LEGACY TOUR DIARY, ENTRY #3: MISHA MANSOOR OF PERIPHERY BATTLE-TESTS HIS NEW LIVE SETUP
As part of our sponsorship of The Legacy Tour, featuring Darkest Hour, Veil of Maya, Periphery and Revocation, one member from each band will be penning an exclusive blog entry for MetalSucks to run during the tour (get a full list of tour dates here). Our first entry featured Veil of Maya guitarist Marc Okubo taking us on a run-through of his entire live rig, and the second entry was an update from Revocation’s Dave Davidson. Here’s Periphery’s Misha Mansoor on his new live rig setup (the idea for which he first mentioned in a prior column) and how that’s working out for him:
So a little while back I posted a column about going direct with the guitars on a future tour, and that tour just so happens to be this tour we are on now with Revocation, Veil Of Maya and Darkest Hour. The idea behind going direct is that instead of having an amp/rig that goes through a cabinet then gets mic’ed up, you just take an audio signal direct to the board and skip the whole cab and mic. This allows for a simpler and cleaner signal chain, as removing the cab, mic and mic-placement variables makes the signal extremely consistent every night. Now we are going direct with our Fractal AxeFX Ultras which is an absolutely phenomenal unit for direct tones.
So far it has been amazing in the live context, at least for the kind of tones we are after in Periphery. I can say that for the first time I feel like I have just the right amount and kind of dynamics in my tone, and perhaps that is because the tones are now so much cleaner and tighter than when we used to run our AxeFX’s through a tube poweramp and cab. Everything is a lot clearer and our soundguy can EQ our guitars to fit the mix in no time since he is getting the same signal every night! On top of that there are now 3 less mics on stage, so there’s less stage bleed which results in a cleaner sound. Also, with the stage sound coming from the monitors and not from cabs facing the vocal mics, there is very little guitar bleeding into the vocal mics.
It definitely takes a little getting used to, and since there is no stage sound other than the monitors (and the Atomic Wedges we’ve been taking on tour with us for stage sound) there is a small learning curve but it’s really not bad at all. On the plus side ,our rigs are now simpler and lighter than ever, and with less gear comes more overall reliability. So far there have been no hiccups.
I have to say that I am so pleased with going direct with the AxeFX that I have a hard time seeing myself go back to a traditional amp/cab rig. The only thing that really needs a little tweaking is the monitoring. Currently I am using the Atomic Powered Wedges, and I will be trying out the Mackie HD1531 soon, but ultimately the plan will be to use in-ear monitors, and the consistency of the guitar tones will only make setting those up and using them every night easier on our end as well.
So all in all, going direct was a great success, not only for us, but for our soundguy and ultimately the audience as well!