helpful in making sure you are connected properly.  BLUE also includes a nice green-fur lined carrying bag, which is actually a nice touch compared to the standard unlined zipper bags of many other companies.

After the initial look, I took the enCORE 200 to the stage for 2 of my artists live shows. I immediately noticed an enhanced clarity of the vocals which helped them to sit up in the mix. After years of listening to the standard SM58 live this mic really had an ear opening and impacting sound. I believe BLUE engineers a lot of “ease of use” in to their EQ curves on all of their microphones, so EQ’ing was rather simple. The one negative thing I soon discovered was an increase in handling noise, which I believe is inherent to the active circuitry design. I had to be a bit careful when applying compression, because that will of course increase handling noise.  I thought during sound check that this handling noise might be an issue, but once the band stepped in and the mic was on the stand the handling noise was inaudible and quickly forgotten.  I was on the other hand pleasantly surprised at the lack of feedback that this microphone produced. In the same room I have had feedback nightmares with the Neumann KSM105 which is a high priced ($699) full condenser mic. I’d approximate about a %10 increase in feedback on the enCORE 200 as compared to a standard SM58. Whereas a standard condenser can have as much as a %60-70 increase in feedback over an SM58.

After the show, the complements ensued.  The artists received manycomments on how “cool” their new mics looked, and the technical minded in the crowd were impressed with the clarity of the vocals. I found the enCORE 200 a pleasure to work with and even noticed the increased confidence my artists had from using a visually stunning microphone.

I must say that after some real world experience with the BLUE enCORE 200, I am extremely impressed with what blue was able to achieve. They took the standard dynamic microphone and sonically supercharged it at a price that won’t make you “blue” in the face.  Between the great sound, look, construction, and price range, I really see this microphone becoming an excellent choice over some of the traditional competitors in the same price range. In an industry where any edge counts, this certainly is a great tool to have in your corner.

Until next time, this is Jason Green.

The Yellow Album was created using only a Korg Kaossilator

The Yellow Album

We stumbled across this video that shows Gary Kibler playing the first track from his album, “The Yellow Album” which was created exclusively with a Korg Kaossilator. It is the first album of its kind and it shows off the impressive capabilities of this great little device. Kibler really plays this device’s touchpad like an instrument. He manipulates the loops to give his tracks a very dynamic sound, rather then just repetitive loops. The album was recorded directly off the unit with only volume balancing done in post production.

You can check out The Yellow Album here

And below you can check out Kibler performing the first track off the album