Daniel Lanois at Massey Hall

Probably best know as U2’s producer, but an excellent musician/ composer in his own right, Daniel Lanois played Massey Hall Friday Nov. 14th.

The concert was recorded for future broadcast by CBC Two, and I can only assume that was the reason for the unwieldy apparatus in front of the artist as he was double miked with a large studio microphone – if memory serves me right it's an RE20 – which didn’t make shooting him any easier.
This setup was a real distraction in most of the photos.

At Massey Hall you are only allowed to shoot from the back of the room by the sound board. Since their sound man always seems to line the singers mic up with the centre aisle, there is always a problem with getting a clear shot of the artist you are photographing as the microphone is in the way for much of the performance.
But the setup Daniel Lanois was using was like some kind of funky bathroom fixture that was in the way a good part of the two songs we were allowed.

Speaking of sound boards.
I turned around to get a good look at the sound board they were using and couldn’t believe how small it was.
About the size of a school desktop.

Now a sound board is usually a massive thing about ten feet long. It actually consists of modules, each the same, that contains a fader for volume and various EQ, compression and effects buttons.
Stacking them side by side leads to the massiveness of most sound boards as, with the large number of tracks running simultaneously during a show, many of these modules are needed.

However, the sound man at last night’s show (and I forgot to ask his name, doh!) explained that they were using a state of the art digital board that stacks the rows of faders vertically on top of each other like pages in a book, about 8 inputs to a page.
To access an instrument’s track one just scrolls, almost like an iPod Touch, through the digital pages on a screen. All of the controls themselves are touch points on the screen.
This allows for a very compact board with all the functionality of the full size version, including memorized settings for each track on every song.
You could practically pack it away in the back seat of your car, something you’d never attempt with your average 48 track board.

It was very trick, and I would have done a photo of it for you, but only took the 50-200mm to the concert and would have been able to show you a button or two at best.


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