Revered FOH engineer Rob ‘Cubby’ Colby has been utilising Genelec’s 8250A bi-amplified DSP monitors at the FOH mix position on the current Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo tour.
Colby’s technique of integrating studio-quality speakers into his monitoring protocol at the FOH position is one that he has developed over many years, having worked with such high-profile artists as Prince, Juanes, Shakira, Phil Collins/Genesis and Janet Jackson. “This approach, using Genelecs as part of the monitoring solution for a live show, has made a huge difference in the quality of the live-sound mix for everyone,” he commented.
The first tim he adopted this approach was at the Viña del Mar International Song Festival in Chile, where the FOH position is located in a concrete blockhouse 170-feet away from the stage and with only a narrow aperture through which the FOH mixer can see and hear. In order to deal with this challenging monitoring environment, Colby brought in studio-quality monitor speakers – a pair of Genelec 6000 Series speakers that he often carries while on the road for mixing recordings of shows. “I time-aligned them and ran them through a solo bus on the console; as the show got louder and the ability to hear it got harder, I would bring them up slowly, to compensate what I was losing as a result of the position of the mixer,” he explained.
According to Colby the results were so impressive that he continues to listen through speakers as he mixes live shows, adding the speakers into his field of hearing as the physical situation in front of the FOH console changes, such as when crowds stand up. “As the artists get into the back half of their shows, as the hits start being played one after another, more of the audience stands up and stays standing, and how I can hear the direct sound changes with it,” he said. “So I add more of the Genelecs into what I’m hearing. It assures me that I’m always hearing accurately what’s coming off the stage, and it really reduces the amount of listening fatigue, because I’m not straining to hear anymore.”
Colby also makes use of Genelec’s GLM and AutoCal technologies of Genelec DSP Monitoring Systems, automatically time-aligning the speakers for the environment they’re in. “The Genelec speakers and the Genelec DSP are my secret weapon for live sound mixing,” he added. “They bring the mix closer to me and keep it realistic. They take all of the guesswork out of the monitoring situation. And Genelec is what I use in the studio, and we’ve been seeing more and more studio-level products find their way into live sound lately, such as the ribbon microphones that I use. So having Genelec at the front of house with me just feels very natural.”
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